Changes in Japan. Background Meiji Restoration 1868 -end the rule of Tokugawa Shogunate -power was in hands of Oligarchs -started the Meiji Modernization 1868. Meiji Modernization 1868 -slogans: “Rich country, Strong Army”, “Colonization and Industry” & “Civilization and Enlightenment”
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Changes in Japan
Meiji Restoration 1868
-end the rule of Tokugawa Shogunate
-power was in hands of Oligarchs
-started the Meiji Modernization 1868
Meiji Modernization 1868
-slogans: “Rich country, Strong Army”,
“Colonization and Industry” &
“Civilization and Enlightenment”
-carried out reforms-constitutional,
Economic, education, military, legal reforms
-very successful-Japan as “the Britain in
20th Century-Political Condition
The Meiji Constitution 1889
-Ito Hirobumi & mission
-Prussian model with monarchy as the
-practised until 1945
-[study the chart on p.197]
Comment on Meiji Constitution:
1. Emperor enjoyed too much power
2. Genro (elder statesmen) retained control
Over policies through giving advice to
To crises in 1912-3.
The Taisho Political Crisis 1912-3
-rise of middle educated class
-ideas of liberty and democracy popular
-”Organic Theory” & “Theory of Universal
Manhood Suffrage” emerged
-the emperor was an organ
-government should be responsible to that
Organ, but the government responsible
To the citizens.
Theory of Universal Manhood Suffrage:
-Universal Suffrage League
-general election to the cabinet
-vetoed by House of Peers (Genro) & the
League was dismantled in 1921.
-Taisho became the new emperor
-the prime minister rejected the military
Ministry’s request for increased military
-Army minister resigned, prime minister
Resigned & new cabinet dissolved.
-Katsura Taro (warlord) was appointed
As the New prime minister and formed a
Opposition to Katsura
-public & political parties & “Movement
To Protect Constitutional Government”
Called Katsura to resign.
-Katsura urged Taisho to issue an edict
To suppress the opposition.
-the Diet condemned Katsura and was
-When the Diet reopened, 6000 people
Supported the Diet. Katsura dissolved
-The Diet cast “non-confidence” vote
Against the prime minister.
-Unable to pacify the mass, Katsura
Resigned and his cabinet dissolved.
2. Rise of political parties
-industrialization-> industrialists &
professionals, middle class & intellectuals
discontented with fake democracy
-many oligarchs died
-world democratic trend
-Hara Kei the first civilian prime minister
responsible for the Diet.
-1920s, party rule
3. Foreign policies & expansions
-for raw materials & overseas market
-not very aggressive
-1900-Allied Expedition, 1902-Anglo-
Japanese Alliance, 1904-Russo-Japanese
War, 1910-colonized Korea
20th Century- Diplomatic Condition
The First World War 1914
-an ally of Britain
-consolidated her world power status
-occupied the German base in Shandong [Jiaozhou Bay]/ Act to revenge on Germany in Triple Intervention in 1895.
The Twenty One Demands 1915
-with Yuan Shikai
-5 groups (notes)
-Britain & US protested->Japan deleted 5th group.
-Yuan accepted in return for Japan’s support to
his monarchical Movement
-Japan replaced Britain as the most influential
power in China.
Group 1: transfer of German rights in
Shandong to Japan
Group 2: special interests in Manchuria
Group 3: Mining rights in Changjiang
Group 4: no cession or lease of Chinese
Coastal territories to any power
Group 5: Japanese interference into
China’s internal affairs
2. She became a respected member of
International community. Japan was
Recognized as one of the permanent
Members of the League.
Washington Conference 1921
-settle the problem in East Asia
-develop a new order of peace in East Asia
-deal with the Shandong problem
-set up a new balance of power
-end the Japanese-American naval
-terminate the Anglo-Japanese Alliance
Four Power Pact (text)
Five Power Pact
Nine Power Pact
-limit the number and tonnage of its capital ships
-observe the open-door policy of the US on China
-not to renew the Anglo-Japanese Alliance
-agreed to respect the integrity of China and
Withdraw troops from Shandong.
Impact on Japan
-Her expansion was temporarily checked
-attack on the “weak-kneed” diplomatic
-paved for the rise of militarist
20th Century-Social Condition
C. Social Conditions
1. A society of limited freedom
-”Peace Preservation Law” to suppress
any ideas that threatened the
reign of the emperor.
2. Higher education standard in Asia
-1907, 6 years of education
-school system of primary, secondary
3. Rapid urbanization and great
differences between cities and villages
-big industrial cities, e.g Yokohama,
Nagoya, Osaka, etc.
4. Poor livelihood and social unrest
-workers (cotton mill) & tenant peasants
(land tax 4%-17.5% in R-J War time)
Examples of Social Movements
The Rice Riot 1918
-government’s policy favoured Zaibatsu
-mass protested against the increase in the
Price of rice
-showed the power of mass
The Labour Organization
-Suzuki Bunji, Christian socialist formed
“Friendly Society” in 1921, advocating
Harmonious relationships between
Employers and employees.
