10-4.3 Imperialism: JAPAN and the WEST – SYNOPSIS

JAPANESE ISOLATION
1)From the 1600s, Japan existed in almost total international isolation. Japanese ports were closed to all but a few Chinese and European (Portuguese and Dutch) traders.

2)In 1633, Shogun Iemitsu forbade traveling abroad. All foreign books were banned.

WESTERN INDUSTRIALIZATION & EXPANSION

3)Meanwhile, the West was industrializing through the use of “modern” technologies.Mass Production created a need for raw materials and markets to sell goods.

4)Industrialization brought increased “globalization”. The world was becoming more “connected” and “interdependent”. What happened in one area of the world effected other parts.

5)During the 1800s, the U.S. whaling fleet dominated the world whaling industry.

In 1846, it involved 735 vessels (80% of world’s whaling fleet); 70,000 were
employed and $70,000,000 in property -10,000 whales were caught.

6)Whale oil was a high quality oil and lubricant used on machines. It also was used to make high quality, smokeless and odorless candles. Ambergis from whale intestines was used in the production of perfumes.

COMMODORE PERRY “OPENS” JAPAN (1853) – Part One

7)In addition to the Japanese market, America needed Japanese ports to replenish coal and other supplies for their commercial whaling fleet.

In 1852, U.S. Naval Commodore Matthew Perry was given the task of opening isolationist Japan to trade.

8) On July 8, 1853 four black American naval warships anchored at Edo (Tokyo) Bay

Perry presented papers from the U.S. government, requesting protection for
ship wrecked American seamen, the right to buy coal, and the opening of ports to trade.

9)The Japanese ordered the Americans to go to the southern port of Nagasaki, the only port open to foreigners, but Perry firmly declined.

10)The Japanese had never seen steamships, calling them “giant dragons puffing smoke.“ They were shocked by the number and size of the guns on the ships.

FEUDAL JAPAN

11)The Japanese considered Westerners “barbarians” Though not an industrial country, Japanese society was complex.

The Japanese, borrowing from Confucian Chinese culture, stressed honor, morals, education and hierarchal order and harmony.

12)A sophisticated arts and culture flourished in Japan under a highly structured feudal
government and class system.

The Japanese lived under rules that governed every aspect of their lives, according to a person’s inherited status.

13)The Emperor was the head of the class system and Japan’s religious leader, but exercised no real political power.

The Shogun was the power behind the throne.

14)The Shogun was the military leader who ruled the country by creating the laws and rules of conduct. He was not subject to these laws.

15)Daimyos (lords) were landowners who were heavily regulated by the Shogun.

16)Samurai were fierce warriors and also local village leaders of farmers, artisans and merchants. Samurai depended on his Daimyo for a small salary.

17)Farmers were 80% of Japan’s population. Most lived below the poverty
level, their quality of life determined by the amount of rice grown.

COMMODORE PERRY “OPENS” JAPAN (1853) – Part Two

18)Perry negotiated for several months with Japanese officials to open the doors of trade.

Perry then left to China, to give the Japanese time to consider. He returned in February, 1854, with more warships and troops.

19)Perry’s show of pomp, ceremony and power impressed the insecure Shogun.

The Japanese realized that their country could not effectively defend their
isolation against the Americans without risking war.

The Japanese were aware of Chinese military defeat against Britain in the Opium Wars a decade earlier.

20)On March 31, 1854, Japan and the U.S. signed an historic treaty of “peace” and “friendship”. The Japanese and Americans had a celebratory feast.

Perry broke down barriers that separated Japan from the rest of the world.

21)Today, the Japanese celebrate Perry’s expedition with annual “black ship
festivals”. The Tokugawa Shogun was criticized and ultimately overthrown for not defending Japan against the West.

The “MEIJI” REVOLUTION (1867- )

22)In 1867, fifteen-year old Mutsuhito began the 45-year reign of Emperor “Meiji” (the name 年号 means “Period of Enlightened Rule”). He decided that in order to withstand the forces of the West, Japan would need to adopt western ways.

23)Governing on the Emperor’s behalf, Japan’s reformers implemented radical changes to “catch up” with the West. Unlike China, Japan sought change on a massive scale.

24)Feudalism was abandoned in favor of a written constitution and the establishment of modern mechanized military.

