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How did rapid change during the Meiji period affect Japans w

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Olivia Taylor

on 10 April 2015

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Transcript of How did rapid change during the Meiji period affect Japans w

Japans change in government
As the Meiji period began, the new leaders of the Meiji oligarchy decided that they wanted a Constitutional government, but were careful not to rush implementing it. Their first step was to make it clear, and establish a strong, central control. In 1868, the imperial capital was moved to Edo, and then Edo was renamed Tokyo. Following this, the Emperor moved into the Shogun castle, to show that the Bakufu and Shogun no longer had control
Change in culture
The Oligarchy believed that everyone in the country having the same belief would unify the country. They decided to make Shintoism the national religion. This sparked many different and new opinions in Japan. Many people disregarded what the government said and continued on with their own beliefs in buddhism.
Major Influences
Some of the most influential people in the Meiji period:
-Fukuzawa Yukichi
-Emperor Meiji
-Matsukata Masayosh
-Crown Prince Yoshihito

How rapid change during the Meiji period affected Japans worldview
Japans Army
Japans army was modeled after the German Army. In 1873, it was decided that all men (regardless of their origin or class) were obligated to serve 3 years in the army, and then four years of service in the reserves. This idea of Military conscript was initially used by the French. Japan put together a strong unified army, and in 1894, the army was victorious in taking Korea from China. This surprised the West. While Japan was building its Army, Western Nations were rebuilding and reorganizing their own. Emperor Meiji wore a Military uniform to symbolize his bond with the Military.
How did rapid change during the Meiji period affect Japans worldview?
Japans Navy
Japans Education
Social Classes
What was the Meiji Period?
The Constitution
Who was Emperor Meiji?
Emperor Meiji
Japans Navy was modeled after Britain's Navy. By 1894, Japan had a fleet of modern torpedo boats and 28 ships. They also had modern dockyard facilities. One of the key elements in training the Navy and the Army was the emphasis put on being loyal to their emperor. Many peasants who had never left their village before, upon returning home had brought new steam-powered technology and a new found sense of loyalty to the Emperor.
Why did Japan need such a strong Military?
There are many reasons any nation would want a strong military. Japan wanted one because;
-In order to meet their political goals, the leaders of the Meiji period needed a strong military.
-Disciplined and loyal soldiers would help strengthen Japans government, thus helping defeat any internal opposition.
-Western powers would continue viewing Japan as a minor nation so they were in need of a strong military force, allowing them to renegotiate the unequal treaties
-The Meiji leaders believed that countries such as Britain and France, who had colonies were highly respected, so they wanted to become a colonial power.
The Education system was modeled after France's system, which consisted of a free but mandatory 6 years of education offered to both girls and boys. But, the universities were not modeled after Frances, they were founded and modeled after the universities in the United States. Primary school teachers taught very differently from university professors. In primary school, each teacher was trained the same, and there was n varying in the way each class lesson was presented. At each level, every student would be learning the same way for the same things, and at the same time. Mori Arinori believed that primary education should emphasize and focus on support and awareness of the state, and teaching the students to conform. Universities were styled much differently. More believed that academic freedom should be put in place in order to create innovative students. Tuition for university was free to anyone who was accepted, and upon graduating, they were offered jobs in the government. The Iwakura Mission concluded that strong Western nations had strong educational systems. They believed that in order to become a modern nation, they needed educated citizens. The government decided that through education, they would be able to strengthen social and national unity, ensure that values of all peoples duty's and citizenship was taught, and to widen the support of the people.
The education system before the Meiji period
Before the Meiji period, schools were mainly attended by samurai children. The other children from the many other classes — attended local schools. These schools had no fixed curriculum,
but still taught basic skills such as writing and reading.
One of the governments main goals was for the people to be loyal to the emperor, instead of their local daimyo, and to be loyal to the state.
and the emperor rather than to their local daimyo. In order to obtain this strength and trust from their people, they decided to eliminate the hierarchical social system, that had been there for hundreds of years. Then, the Feudal class system was terminated, this freed people to choose their own occupation, and allowed them to move around their country.
This was a way of showing trust and respect. Now, all people had the same expectations, remain loyal to the Emperor and the State.
The Meiji period was a decision to become economically self-sufficient and militarily powerful, so that it would be considered equal with the west. Japan no longer wanted to fear other nations, so they came out of Isolation, and took the Tokugawa Shoguns power away. In order to become equal with the west, they needed to adapt and change into a modern, powerful nation.
To unify Japan, and be considered as a stronger nation, Japan decided that they needed a western-style constitution. All leaders shared the opinion that they needed a constitution, but there was conflict about what model it should follow. As decisions piled up, many Japanese (especially Samurai) disagreed with the strong central government, and instead wanted a democracy. The constitution was released in 1889.
Fukuzawa Yukichi
Matsukata Masayoshi
Crown Prince Yoshihito
Prince Yoshihito
Matsukata Masayosh
Fukuzawa Yukichi
Emperor Meiji was the emperor of Japan from 1867 to 1912. He brought Japan into modernization, ending the Tokugawa Shogun period, and after his death, the Meiji era ended. Emperor Meiji was only 15 when he became Emperor. Meiji showed his respect towards the Military, and also was welcoming of western ideas and ways. He strongly shaped Japans worldview today.
Yukichi was an educator, author, and business entrepreneur. He was the owner of a newspaper and he supported women's rights. He promoted change, and encouraged Japanese people to view it positively. Despite being born into a low-grade samurai family, he gained respect and fame. Fukuzawa was also a member of the Iwakura mission. Fukuzawa Yukichi is still admired today. He is on the 10 000 yen bill.
Matsukata Masayosh became the minister of finance in 1881. While he was minister of finance, many farmers lost their farms because they were given the choice to grow what they wanted, but had to pay 3% land tax. If any farmer was unable to pay this, they would have to sell their land to wealthier farmers and instead, work and poor tenant farmers. Previously, Farmers had the freedom to negotiate taxes in case of droughts or famine, but now, inflexible bureaucracy made negotiating impossible. When the farmers protested against this, they were forced to stop by the new powerful Army. Many small businesses also fell into bankruptcy. Although, during this time, the choices he made did not have many benefits, by the end of the Meiji Era, Japan's national income had doubled.
"I believe that Japan needs
to renegotiate the unequal
treaties as soon as possible
and then adopt economic
policies that will protect
Japan. Until this is
possible, the government
will have to drastically
reduce its spending."
The ending of the Meiji period came with the death of the Emperor. Crown prince Yoshihito then became Emperor, and then began the Taish Period. (Great Righteousness). Many of Meiji's key advisors committed Seppuku after the death of their lord. This tradition had been done before by many samurais.
How did Japan react?
After the Meiji government had failed to re-negotiate the unequal treaties with the west, people began to feel bitter towards the western people. As a new sense of nationalism was shown, they started using mottos such as "kuni no tame" which means "For the sake of the Country," and "bunmei kaika" meaning “Civilization and Enlightenment,”. Despite the Meiji governments advances, many people still felt that Japan was losing its national identity, and that it had gone too far to modernize itself like the west.
Citizenship and participation from the people
After the hierarchical class structure was abolished, many peasants became more involved in day to day situations. They now had found a new sense of individuality and belonging. They used these rights as a way to express their opinions on the Meiji government and its decisions. Before the Meiji period, many people, let alone peasants would never have thought to complain or express their opinions towards what was going on. With the new sense of individuality came strong opinions.

