November 6, 2011
A Discourse by Three Drunkards on Government
Nakae Chomin wrote A Discourse by Three Drunkards on Government in 1887. It is a work of debate literature that presents us with multi-dimensional characters with very specific and indefinable beliefs about how Japan should be run. Nakae Chomin studied in France for some time and this certainly must have influenced his thoughts and writings.
In our textbook, Modern East Asia, we learned about many different movements and developments that were going on at the time that this book was written. In terms of political developments, there were a lot of changes going on in Japan. Japanese officials sent forces into Taiwan, which eventually lead to the Chinese suffering a defeat and the samurai still feeling betrayed by the Meiji leaders, which in turn lead to an uprising in Hizen and other areas of Japan. This was the start of the end for the Samurai (Schirokauer, 163). However, despite this rebellion, other leaders praised those in charge of the uprising for their spirit and enthusiasm. There was a great amount of discontent and opposition to the Meiji government at this time and antigovernment groups began to pop up everywhere. It is also notable that political parties began to emerge at this time.
Not only were there political developments, but there were also many changes in terms of intellectual progress. Many people in Japan were greatly influenced by Western ideals, specifically in the areas of science and technology (Schirokauer, 168). The Europeans Enlightenment also influenced Japanese intellectuals. To me, it seems as though the intellectual movements were for the most part stimulated by ideas that did not come directly from Japan.
With all of these changes, the foreign relations that Japan had with other countries began to change. Relations with Western and European countries grew exponentially for the better. However, relations with other Asian nations were...