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How did japan isolate itself?
Transcript of How did japan isolate itself?
How did Japan's geography affect its worldview?
How and why did japan isolate itself?
How: The shogun told missionaries to leave the country, all Christian missionaries and foreign traders were forced to leave, as well. he did this because of the influence they were putting on his people. He had churches destroyed and any Japanese Christian was to give up their faith or be executed. People were still coming in, dressed up as traders. Due to this the shogun enforced laws called exclusion laws;
-Newcomers were no longer allowed to enter.
-The Japanese were not allowed to go abroad.
-Ships large enough to make long voyages could no longer be built and existing ones were destroyed.
-Japanese out of the country were forbidden to return.
-Foreign objects were forbidden. Books of Christians and science were banned
-People needed special documents to travel from one domain to another. Curfew was instituted to stop people moving at night. lso wheeled transport was banned.
These made sure that no one was getting in or coming back.
Why: In the late 1500s and early1600s the shogun considered foreigner's threat to his military control. If the daimyos acquired European weapons they could challenge the shogun's authority. these as well as the Christian's God and Church were threats, because of their loyalty to God.
Different classes got more or less power. Strict rules governed the behavior of each class. There were 216 rules regulating the way people were to dress. These rules included the higher classes, like the emperor, and the lower classes, like peasants. An example of one of these are peasants couldn't where silk, even if they harvested silk. Rules for possessions and who had to bow to who, and how low to bow. They had strict punishments that enforced fear upon the people. The shogun increased his power over people.
Good; Farmers increased production by irrigating and growing two crops on the same piece of land during one growing season. Road improvements were funded by daimyos. This helped increase trade. Population increased in urban centers. Silver and gold coins were introduced as money as well.
Bad; There was no foreign trade allowing no other goods and ideas. There was overtaxing and some people couldnt pay them. Rice was still a main use of currency.
Due to peace the people had a lot of time for art and it was able to flourish. Examples are; a form of male only theaters called Kabuki, tea rituals that brought enjoyment and peace of mind, and sumo wrestling, which was a religious performance, as well as an entertainment. Haikus; a type of poetry, large, life-like puppet theaters called bunrakus used to reenact great ordeals, and martial arts it changed not only to teach to kill, but also to develop people through discipline. Two other examples are woodblocks (a form of writing) and "The Floating World" where rules were relaxed. After their occupation along with duties men could unwind here, under the shoguns surveillance.
Most of the town/cities were by the ocean. It's surrounded by water so one of their main food sources is from the sea. Since it's an island it's already isolated from most countries. So it was not that hard to isolate itself further. Rituals and ceremonies mark the change in seasons, this is important to Japanese life. Cherry blossoms are the most beloved flower. It's in spring that they bloom and is a time of celebration. In march every year cherry blossoms are predicted to bloom. Festivals are held at this time. Cherry blossoms represent three things: new beginnings, beauty, and the shortness of beauty and life. Japan is located where many tectonic plates meet. Every few decades a major earthquake strikes Japan. Many earthquakes and volcanoes occur on the ocean floor causing tsunamis. Typhoons also occur. These are violent tropical storms that develop over the Pacific Ocean. The Japanese learn to adjust and adapt to these disasters. They learned to rebuild right afterword. Farmers and fishers provided food, as well as the ocean. Wood came from abundant forests. Silkworms along with cotton plants provided clothing material. This made Japan a self-sufficient country. Long rainfall and good climate provide a longer growing season. They had a brief winter, so they had to grow enough food to last. If there were a drought many people would starve. Rice was the main food in Japan. Poorer classes could only afford rice occasionally. Rice is the most associated with Japanese culture. Rice depends on the right amount of moisture, which is good due to Japan's climate like their monsoons. Rice is also a money system. It is used for tax, to value land was how much rice it could produce, and the worth of a person was determined by their rice production. Also a lord's rank, as well as wealth is related to the total rice production of his territory. Fish was high in proteins and seaweed was high in vitamins meaning that Japan was a fairly healthy country. Their were no trading rivers in Japan. The south of Japan has a milder climate which was good for growing. Living near the sea connected Japanese people by providing communication, along with a trading passage for them. Goods, ideas, beliefs, and values were exchanged.
Reasons why isolation is no longer working
During the end of Edo merchants gained wealth. Peasants and daimyos needed money. Many people blamed the Shogun. Late 1700s and early 1800s natural disasters struck bringing famine, which brought death. Peasants went to the cities and it was hard to find work. Rice was scarce and prices rose steeply. People rioted over this. They attacked the wealthy. Many other countries wanted to trade. The shogunate said no. Americans wanted to trade as well so they sent Commodore Perry to the Japanese. There was pressure both internal and external. Perry brought the Japanese a request from the Americans for trade and protection of the shipwrecked, also the right to buy coal for ships. Perry got the shogunate to sign a treaty, Kanagawa, that opened two Japanese ports to America. It also accepted their demands. The Japanese did this with other countries like England. The Japanese didn't like these treaties being forced on them. An uprising occurred due to the inefficiency and corruption of the officials. They were pressured due to Perry, as well as the Americans military advantage. They also decided to sign because their knowledge of the conflict between Europeans and the Asians. People rioted instead of debating. Daimyos opposing the Shogun were retired or arrested. Their samurai were imprisoned, exiled, or executed. Attacks on foreigner's ships leading to violent responses. Civil war broke out after the Shogun retired, this is due to people who wanted to reform the shogunate, and those who favored rule by the emperor.
Life in Edo Japan