In the Meiji period, Japan adapted to western ways and modernized themselves, becoming a colonial and powerful country. Many things were sacrificed in order for Japan to gain power and become equal with the impending western threats. During this time, the previous social class system was taken out, and people were able to be who they wanted to be, although the government still had strong control of them. The Japanese worldview drastically changed for some people, but not all. Some of the advancements and risks Japanese leaders took to modernize and protect their country caused them to lose respect from many people, such as the farmers. In order to save themselves as a whole country, they sacrificed individuals in this process. I believe it was necessary. After staying in isolation for over 200 years, the leaders were forced to do take these risks. I'm sure now that the modernization has improved peoples lives drastically, but then, those people may have viewed it differently. Japan may have succeeded in becoming a colonial power, but preserving its religion, sovereignty and character was not overall successful; They did give their people more freedom by removing the social classes, but attempting to change their religion by force, and running small businesses and farmers out of business shows that you cannot please everybody, and that in order to gain, you have to be prepared for the losses as well.
By Olivia
Sources: Levin, P; Moline, T; and Redhead, P. (2007). Our Worldviews: Student Edition. Canada. Thompson Nelson. Pages 190-223, Retrieved 3/4/15
Google Images, Found at https://www.google.ca/?gws_rd=ssl 3/4/15
The Meiji Period; Japanese History found at http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2130.html Retrieved 3/4/15

Fun fact:

The former feudal lords (the daimyo) were forced to return their lands back to the emperor, but were offered opportunities to go and invest in businesses if they cooperated. They were given one lump sum.

During this, the Samurai suffered. They lost
many, if not all of their privileges. This sparked different opinions about the new central government... The Samurai wanted more participation in the decisions.
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