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Modernity in Japan

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  • April 29, 2012
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The establishment of the Meiji restoration was the beginning of modernisation in Japan. Japan moved from a traditional to a modern state or from a confucian world view to a secular, modern, scientific and rationale world view. The Meiji government used the ancient Chinese ideal of enriching the country at the same time strengthening the military to secure a place among the aggressors instead of being a victim of aggression. The economic development of Japan was modernised using western ideologies, and this occurred during the Meiji restoration period. After 1868, feudal classes were abolished and every one was equal before the law. All men were also required to render their services to the military. Education was made compulsory, and women were allowed to work outside their homes.This research paper highlights how Japan embraced modernity, what it meant to embrace modernity, relationships of Japan with Asia, and the place of culture within modernity. Just like their Asian counterparts, modernisation in Japan has been confused with westernisation. This is because modernisation was characterised by the acceptance of western cultures, and this meant great changes in the peoples way of life. Westernisation in Japan involved the adoption of western fashions of clothing, food, architecture and hair styles. The introduction of computers, phones and mass communication was considered modernisation as they transformed the patterns of behaviour and world views, and this entailed remolding a cultural form to a new identity (Lu n.d). While it took the majority of European countries more than 50 years to industrialise, it only took Japan 40 years. After the pacific war, The 1947 civil code enabled Japan to establish a constitutional democracy which paved way for political modernizations to occur. The Meiji leaders were from the lower middle rank of the Samurai class. They had...