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Japan. How did the Edo Era of Great Peace Begin?. In the 16 th century, Japan was divided into about 250 smaller regions The Emperor was the ruler of Japan. The capital (Government) located in Kyoto During the Edo period, government moved to Edo Edo (not the restaurant) = Tokyo.

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how did the edo era of great peace begin
How did the Edo Era of Great Peace Begin?
  • In the 16th century, Japan was divided into about 250 smaller regions
  • TheEmperor was the ruler of Japan.
  • The capital (Government) located in Kyoto
  • During the Edo period, government moved to Edo
  • Edo (not the restaurant) = Tokyo

Constantly at war with each other for more land and power

  • The Daimyo was the commander of each region
  • The Shogun held the real power and authority, he was the leader of the military government
  • Three Shogun are given credit for unifying Japan.
    • Oda Nobunaga
    • ToyotomiHideyoshi
    • Tokugawa Ieyasu
oda nobunaga 1534 1585
Oda Nobunaga (1534-1585)
  • Reduced the influence of Buddhist control over Japanese politics
  • Built a series of castles to defend his lands
  • Introduced new administrative practices to pave the way towards a unified Japan
toyotomi hideyoshi 1536 1598
  • Continued centralizing government
  • Charged landowner kokuinstead of money for tax. The wealthier paid more.
  • Created a formal class structure that included samurai, farmers, artisans, merchants

People had to chose between farming or warrior, not both

  • Tried expanding his land by attacking both Korea and China. He lost.
  • Supported painters and new types of drama
tokugawa ieyasu 1542 1616
Tokugawa Ieyasu(1542-1616)
  • Established his government base in Edo
  • Finalized the unification of Japan
  • Isolationist – believed that Japan could advance on its own
why did japan isolate itself from much of the world
Why Did Japan Isolate Itself from Much of the World

Foreign Influences

  • Japan was trading with European merchants. (Portugal, Spain, England, Netherlands)
  • Ieyasu did not want the Japanese to be exposed by western ideas.
    • Saw the Europeans setting up colonies
  • Wanted ensure the safety and sovereignty of the Japanese

The Spread of Christianity

  • Most European ships had Catholic missionaries on them
  • St. Francis Xavier converted 150,000
  • Hideyoshi ordered the missionaries to leave, and later 26 Franciscans were executed
  • After Isyasu’s death the Bakufu worried about the people following otherspiritual views.
      • Introduced a bunch of Edicts

The National Seclusion Policy developed over six years from 1633 to 1639. It set out controls on the interaction between Japanese and foreigners.

The National Seclusion Policy:

Closed Country Edict of 1635

  • Japanese ships are strictly forbidden to travel to foreign countries
  • No Japanese is permitted to go abroad. Anyone who attempts to do so must be executed.
  • No single trading city shall be permitted to purchase all the merchandise brought by foreign ships.
  • If any Japanese returns from overseas after residing there, he must be put to death.
  • Portuguese ships are banned from Japanese ports. Any ship disobeying this order will be destroyed and its crew and passengers executed.
  • If any southern barbarians (Westerners) teach Christianity or commit crimes, they may be put into prison.
how did the political system during the edo period reflect their worldview
How Did the Political System During the Edo Period Reflect their Worldview?
  • Hierarchical Political System
  • Every domain (province) was controlled by a Daimyo
  • He controlled his lands how he wanted, but had to swear allegiance to the Shogun
  • Each of the Daimyo ruled over the local government, or Han
    • Even the shogun was in control of one

Political Structure

Samurai Order

Ruler of Japan

Ruled by


(advisors serving shogun)

Ruled by


(serving han)


How did the Bakufu Control the Daimyo?

  • The daimyo were divided into three classes:
  • those most trusted and loyal
  • nobles of the Tokugawa family
  • those who had little standing because they may have opposed the shogun before he gained power.

The daimyo could never move out of their class.

The Bakufu wanted to ensure that no daimyo could gain enough power and wealth to overtake the shogun or gain power over the members of the Bakufu.


