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Meiji Era Japan - Foreign Policy and Culture

Logic_on_rails
Posts: 2,445
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7/9/2012 4:28:13 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
As many of you are no doubt aware, the Meiji Period came after the isolationist Tokugawa Period. Of course, near the end of the Tokugawa Period we had a degree of 'opening up' following Commodore Perry's arrival. Anyways, this thread is to discuss Japanese foreign policy given the assumption that Japan wished it's culture and lifestyle to stay similar.

It was following Commodore Perry's arrival that Japan decided that it had to modernise in order to prevent further intimidation by western powers. This is best exemplified by the Iwakura Mission, with key figures like Okubo Toshimichi being involved.

My point is this - given the assumption mentioned above what should Japanese foreign policy have been? I'd also be interested in links to current foreign policy decisions relating to Western culture.

Furthermore, if anybody has a vast interest in Japanese history I'd be happy to discuss a multitude of topics with you.
"Tis not in mortals to command success
But we"ll do more, Sempronius, we"ll deserve it
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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7/9/2012 4:43:08 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I have a limited understanding of Japanese history, though would love to learn more.

Relating to the actual topic at hand. I believe the best way for a society to moderize without risking (or minimizing the risk) their own culture would be to send businessmen into the other nations, rather then letting them into Japan. While doing business in other nations, they would obtain modern manufacturing and engineering techniques and knowledge. They would then be able to bring back this knowledge, without bring back as much of the culture. While they would, of course, bring back some, after having been exposed and infulenced by it. They would bring back far less than if they had just invited forigners in to provide the knowledge.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Logic_on_rails
Posts: 2,445
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7/9/2012 5:22:47 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Well, it seems you were in agreement with Japanese foreign policy OreEle - missions like the Iwakura mission basically had Japan send many of their own people abroad and later return home, although there was a degree to which Western nations came into Japan directly.
"Tis not in mortals to command success
But we"ll do more, Sempronius, we"ll deserve it
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
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7/9/2012 8:01:50 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
In response to the question, I am familiar with the basic directions of modernization.

It is obvious that modernization carried without the expense of another culture is often best type, however, I do propose sending envoys to foreign countries, compartmentalizing and mimicking the best aspects of certain cultures--legal systems, defense systems, education, areas of industry, slowly enforce domestic trade with such countries and allow sifts of foreigners but through a narrowed manner to prevent inroads and exploitation.

It would however be of best interest in perhaps framing such new ideas into a standard mold or to have a gradual overhaul of culture; obviously, dynamic contact would need to be established with countries as well.

If only China had done that and recognized the beauty of it....
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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7/10/2012 8:36:27 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
A long time ago I lived in Japan for about six months and took the opportunity to read up on Japanese history. I have an enduring interest in Japanese culture, but the details of the history not so much. My impression is that the Japanese themselves are far more interested in their history tahn Westerners are in the histories of their civilizations.

I doubt that Western influence was a fundamental cause of the Meiji restoration. What was truly remarkable was how long the Shogun era lasted, not that it ended. Japanese culture endured through modernization and endures to this day, despite Western influences. They are strongly monocultural. What will kill it is diversity. They have tightly controlled immigration to prevent that, but I suspect its days are numbered.

Incidentally, visiting the Tokugawa Shrine in Nikko, built in 1617, is a worthy trip for anyone. It's a remarkable piece of history. The area is planted with 10,000 Japanese cedars, donated at the time in lieu of taxes.
wjmelements
Posts: 8,206
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7/11/2012 6:37:41 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Debating foreign policy of the past is Policy. Showing off what you know or can read on Wikipedia without clash isn't debate. We don't need a History forum.
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light