East Tradition & Modernity
March 6, 2011
In the East Asian region of the world, the countries of China, Japan, and Korea each dealt with issue of modernization and western influence. Even though each of the countries dealt with these issues, they all dealt with them in a different manner. Their reactions and ability to adapt to this modernization and western influence would ultimately shape East Asian history. In addition, Japan’s, China’s, and Korea’s interactions with the West from the nineteenth century also formed their modern transformation in the nineteenth century. This modernization and western influence on the East Asia is referred to as the “opening of the Far East” by scholars for various reasons that will be explained.
The “opening of the far east” reveals a intense relationship between East Asia and the western world. This “opening” was eagerly pursued by the western powers because of the regional, religious, and economical advantageous East Asia provided. One of the most principal reasons western powers pursued the “opening of the Far East” was the overwhelming economical opportunity that foreign trade with East Asia brought. A land as large as the East Asian region provided potential for agriculture and manufacturing trade that were vital to western powers. In an attempt to build economic prosperity and dominance, the “opening of the Far East” was an element that western powers could not ignore in the process of globalization. In addition to economic opportunity, the “opening of the Far East” also provided western powers and missionaries the chance to spread their affiliation of religion despite the strong presence of Buddhism. By western missionaries heavily promoting religions different from Buddhism, the process of westernizing East Asia was not limited to just economic and capitalist globalization. Although prosperous, the “opening of the Far East” was not completely beneficial for East... [continues]
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