Every Diamyo must adhere to these rules:

  • No unnecessary contact between Daimyos
    • Report any suspicious activities, don’t let traitors to the Shogun into their domain
  • There can only be one castle per domain
    • Supply detailed maps of landholding to Bakufu
  • Daimyo must support public building project

Daimyo spent every second year in Edo

  • All commoners must register at Buddhist temples
  • Marriages of daimyo must get permission from Bakufu
  • Travel and shipbuilding are restricted

The Bakufu controlled the Diamyo:

  • Had the power to relocate them
  • Had the power to abolish them
  • Created laws that did not allow for the daimyo to create alliances with each other
  • Created laws that made it impossible to gain enough money to become a threat

Hierarchical Social Class System

  • Edo Japan’s social structure during isolation was a hierarchical system. (like the feudal system – could not move out of the class they were born into)
  • 6 Levels of the class system:
  • Shogun
  • Samurai
  • Farmers
  • Artisans
  • Merchants
  • Outcasts (Eta)
  • Non-Humans (Hinin)
jigsaw activity social structure
Jigsaw Activity: Social Structure
  • Each group will be assigned a social class /level
  • Group must make notes and present notes to class.
  • Info to cover:
    • What was their job
    • What was there place in the social system
    • How did things change during isolation?
    • In what ways were their lives better, worse, the same.

Refer to p. 141 - 145

social structure samurai
Social Structure: Samurai
  • What was their job
  • What was there place in the social system
  • How did things change during isolation?
  • In what ways were their lives better, worse, the same.
social structure farmers
Social Structure: Farmers
  • What was their job
  • What was there place in the social system
  • How did things change during isolation?
  • In what ways were their lives better, worse, the same.
social structure artisans
Social Structure: Artisans
  • What was their job
  • What was there place in the social system
  • How did things change during isolation?
  • In what ways were their lives better, worse, the same.
social structure merchants
Social Structure: Merchants
  • What was their job
  • What was there place in the social system
  • How did things change during isolation?
  • In what ways were their lives better, worse, the same.
social structure outcasts
Social Structure: Outcasts
  • What was their job
  • What was there place in the social system
  • How did things change during isolation?
  • In what ways were their lives better, worse, the same.
social structure non humans
Social Structure: Non-humans
  • What was their job
  • What was there place in the social system
  • How did things change during isolation?
  • In what ways were their lives better, worse, the same.
how did communities change during isolation
How did Communities Change During Isolation?
  • The shogun created, and maintained five major roadways for thediamyo’sannual pilgrimages to Edo
  • The regularmovement of people had an effect on the economies of the domains of the nation
    • Economies of the rural and urban areas becameintertwined.
          • As the diamyo and their entourages traveled, the need for services on the route grew
          • Accommodations
          • Food
          • Etc.

With all the visitors going to Edo, artisans and merchants started to settle in areas on the main roadways.

    • This provided the travelers with goods and services
  • Cities could not be self-sufficient, so rural and urban areas became intertwined.
  • Eventually, castletownsgrewbecause of the influx of artisans and merchants
    • Edo, Kyoto, Osaka grew to over 1,000,000
    • The change to an urban society helped the later transitions Japanese society wouldundergo in the Meiji period.
japan s three metropolises
Japan’s Three Metropolises


  • Present day Tokyo and was the largest city and the center of government
  • Ieyasu chose this site for the easy to defend port and waterways.
  • Sometimes they had 250 daimyo and their

families in the city

  • To sustain the the city’s growth and economy

merchant were encouraged to develop large businesses.

