Modern Japan: A Historical Survey by Mikiso Hane
The author of this book presents the important facts of modern Japanese history. Very well described about nature of Japanese society including studies of Shinto, Confucianism, Buddhism, the Emperor system and feudalism. I found interesting a part where government of Tokugawa period, hardly tries to isolate the country from the rest of the world. But by the time realizing that they are so behind from developed western countries, economically and military they tried to catch on with contemporary mightiest power on earth. The end of more than 260 years of Tokugawa rule and the subsequent restoration of imperial rule was primarily a political event. Japanese ideology was very smart; they adopted and assimilated the products of Chinese civilization, Japan developed a culture and a way of life and established distinct institutions and values. During the Meiji restoration era government did play a very significant role in the transformation of Meiji Japan. The interesting part is that Japanese elite could to melt together the old traditions with economical and social advancement. Furthermore, Japan leadership was trying to make own country a regional leader and prove that they could compete with any country in Far East. As an example the major victory of Asian power over Russia in Russo-Japanese war had been met with shock in the West and the Far East, their prestige rose greatly. From Meiji Restoration era until present Japan did achieve to big results economically, politically by keeping their culture and traditions, which is makes, Japan itself very unique.
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