Japanese and centralization - Essay Example

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The following discussion will consider the case of Japan during the realm of Emperor Kotoku. Moreover, the primary focus that this…
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Section/# Centralization in the Kotoku Era of Japan Certain periods of history exhibit key trends that can be analyzed and discussed based upon the existing primary data that they leave behind. The following discussion will consider the case of Japan during the realm of Emperor Kotoku. Moreover, the primary focus that this analysis will take is to examine the documents as a means of defining the obstacles to centralization that the respective authors foresee.
The first document that was analyzed, “The Edict of 647 – On the Nature of Government” sought to promote an understanding that the natural order demands centralization and rule by an all powerful emperor. However, in tandem with an understanding that centralization establishes and upholds a natural order, the piece also indicates that the “unsettled” minds of the people and the doubt that they have for the future is likely to create a significant hardship for any that would attempt to establish a further level of centralization or control over the territories.
Likewise, the second document, entitled “The Capital, Taxes, and the Army”, written in 646 AD also compounds the importance and need for centralization. In such a way, the author focuses on the need to maintain a national army and the importance of subservience and loyalty that this army will have to the emperor. Yet, rather than focusing on how this could be established, the article returns to the competing interests of tribal warlords and those that might wish to have a disproportionately large say in the affairs of the newly created state. The undertone of the entire article is one that leaves the reader with little question that these types of individuals cannot be won over to the cause and must ultimately be coerced by force to engage in the process of centralization.
Similarly, the third document, entitled “The Corruption of Local Officials”, focuses, not surprisingly, on the high levels of corruption being a stumbling block to further levels of centralization. With these local officials withholding money and tribute for themselves, the degree and extent to which a central emperor can raise taxes and have sway over a given region was obviously reduced. Read More
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