  • By the 18th century, the city grew to over

1 000 000 people, makingit one

of the largestcities in the world



  • Was the capital before Edo
  • The city waschosenbecauseithadeasy river access to the sea.
  • City was also surrounded by mountains which provided good defense
  • Known for beautiful luxuries like silk brocades, fine lacquer, and metal work
  • Center of publishing and known

for its woodblock printing



  • Around a protected harbour
  • It had hundreds of warehouses along the waterfront and good were moved by river access to the inland cities (Kyoto)
  • Famous castle (Buddhist temple) and the 150 bridges
  • Known as the “Kitchen of Japan”
    • Good farmland
    • Surplus rice was sent to sell
how did the popular culture of japan change during isolation
How Did The Popular Culture Of Japan Change During Isolation?
  • Just as the arts flourished in the city-states of the Renaissance, the popular culture of Japanbegan to change
    • Citiesgrew and the merchant class became more wealthy
    • The daimyo became patrons of the arts and supportedartists, sculptors, painters etc.

Kabuki Theatre

  • Featuredlively action and was a mirror of Japanese life
  • Depicted moral dilemmas
  • Great kabuki actorsweresopopular, theyweretreatedlike the movie stars of today

Banraku Theater

  • Banrakuwas a name for a puppettheaterwhichwas for adults


  • Womentrained in dancing, singing and theywereexpected to demonstrate all the correct forms of etiquette

Woodlock Images

  • Wereprints of original paintingswhichoftendepictedscenes of nature and the lives of commoners in thierdailyactivities

Books and Literature

        • By the mid-17th century, printing housesapeared in Osaka
        • BashoMatsuodeveloped a new poeticformcalledHaiku
how did foreign influence change japan despote policies of isolation
How DidForeign Influence Change Japan Despote Policies Of Isolation?
  • Depsiteit’spolicies, Japanwas not totallyisolated
  • The Chinese and the Koreanswerepermittedlimitedaccess to the country to meetwithJapanese traders ad officials
  • Chinese influence on Japaneselearningincreasedduring isolation as theirgoods and ideaswereactuallyallowedintoJapan
  • The Dutcheventuallyhad an impact on Japan in the area of medicine
          • In the 1720’s the shogun himselfbecameinterested in Western books and ideas and as a resultrelaxed restrictions on importing books
chapter 5

Chapter 5

What Factors Influenced Change in Meiji Japan?

russian influence
Russian Influence
  • They started trading along the Pacific Coast and established the Russian-American Company.
  • The czar gave the company permission to trade with the Ainu.
  • Russia stopped trading when they became involved with wars in Europe.
  • Japanese realized that the Bakufu were too concerned with internal affairs and should prepare for trouble that might come from the outside world.

Japan’s Response

  • Captured a commander and pushed Russians off the northern Islands
european influence
European Influence
  • Dutch East India Company had all their ships fly Dutch flags and hide any bibles and weapons.
  • Japanese high level official believed they should start learning about the west and had books brought in.
    • They learned about history, the sciences and institutions.
  • Thought Europe was a superpower because they all dressed the same unlike Asian countries.

Japan’s Response

  • Closed the doors tighter, and asked for documentation from ships that would dock.
chinese influence
Chinese Influence
  • China was forced to sign a treaty that gave control of their ports to Britain.

Japan’s Response

  • Since they saw China as a powerful nation, they realized the strength of the British Navy.
  • Abandoned some edicts that might cause Western countries, like Britain, want to invade Japan if they don’t start negotiating.
united states influence
United States Influence
  • Commodore Matthew Perry negotiated;
    • Get supplies and coal from Japan
    • To protect sailors and American ships that might need help
    • To enter into an official trade agreement
  • Townsend Harris negotiated
    • Opened five ports for the Americans
    • Allowed Americans to live in Edo and Osaka
    • Supplied Japan with ships, arms, and technicians
united states influence con t
United States Influence Con’t

Japan’s Response

  • Intellectuals in the larger domains found the treaties favorable
  • Others felt that they were unequal treaties
  • Japan was pressured to sign treaties with Russia, Britain, France and the Netherlands. (also considered unequal)
  • Japan leaders felt they must compete with the West to meet foreign challenges and protect Japan’s Sovereignty
who what was
Who/What was…

The Ainu:

