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“By 1890 Japan had been transformed by the changes introduce
Transcript of “By 1890 Japan had been transformed by the changes introduce
In the previous phase, the transformation, although in its mature stages, was still at best restricted to an internal definition. Since a full transformation would have also entailed a change in global perception of Japan, which by 1890 had not yet occurred.
“By 1890 Japan had been transformed by the changes introduced under the Meiji Restoration.” How far do you agree with this assessment?
The Sino-Japanese War, 1894
Japan was a country far inferior to China in terms of territory yet it overwhelmed China with its modern and well-trained military force.
This transformed the world's perception of Japan, which then made the phrase "full transformation" fully apt.
The Russo-Japanese War, 1904
In addition to the Sino-Japanese war, the Russo-Japanese war solidified Japan's status as an international power.
Up till then, an Asian country triumphing over an European power was unheard of.
These military successes proved Japan's successful transformation on a world stage, where her modernisation allowed her to contest with European powers, proving that Japan had, indeed reached a full transformation.
In conclusion, a full transformation would not have been an apt description of the position of Japan by 1890 as much of these changes were only internal, in terms of policies and mindsets of her people;and the others lacked a proving ground to evaluate their success or failure. Hence, it was only after the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese wars of the late early 19th century and early 20th century that a full transformation be an apt description.
The extent of its transformation
Was it a full or partial transformation?
Analysis of the time frames
First period (1868- Early 1870s)
Second period (1880- 1890)
Third period (1890+)
The first period (1868-Early 1870s)
The initial phase of the Meiji Restoration was characterised as "changes made on paper"
This, however, caused a change in mindset of the Japanese people, a crucial factor in preparing the nation for an ultimate and complete transformation.
The changes in Japan's political structure
The elimination of the feudal lords, or Daimyos, with the formal return of their lands by 1870.
The elimination of the status system in 1876, effectively removing the privileges of the samurai class.
This was, however, not without resistance, for their status and rank were no longer hereditary
Mass conscription was enforced in 1873.
Also met with strong opposition from the people.
Mass riots occurred between 1873-74.
Compulsory education of 4 years mandated in 1872.
This resulted in a 10% increase in taxes, which brought about more rioting.
The second period (1880-1890)
This was the era which witnessed the mindsets of the Japanese people change alongside the previously introduced policies of the previous decade.
Although Japan was closer to a full transformation, it is still mostly transformation within Japan.
Change in the mindset of the military
Conscription was now seen as an obligation along the lines of patriotism.
In 1882, the Imperial Re-script was addressed to soldiers and sailors echoing the message of loyalty and valour.
Changes in the mindset towards education
Similar Re-scripts were implemented in schools, implementing classes with moral education and increasing their importance in the form of longer durations to expose children to such beliefs.
By the end of the 1880s, the Japanese began embracing the idea of education, with school attendance reaching reported highs of 90%.
This shift in mindset brought them closer to a full transformation