The Meiji Restoration and foreign policy...the interaction with the western powers

Essay by vivHigh School, 11th grade August 2004

download word file, 2 pages 3.0 1 reviews

Downloaded 71 times

The name that the Japanese gave 2 their land is Nihon, meaning "from the sun". This portrays their belief that all Japanese are descendents of the Sun Goddess, which is of significance when evaluating the Meiji Restoration. The Japanese have traditionally held themselves 2 B of a superior lineage 2 other cultures. This embedded cultural superiority led the Japanese 2 close their door 2 outside intervention afraid there was nothing good 2 learn from the"barbaric people of the west." 4 over two centuries Japan had been locked away from the outside world. The Meiji Ishin (as it's known in Japan) sparked an intense period of change - one of the most significant changes being the opening of Japan's doors, thus re-introducing intercultural communication that was the basis of many of Japan's transnational relations today. The arrival of American Commodore Matthew C. Perry & his fleet of ominous black coal powered ships in 1853 was invasive yet effective - he pulled into port in Japan demanding that the Tokugawa Shogunate open up the country 2 diplomatic & open commercial relations with the United States.

This event greatly affected history within Japan as well as Japan's relations with outsiders.

Prior 2 Perry's attempts 2 "negotiate" opening trade relations with the United States, the Japanese had no incentive 2 open their country 2 foreign intervention. They had seen the devastation that the British brought 2 China, causing the Japanese 2 further desire existence in isolation from the world. Japan had been suffering periods of civil war which lead 2 social division, & a completely schematized society. This in turn lead 2 social degradation, & times of instability in Japan, w/ economic problems, & high levels of starvation. Perry's "Black Ships" made it apparent that Japan would have 2 take action. They were too...