Dutch East India Company

Commodore Perry

how did japan respond to the crisis
How did Japan respond to the crisis?
  • Only a matter of time before Japan was forced to trade with Western nations
  • Japan would not be able to remain isolated
  • Japan did not want to be colonized or over thrown by another country
  • Japan needed Western technologies to remain powerful and independent

Different Points of View: caused a lot of internal conflict

One group believed:

another group believed
Another group believed:
  • Japan should remain isolated and declare war on Western countries
  • All foreigners should be killed
  • “barbarians” would expose the common Japanese (peasants, merchants, artisans) to a different way of life, thus, undermining their social structure/class system
civil unrest
Civil Unrest


  • Bad weather caused poor crops
  • Japanese began questioning taxes they were forced to pay
  • Japanese blamed the government for the unrest because they could not overcome their difficulties
  • Citizens were asking questions about all the changes government was making
  • Samurai began to support the emperor/stronger loyalty to him
  • Samurai were upset with the Harris Treaty


  • Farmers and peasants were starving
  • Support for the Bakafu weakened
  • Support for the Bakafu weakened
  • Support for the Bakafu weakened
  • Support for the Bakafu weakened
  • Support for the Bakafu weakened
leaders of the above domains
Leaders of the above domains:
  • Samurai were especially strong in Choshu, Satsuma,Tosa, and Saga – these domains never really supported the shogun.
  • secretly traveled to England
  • did not actually fear the presence of the foreigners
  • used the issue of foreign influence to create dislike for the Bakufu
critiques of the shogun
Critiques of the shogun:
  • wanted to create a new government headed by the emperor
  • increased military armaments
  • purchased weapons and ships from the West
  • women broke tradition and began fighting against shogun troops
in 1867
In 1867…
  • Samurai from Tosa convinced the shogun to resign and take a leading role in the new government
  • military forces from Satsuma and Choshu intervened
  • Meiji was the new emperor
  • Tokugawa shogun surrendered their ancestral lands to the Meiji
  • Shogun responded with military attack
  • Military forces were defeated in 1869
  • Emperor moved to Edo and renamed the capital Tokyo
the modernization of japan
The Modernization of Japan
  • Meiji period: 1868 to 1912
  • Led the restoration of imperial rule
how did the political system change
How did the political system change?
  • Political leaders used the creation story to their advantage (pg 180)
  • They declared the emperor sacred and inviolable
  • Tried to appeal to the Japanese traditionalists
  • Tried to build loyalty to government
  • Used the young emperor as a symbol of unity
the charter oath
The Charter Oath
  • Wanted the samurai to know that they are this new government was not the same as the old Bakufu
  • Future policies would be based on a consensus
  • Made many drafts
  • Final form satisfied all the points of views expressed by all who worked on it
  • Showed change in all three elements of worldview: political and economic systems, social systems and culture
  • Unity of Rites and Rules

Pg 182

how did japan reshape its worldview and begin to modernize
How did Japan reshape its worldview and begin to modernize?
  • New Leadership
  • Emperor – official head of the government, but did not directly rule
  • An oligarchy was formed
  • Promoted economic growth and industrialization
  • Samurai were the leaders – average age of 30 – military skills, studied in the west
Two goals:
  • to modernize Japan and make the economy grow

(2) to renegotiate the unequal treaties

  • Wanted to be competitive in the modern world, yet continue to be Japanese
  • The samurai looked to Europe and North America for models or a modern system
  • Japan’s worldview changed drastically! Foreigner use to be despised, but now they were welcomed.
the iwakura mission
The Iwakura Mission
  • 50 officials and 50 students sent on a 22-month world trip of 12 countries
  • Purpose: find the best ideas and bring them back to Japan
  • Iwakura Tomomi led the mission
ideas that were gathered from the west
Ideas that were gathered from the West
  • Ways to modernize Japan
  • To develop a nation competitive in the modern world
  • Education
  • A form of participatory government
  • Capitalism
  • Religious freedom
  • Maintain national sovereignty
chapter 6

Chapter 6

How Did Rapid Change During the Meiji Period Affect Japan’s Worldview?


