11 - Assignment Example

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This architectural miracle as it was seen at the time resulted from western influence that the Japanese were keen on embracing to the detriment…
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Assignment 11
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Picturing the Past Analyzing the Image The twelve story tower, the first of its kind built in Tokyo in 1890 was made possible by the availability of Japan’s first elevator. This architectural miracle as it was seen at the time resulted from western influence that the Japanese were keen on embracing to the detriment of their culture. This can be seen from the way the people in the picture are dressed, they are seen to conform to western cultures, with their long robes and proper hats. There are people seated in what appears to be restaurants. They appear to be having their mean in a formal setting. This formal way of conducting business was adopted from the west as the Japanese were culturally a social group (Yukichi).
Other people are seen to be walking into the restaurant, all dressed in similar fashion, long robes all trying to appear as though formal. There are people on the street all possessing the same artier and the same inferences can be drawn from the same. There are people who seem to be raising the flag. This shows that the Japanese are acquiring order and structure in their activities as raising the flag symbolizes the presence of a hierarchy which is adhered to. This too was gotten from the westerners who believed in order and conducting their affairs in a proper manner (Yukichi).
This is in response to Fukuzawa Yukuchi’s urging to the Japanese people that they should pursue civilization and enlightenment i.e. western civilization. Together with other scholars, they advocated for the Japanese to mirror the westernized way of tasting, eating meat, wearing of western-style clothing and the dropping of Chinese customs that the westerners found odd. There are other people who seem to be soaring in the air. We garner an aspect of entertainment. The Japanese have finally let their guard down thanks to westernization because the Japanese are principally a reserved people (Yukichi).
Owing to the fact that the building in the picture existed in 1890, one can draw a lot of inferences from its architectural structure:-
The Japanese are embracing western civilization as the architectural style of the building is westernized
The Japanese can be said to be practising accommodative politics where they are accepting the change that the westerners seem to bringing into their country.
Reactions to Imperialism and Modernity
According to Lim Zexu, Queen Victoria should halt the opium trade because she has witnessed firsthand how the drug destroys its users and particularly in her own country. The letter to her says that Opium in her own country is prohibited because of the danger it poses to its users. Lim states that based on this reason alone, the Queen should not condone the trade in Opium, and should prescribe severe punishment to anyone who is found engaging in the said trade (Zexu).
The Queen on stopping Opium trade will have the support of Heaven as it crown’s her with felicity, getting the blessing of long life and the security and stability of her descendants. Lim is drawing inference to a good deed by the Queen which will lay the foundation other people in the empire to be able to turn around their ways and stop the Opium trade. This will lead to a healthier nation and they will be able to provide stability both to themselves and to future generations (Zexu).
Lim states that the Chinese people chose to trade with the world in other wares including wheat and tares. He goes further to state that the world abused this privilege by stealthily introducing Opium into the Chinese market which has robbed the people of their lives. He calls it a poison. He wonders what payback this is because China opened up its gates for trade in normal wears and the world chose to poison the Chinese all in the name of profit. He claims that the foreigners through this wealth that they have amassed have stolen from the Chinese because it is their wealth (Zexu).
A British trader would term Lim’s accusations as falsehoods and claim that the trade was done on a willing buyer-willing seller basis in a free market. The Briton will assert that no one was forced to conduct trade in Opium by anyone and they did it on their own volition thereby negating their right to claim that they have been poisoned unknowingly and robbed of their profits (Zexu).
Work Cited
"Listening to the Past." Yukichi, Fukuzawa. Escape from Asia. n.d. 800.
Zexu, Lin. "Reactions to Imperialism and Modernity: From a letter to Queen Victoria." The Chinese Repository: 20 Vol. Japan: Canton Press, 1839. 8:497-593. Read More
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