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Tokugawa Japan, the Meiji Restoration, and the Making of Mod

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Justin Cerenzia

on 26 January 2016

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Transcript of Tokugawa Japan, the Meiji Restoration, and the Making of Mod

Order Versus Change:
Tokugawa, meiji, and the making of modern japan

(start at 4:44)
What did the social order look like?
International Order & Isolation
*what was the sankin kotai and how did it help to foster social order?*
"to serve"
The Way of the Samurai
Bushido & the ethical code of the samurai
Bushido I have found out, lies in dying. When confronted with two alternatives, life and death, one is to choose death without hesitation. There is nothing particularly difficult; one has only to be resolved and push forward. … If one, through being prepared for death every morning and evening, expects death any moment, bushido will become his own, whereby he shall be able to serve the lord all his life through and through with not a blunder.
Isolation & Decline
Tokugawa may have offered stability, but with this stability came an inherent aversion to modernity
Seclusion from the encroaching west inhibited
important elements of Japanese technological growth.
Japan lay at an important cultural & technological impasse, to which the solution would alter the course of asian history in the 20th century
Resistance and Rebellion
Battle of Shiroyama as dramatized in 'The Last Samurai'
Tokugawa legacy and structure was robust--one couldn't help but imagine a samurai revolt
1877 Satsuma rebellion reflected conservative (samurai) response to meiji rise
While the rebellion was bloody and somewhat costly in the short-term for japan, it did little to disrupt the tide of modernization
[Meiji = enlightened rule]
Why Meiji and why now?
Long era of peace (but they are a warrior class!)
Samurai become bureaucrats (but there are not enough jobs for all of them)
Gradual impoverishment of samurai class
Difficulty maintaining the lifestyle associated with their status

Issue #1
Issue #2
By this oath, we set up as our aim the establishment of the national wealth on a broad basis and the framing of a constitution and laws.

1. Deliberative assemblies shall be widely established and all matters decided by open discussion.
2. All classes, high and low, shall be united in vigorously carrying out the administration of affairs of state.
3. The common people, no less than the civil and military officials, shall all be allowed to pursue their own calling so that there may be no discontent.
4. Evil customs of the past shall be broken off and everything based upon the just laws of Nature.
5. Knowledge shall be sought throughout the world so as to strengthen the foundation of imperial rule
Sono Joi
Sono Kaikoku
1876, Samurai lose right to wear swords
Saigo Takamori, the real 'Last Samurai'
1. can we consider the meiji restoration
a revolution?
2. how does wallerstein's world systems
analysis fit into this?
Full transcript