-By 1918, number of members rose to 30000.
-after 1919, more labour organizations
-the capitalists and government suppressed
-they became more radical.
-”Friendly Society” was split into two factions
And renamed as “Japan Federation of
Labour” in 1921.
The Women’s Movement
-1911, “Bluestocking Society”
& magazine “Bluestocking”
To spread idea of women’s liberation.
-Three key actresses gained popularity
And changed the old concepts.
-1920, “New Women’s Association” was
Formed & magazine “Women’s Union”.
They asked for amendment to Article 5
To allow women joining political parties
-it was finally dissolved.
20th Century-Economic Condition
-mainly government run industries and
-later the government sold the non-
Military industries to private enterprises
At low prices, e.g. Mitsubishi, Yasuda,
Mitsui, Sumitomo, etc.
B. Economic Conditions
1. Economic ups & downs
-economic ups & downs related with
bonds and increased taxes. Tax increased
by 50% in R-J War and by 100% in second
-After R-J War, Japan seized railway
and mining rights in Manchuria--angered
Chinese--boycott Japanese goods.
-During WWI, occupied Shandong and
controlled railways + dominated
the chinese market and sold necessities
to the western powers.
-After WWI, entered dark age during
the 1920s + Great Depression 1929 (silk
2. Rapid Industrialization
-benefits from the victories in S-J &
R-J War: Korea, Manchuria & Taiwan
-foreign land brought sufficient food
supply and lessened the demand for food.
-helped develop light industry: raw
materials and market. E.g. silk export and
-helped heavy industry: mining and railway
rights, production of warships and
steamships, sea transport, shipbuilding and
-enterprises increased from 400 (1868)
to 8000 (1903)
-->Japan became industrialized country.
3. Further extension of the influence
-the government had sold most industries
(non strategic) to Zaibatsu.
-Zaibatsu developed capital intensive
industries such as finance, trade or
-By 1913, 75% of industrial & commercial
capital was controlled by Zaibatsu.
Suggest one form of monopolized
Services in Hong Kong.
First Bus, Kowloon Motor Bus,
-20th century industry focused on heavy
Industry, military industries and the
Nationalization of railways.
-WWI, Japan increased its export and earn
Foreign profits. “Monopolized Capitalism”
2. Limited Scope of heavy industry
-heavily depended on foreign technology
-light industry [textile industry] overtook
The heavy industry.
3. The focus on capitalism and military
-because industry was driven by national
Capital and external wars.
4. The basis of semi-feudal agriculture
-signified the exploitation of labour class
And serious disconnection between industry
-but it guaranteed a cheap labour force.
Significance of Monopolized
1.it led to emergence of Zaibatsu
2. It affected the life of peasants/ agrarian
Industry became undervalued. It
Brought poverty and
Weakening of people’s purchasing power.
3. Domestic market had no room for
Expansion economic fear and downturns
Japanese economy in & after WWI
-Japan exported the products to developing
Countries, US & Europe.
-Military supplies to Britain and Russia
-Shipping and shipbuilding industries grew.
-Light industries, machinery industry,
Chemical industry developed.
-3rd largest shipping country in 1919.
-steel production increased by 7 times
Electricity increased by 2.8 times.
-light industry accounted for 70% of the
-consequence of political reform &
Affluence of capitalism
-learnt the western culture & believed
In the importance of traditional values
And ideas. “Rokumeikan”
-developed science and humanities
What is the traditional values of
(How did we view their
Emperor? Did they love western culture?)
What is their traditional religion?
1. Preservation and traditional cultures
-confucian beliefs such as loyalty to the
emperor, filial piety to parents
-nationalism (details) in
Imperial Rescript on Education 1890 &
National Textbook System
2. Absorption of western culture
-magazines & newspaper
-affected their way of clothing, architecture.
The promotion of national loyalty:
-the idea of loyalty and obedience &
Belief in traditional ideas and values
-1886, the ministry of education decreed
The school based on nationalism.
-1890, The Imperial Rescript on Education
“goodness, righteousness, piety and loyalty”
-1907, compulsory education to 6 years.
-higher education expanded.
Achievements in Humanities
Achievements in Science
“how to be equal such power as the US
in terms of national strength or even
to surpass her?”
“joining the families of European nations”
“becoming better than Britain and the US”
-1932, Takahashi’s progressive financial
Policy-expanding armaments and military
Production-focused on heavy and military
-1933, Japan withdrew from League and
Occupied north-eastern part of China.
2. Initiation of the Pacific War and
invasion of SE Asia
-isolated China to cut off military
back up from Indochina
-natural resources, e.g. tin, oil
-Attack on Pearl Harbour
Entry into the WWII
-1941 Dec 7, attack on Pearl Harbour
brought the US into the war.
-dropping of atomic bombs on 6, 9 Aug 1945.
-Japan surrendered on 15 Aug 1945