25)An international search for “knowledge to strengthen the foundations of Imperial Rule” began. Modernized Japan rose to become a world power in a relatively short time.

26)There were two reasons for the speed of Japan’s modernization – the employment of over 3,000 foreign experts and sending many Japanese students to study in the West.

27)This process of modernization was closely monitored and heavily subsidized and managed by the Meiji government.

Japan emerged from the Tokugawa-Meiji transition as the first industrialized nation in Asia.

28)Japan would borrow selectively from the West. The U.S. was the inspiration for Japan’s banking system.

They also adopted the American governmental system
with “checks and balances” to limit power. Baseball became its national sport.
29)From France, Japan adopted a powerful government bureacracy.

30)From Britain, Japan borrowed it’s parliamentary government system (ministers led
by a “Prime Minister”) and used Britain’s historically superior navy as its model.

31)From Prussia (Germany), Japan borrowed it’s legal system, army and
educational system. Also, they borrowed Prussia’s “corporate” (industrial)
structure – close collaboration between government and industry.

32)Huge industrial bodies called “zaibatsu” embarked on massive industrial growth. Started by the government, they were bought by rich families. (e.g. Mitsui & Mitsubishi)

33)“Wakon Yosai!” was the slogan of reform – “Japanese Spirit, Western Learning”

34)They believed that “foreign” technologies were best used in the service of becoming “Japanese”, absorbing foreign influences without sacrificing “Japanese-ness”.

35)Through modernization, the Japanese resisted domination by western imperial nations. They set out to practice imperialism themselves, defeating China in 1894, taking control of the island of Taiwan and dominating the Korean peninsula.

JAPANESE EXPANSION

In 1894-95 the Japanese engaged the Chinese in the Sino-Japanese War as they sought natural resources and trading rights on mainland Asia
Imperial motives also brought them into conflict with Russia in the 1904-05

Russo-Japanese War.

The destruction of the Russian Navy by the Japanese marked the first time an Asian nation had defeated one from Europe Japan surprised the world by achieving victory in both conflicts

The JAPANESE RESENTED AMERICAN “INTERFERENCE” in the MATTER

TREATY of PORTSMOUTH

Japan was quickly emerging as a world-class power using western technology and methods while still maintaining its traditional cultural values

JAPANESE EXPANSION
SEEKING RAW MATERIALS FOR ITS INDUSTRY, JAPAN EXPANDED INTO ASIA

JAPANESE EXPANSION BROUGHT IT INTO CONFLICT WITH AMERICAN and BRITISH IMPERIAL CLAIMS in ASIA and the PACIFIC

JAPAN INVADED MANCHURIA, NORTHERN CHINA in 1931

The JAPANESE “RAPE of NANKING” LED TO ECONOMIC SANCTIONS by the WEST AGAINST JAPAN

CRITICAL METAL and OIL SANCTIONS LED TO POTENTIAL CRIPPLING of JAPAN’S AMBITIONS

A SURPRISE STRIKE on PEARL HARBOR WAS BE A DECISIVE BLOW AGAINST AMERICAN INVOLVEMENT in the PACIFIC and ASIA

The JAPANESE ALSO INFLICTED the BIGGEST DEFEAT and SURRENDER of U.S. ARMY FORCES in the PHILLIPINES (20,000+)

The forcible transfer of 90,000 to 100,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war characterized by wide-ranging physical abuse, murder, savagery …

AMERICAN GENERAL escaped the PHILIPPINES MACARTHUR, VOWING TO RETURN

MACARTHUR RETURNED VICTORIOUSLY AGAINST the JAPANESE to the PHILIPPINES

It was MacArthur who formally received the Japanese surrender in September 19, 1945 MACARTHUR WOULD BECOME THE DE FACTO “RULER” of POST-WAR JAPAN THE EMPEROR”S POSITION WAS MAINTAINED,

THOUGH E HAD NO REAL POWER Macarthur responsible for overseeing the reconstruction of Japan and creating the constitution promulgated in 1946.

MACARTHUR WAS VIEWED WITH ADMIRATION BY MANY JAPANESE FOR THE SUCCESSFUL REBUILDING of THEIR COUNTRY

LOOKING BACK, WAS PERRY’S “FORCED” OPENING BENEFICIAL (excepting WWII, “peace” & “prosperity) for BOTH the U.S. and JAPAN?