The Meiji Restoration as a Revolution - Essay Example

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The Meiji Restoration is one of the major events that played a vital role in the modernization of Japan. The Meiji Restoration is the term used to define the revolution that saw an end to the reign of Tokugawa and the reinstallation of the emperor of Japan. …
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The Meiji Restoration as a Revolution
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The Meiji Restoration as a Revolution The Meiji Restoration is one of the major events that played a vital role in the modernization of Japan. The Meiji Restoration is the term used to define the revolution that saw an end to the reign of Tokugawa and the reinstallation of the emperor of Japan. This restoration, which is also known as Meiji Ishin, happened in the second half of the 19th century. Before this restoration, Japan was governed through a feudal system by leaders who went by the title of Tokugawa. The last of these leaders was a man named Tokugawa Yoshinobu who resigned in November 1867.
The Meiji restoration, which started shortly after Japan came into contact with the West, did a lot to change the course of Japans history, in terms of economic, social and political lifestyle of the Japanese. One of the things that make the Meiji restoration revolutionary was the effect it had on Japan’s industrialization.
This restoration opened up Japan to the rest of the world. This played a major role in Japan’s development as a notable Asian power. Japanese were eager to build infrastructure which would help them succeed in the modern world. They built spinning mills, iron smelters as well as shipyards which were later sold to people who could export them outside the country. The items that were made and sold in Japan brought in a lot of income for the country.
On the social scene, a majority of Japanese were growing restless about the power and wealth of the Samurai class. The Samurai were a privileged group of people who acquired their immense wealth through the servitude feudal system. With the downfall of the old system came the eventual end of the Samurai daimyo and the shogunate classes. The government of Japan declared all people equal, with equal representation and access to resources.
The military of Japan also underwent a big revolution. An effective and powerful military was created. This was in line with the nation’s motto at the time: fukoku kyohei, which means National Wealth and Military Strength. In 1873, every male in Japan was mandated to serve in the nation’s armed force after turning 21. They were meant to serve for 3 years. The Japanese government established a strong unified force that would years later terrorize the rest of the world in the World War II.
The issue of land reform was also dealt with when the oligarchs came to power. The feudal system was scrapped once and for all. With these land reforms came the abolition of the four classes of society. It was now possible for anyone to legally own land in Japan
The Meiji restoration also saw Japan open up to the West. Japan modernized at a rate that was almost shocking. Within a very short time, the country was able to measure up to the standards of the leading countries at that time. It became a role model for other Sian nations that were opening up to modernization. Up to this day, there is a lot of Western culture in Japanese day to day life. Read More
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