700-705. Japan Modernizes. Historical Background Information:.
What were the responses to imperialism within the region or country? Who were the individuals or groups that aided resistance within the country or region? When and how did your country or region gain independence?
Local Japanese leaders were initially opposed to any contact with foreigners. This led to rebellion and an overthrow of the Tokugawa regime, which was replaced by the emperor Mutsuhito and the Meiji oligarchs. After the Meiji Restoration, Japan was greatly modernized as the government encouraged European ideas that would help strengthen Japan. Japan became industrialized, a new education system was put into place, and advanced technology was being used.
Modernization and Westernization of Japan allowed it to grow into a strong imperial force with a powerful military. However, the growth of this nation did not come as a result of imperialism. Japan was not exposed to European influence because it was occupied by a European country. Instead, the country flourished under the leadership of Emperor Mutsuhito and the Meiji oligarchs because they employed European ideas and practices in order to strengthen Japan. The example of Japan proves that countries could bring themselves into the world of modern Europe without being occupied by a European force.
Japan’s military strength was apparent when it helped suppress the Boxer Rebellion and defeated Russia in the Russo-Japanese War. It became a colonial power in 1910 when it annexed Korea. Linda Sue Park’s historical novel, When My Name Was Keoko, describes Japanese imperial rule of Korea from the point of view of two children. The Japanese government prohibited the use of the Korean language and forced all Koreans to take Japanese names.
Emperor Mutsuhito and the Meiji oligarchs replaced the Tokugawa shogunate after it was overthrown as a result of civil war. Under their reign, the “Meiji Restoration,” Japan was modernized as European ideas, practices, and technologies were put into place. The changes that Japan underwent during this period led to it becoming a powerful imperial force.
The area highlighted in red is Manchuria.