At the beginning of the Meiji Period, there were two things that Japan wanted to become.

    • A military Power
    • Economically Self-sufficient
how to implement the change
How to Implement the Change?
  • Some of the Western ideologies that the Japanese borrowed and adapted were
    • Aspects of democracy, such as elected representatives
    • Public education, to help adjust to an industrialized nation
    • Embraced new Technologies, like steam powered machinery
  • No other country has adapted so quickly or successfully
how did modernizing the japanese political system reflect a new worldview
How Did Modernizing the Japanese Political System Reflect a New Worldview?
  • The Japanese believed in implementing an Oligarchy government, and slowly move towards a Constitutional government.
  • For this new government to work, the emperor needed to unify the country
    • Domains were replayed by prefecture system
    • Used himself as a symbol to develop strong nationalistic feelings

Two main groups developed after looking at the different governments in the west

  • the Japanese finally agreed on a strong cabinet and limited powers of parliament, called a Dajoken.
  • This new government put an end to the feudal class system and left the Japanese with one obligation – be loyal to the emperor and the state.

The new government wanted to make a constitution because

    • Most strong European countries had constitutions
    • Western countries would regard Japan as a stronger nation if it had western-style constitution
    • A constitution would unify Japan
  • After the constitution was written, (pg 197), there were political debates, some lead to violent revolts, and a call for a representative government.
how did japan change its economic system
How Did Japan Change Its Economic System?
  • Industrialization
    • New factories like munitions, gunpowder, silk and textile, glass, and chemical plants
    • The government funded and owned businesses and handed them over to private owners within 10 years
    • They also increased import tariffs to make domestic products cheaper
    • Pg 202


    • To help the Japanese government, the Minister of Finance did three things
      • Saw the need to renegotiate unequal treaties – adapted economic polices that would protect Japan
      • Encourage more private business
      • Imposed new taxes and lowered the value of printed money
    • This caused the national income to increase

Five of the ways in which Japan industrialized.

    • New railroads
    • Deep water harbors
    • Telephone systems
    • New technology and industries
    • Money was lent to start new businesses
how did japan change its military system to meet political needs
How Did Japan Change Its Military System to Meet Political Needs?
  • In Western countries, the military was part of the political and economical systems. Japan too wanted this because;
    • They wanted obedient and disciplined soldiers
    • Japan did not want to be seen as a weak military nation in comparison to Western powers
    • Wanted to become a colonial power
    • Wanted to ensure they could meet their military goals
japan modeled
Japan modeled

the German army

and the British Navy

how did japan s new worldview change its social system
How Did Japan’s New Worldview Change Its Social System?
  • No feudal system
  • Individuals could achieve better status, change occupations, move around the country, and obtain an education.

The Education system changed


The Worldview of the Japanese changed and the national military broke down the classes and regional differences

  • Peasants received educational training

Peasants returned home and shared what they had learned with their families and they had developed a sense of loyalty to the emperor (nationalism)

  • Before the peasants left

home they were illiterate

when they returned they

could read


Three main goals were achieved by the military.

  • Changed the influence and power it had with other nations
  • Helped to keep the nation united
  • Protected its


how did japan s culture change
How did Japan's Culture Change?


  • Oligarchy wanted to make Shinto the national religion.
  • But the schools were still teaching Confucianism, and the military was still teaching bushido.
  • Eventually allowed freedom of religion


  • Pushed for individual success
    • ‘Civilization and Enlightenment’ (bunmeikaika)
  • In the old ways people worked in harmony with each other.
    • ‘For the sake of the country’ (kuni no tame)
  • After failing to renegotiate treaties, writers started pushing the importance of retaining Japanese traditional values

Citizenship and Participation

  • Peasants no longer were just exposed to the day to day concerns of life
  • They started to write letters and form lobby groups to let the government know if they were unhappy
how did japan s changes in the edo period differ from those in the meiji period
How Did Japan’s Changes in the Edo period differ from those in the Meiji period?
  • See chart on page 218 – 219 of your text book.