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Early Modern Japan - Essay Example

1. Give three reasons why Satsuma and Choshu emerged as the leading domains after 1864.
Both domains were relatively large, and also had large numbers of samurai. Both had also engaged in various financial reforms previously to 1864, and were wealthy compared to most other domains. Finally, because of their relative distance from the capital and Edo, they were able to remain politically apart from most of the problem facing other domains.
2. Describe the different points of view set forth by the "pragmatists," the "Confucianists," and the Mito School before the coming of Perry.
The Confucianists during this period argued for a form of government set forth by Confucius in ancient China. This was responsible for the importance of revering the emperor and the strict separation of the people into various classes. The Mito School, while similar to Confucianism, argued that the nation of Japan was an ideal nation because it was unified under the Emperor. In the later Tokugawa, they focused most of their philosophy on the importance of revering the emperor and throwing off foreign influence. Pragmatists generally used common sense observations of Western power to argue that, if it wanted to stay a sovereign nation, Japan needed to Westernize itself in order to defend itself.
9. Explain Tokugawa Nariaki's clever plan to have his son appointed shogun even though by tradition Mito men had never been appointed shogun.
To get around this tradition, Nariaki had his son adopted into the Hitotsubashi

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branch of the Tokugawa family. Several previous shoguns had come from the Hitotsubashi branch, in contrast to the Mito branch, which was not allowed to provide shoguns. When Yoshinobu became the head of the Hitotsubashi branch of the family, he was a much stronger candidate for the position.


This paper shortly answers on such questions like: what are the three reasons why Satsuma and Choshu emerged as the leading domains after 1864, how might Tokugawa Yoshinobu be considered a "hero" during the final days of the Tokugawa shogunate, what is Ansei Purge, about Meiji reforms and what were the main elements of Mori Arinori's educational reforms…
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