• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent can we describe Meiji modernization as a Westernization?

Extracts from this document...


18. To what extent can we describe Meiji modernization as a Westernization? Meiji modernization is a combined process. It combined the old with the West, the traditional values of the Japanese with the technology of the West. In short, westenization is a part, and only one part of the whole process of modernization. Westernization is taken in the following fields. Firstly, we can find westernization in the Charter Oath of 1868. The desire of the Japanese to borrow from the West so to strengthen the country could be clearly seen in the Charter Oath. There is the sentence in the Oath - 'knowledge shall be sought for all over the world' and thus shall be strengthened the foundation of the imperial policy. This statement was to be the basic philosophy of the whole movement. Japan was to be modernized and strengthened through the use of western knowledge. It was a surprisingly frank disavowal of the sentiment to ?xpel the barbarians'. The most conspicuous case of the Westernization was in the field of technology for a backward country like Japan, technological progress must be based upon imitation. ...read more.


Yet in each of the above areas, it is doubtful whether imitation of the West is a true Westernization. This can be shown in the following evidences. Military, although the soldiers had western equipment and military training (army based on Prussian model and navy based on British model), they were often reminded of the importance of the traditional samurai spirit (Bushido) and particularly, of unconditional loyalty to the Emperor. By this, it is not different from the past. The soldiers were just the samurai in the past. They just differed in name and appearance. In modernizing the educational system, only the 'form' was borrowed from the West. Thus the ultimate aim of the educational reforms was not to introduce these Western concepts of 'individualism' and 'freedom of thought' but rather to seek conformity and reinforce Japanese traditional values and virtues such as loyalty and patriotism. Thus only technical and practical training was based on Western lines but not moral training. Through indoctrination in traditional values, the Japanese would become a nation of patriots. Although there was the constitution of 1889 which framed by Ito, there was not a guarantee that democracy was promised in Japan. ...read more.


There was a growing intellectual resentment against blind and unreserved adoption of Western methods. They thought that western methods were not all right and good. Japan had to select some western methods that suited Japan and could help Japan become strong and to obtain status. Although Japan had try to modernize herself along western lines, the Westerners still refused to grant Japan better status. This led to a revival of anti-foreign sentiments. Hence, it is clear that Japan's real aim in westernization was only to obtain equal status with the West. When this failed, the Japanese could not bear. The trend of selective westernization was also accounted for by the fact that Japan discovered that western culture was not homogeneous especially as the Western nations quarrelled among themselves over their rival interests. As a result, Japan tried to be selective among the Western nations. Some people would go so far to say that the Meiji modernization is a sort of 'Japanization' rather than a 'westernization'. Anyway, Westernization is undoubtedly part of the whole process but, to stress again, it is only a part. Reference 1. Fairbank: 'East Asia: The Modern Transformation' 2. Richard Storry: 'A History of Modern Japan' 3. Beaseley: 'The Modern History of Japan' 2 2 Subject: Meiji Japan 18 Subject: Meiji Japan 18 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE History Projects section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE History Projects essays

  1. To what extent was the Irish Famine merely an excuse for Peel to repeal ...

    appear at this point, the nation accepted it readily, the issue of using the Irish famine as an excuse for repeal is only relevant within his party which was split over the issue: For this reason Peel was reliant on cross-party voting, and had received much support from Lord John Russell (the Whig party leader)

  2. To what extent wasBritain Romanised

    and gradually the Celts were attracted [to the towns] by the porticos, baths and feasts. This source is not necessarily completely reliable. Tacitus was related to Agricola (he was his son-in-law) and so, although he was a historian, it would have benefited him to show Agricola in a positive way.

  1. The Panchayat system as an early form of conflict resolution in Trinidad.

    Rarely, were women even allowed to appear before the Panchayat, rather, the nearest male relative represented them. There were some instances where women sat on the Panchayat but this was very unusual and women had to really earn their place.

  2. Liberal Reforms (1906-1914)

    However the act was very flawed as the orphan and widow benefits were dropped as the government couldn't afford the insurance scheme without this extra money. Also it showed unsuccessfulness as if the sick worker was insured then this reform wouldn't benefit them at all.

  1. To what extent is it fair to conclude that Palmerston(TM)s foreign policy one long ...

    He had a British passport which compelled Palmerston to stand up for him and claim damages against the Greek government. The Greeks refused and so Palmerston sent in the gunboats, knowing that the Greek navy was tiny and destroyed houses and killed people on the Greek islands.

  2. The Atomic Bombings of Japan q.5

    This source is not pro American, but the author gives us detailed information about the war. The Japanese were fighting until their death and Americans faced a high death rate. This source can be used to back up Truman's view that the bomb would "save thousands of Americans" in long

  1. The Emergence of Universal Medicare

    This strike helped the rest of Canada adopt what had happened in Saskatchewan by learning from its mistakes. However, even though the Liberal party at the time highly opposed of it, universal Medicare became even more popular. One way which universal Medicare became popular was with the aiding help of Prime Minister Lester B.

  2. Anne Frank Factfile

    Letters and documents from her family and friends still exist. There is also evidence that Anne Frank existed in this Nazis' Westerbork deportation book (pictured below left) it is with Red Cross? International Tracing Service in Bad Arolsen, Germany. The ledger contains the only mention of Anne Frank among the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work