Glossary of 23Japan's First Modernization (Meiji)

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What was the name of the U.S. Naval Commander who carried a letter from President Millard Fillmore requesting that Japan open its doors to trade?
Matthew C. Perry.
Why were many Japanese unhappy with the Shogunate by the 1850s?
(1) Corruption in the government and officials; (2) Merchants were unhappy because of their low status; (3) Lords lacked money to participate in economic change; (4) Japan had fallen behind and saw what happened to China.
What urban changes had occurred during this period?
People had flocked to cities and become an urban culture; merchant class had grown rich and were more aware of the outside world than the rest of Japan; a thriving trade WITHIN Japan had grown.
What happened shortly after the United States and other Western Powers demanded trade privileges in Japan?
People were disgusted that they had fallen behind and overthrew the Shogun and restored the Emperor to power.
The Emperor of Japan's real name was Mutsuhito(1880s). What name did he take as a symbol of his desire to make Japan great again?
MEIJI (MAY-Jee) - means enlightened ruler.
What did the Emperor Meiji do to modernize Japan?
He sent Japanese Officials to the West (U.S. and European powers) to study modern governments, economic practices, and social ideas.
What political changes were made by Emperor Meiji?
(1) in 1889, he adopted a new constitution based on a Prussian one and gave it to his people as a "present". (2) He created a modern legislature (called the Diet) but it was weak and the emperor kept sovereignty, standing at the top of the military, executive and legislative branches. (3) Limited Bill of rights and very limited voting rights.
Who really influenced the Emperor at this time?
The ruling clique, however, kept on holding the actual power, and the able and intelligent emperor Meiji agreed with most of their actions. Political parties did not yet gain real power due to the lack of unity among their members.
Who did the Japanese military model itself after?
The Prussian army and the British navy. They were eager to imitate European imperialism (taking over other lands for colonization) as well.
What education systems did Meiji borrow from?
The French, and later German, education systems.
Because of so much Westernization, many Japanese began to practice more conservative religious beliefs. What ideas did they follow?
Principles of Confucianism and Shinto including the worship of the Emperor as a god (kami) were increasingly emphasized and taught at educational institutions.
What economic areas were modernized?
Banking, Currency, Transportation, Communication, and Industrialization.
What was the name of the huge family run corporations and businesses that were supported by the government?
The ZAIBATSU (including names like Mitsubishu and Kawasaki)
Where was the new capital moved to from Kyoto?
What was Japan's traditional shortage, or scarcity, that led it to a policy of expansionism (imperialism)?
Scarcity of Energy and Natural Resources.
What were some early examples of Japanese militarism?
Japan took over nearby islands. It went to war in China 1894-95 and gained ports and territory there (Sino-Japanese war), and defeated Russia's Navy in two major battles.
In 1910, what peninsula did the Japanese annex?
Whose side did Japan join (in a minor way) during World War ONE?
The Allied (U.S.) side.
After a brief period of rule by the weak emperor Haiko (1912-1926), who became the Emperor of Japan for an astounding 63 years (1926-1989)?
Emperor Hirohito.

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