Comments on the meiji periode

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Séance 3 2000 years of European History

Comments on the required Reading – Modern Reforms and Western Influence in Japan

While reading Japan’s modern reforms during Meiji periode, I can’t stopasking me the same question : why Japan had successufly finished the modern reforms ? The John W. Hall’s article gives me some enlightenments.

According to me, the first determinant factor in thesuccessful reforms is the japnese’s nature : always modest and want to learn from others. On one hand, because of the lack of mineral reserves , the japnese are willing to learn more knowledge fromoutside to develop their country. On the other hand, the geographical situation plays an important role. Japan is a island country. It’s more easier for them to accept external influence.

Thesecond reason is that Japan started the reforms at « the right time ». At the Meiji periode, japan were forced to open its door for the occidental countries. Of course that Japan could not get an equalposition to trade with them. But this is an excellent opportunity for them to learn how to become as powerful as them. Fortunately, western countries were proud to be the teacher for the japnese in theprocessus of westernization. Because of their advises and aids, Japan developed modern industries, adopted the modern political sytem, started reforms in the educational field, etc.

The third reasonmentioned in the article is the support from the government and the intellectuals. In fact, the modern reforms are something that the government wants the most. Being an island coutry, Japan got hisown ambitions. What they needed at that time are the advanced knowledge and modern technologies to become powerful. As a result, it’s the government who hired the foreign advisers and encouraged thecommercial trade with western countries.

In the ideological field, the japanese intellectuals drived the revolution. Numerous publications and discussion clubs helped the Japanese be familiar...
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