Japanese Spirit, Western Things While China Article Review

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Japanese Spirit, Western Things

While China is often referred to as "the sleeping giant," Japan has been known as "the rising Sun," for a variety of reasons. Many Westerners do not realize that Japan, in fact, has been open to the West for only a century and a half, and are reluctant to consider the events of the 20th century in context with the longer historical paradigm of Japanese culture, social and cultural traditions, and the view Japan has held about the "outside" world for centuries. In fact, it is this island nation template that has played such a strong role in the making of modern Japan.

Japan had been visited by European missionaries and traders as early as the late 16th century, but it was not until 1854 when U.S. Naval forces, under the common of Commodore Matthew Perry, that forced the opening of Japan to the outside world with the Convention of Kanagawa. Once this occurred two trends spiraled; competition with Russia and China and Japan realizing that in order to become part of the modern world, they needed far more resources than their island could provide. Eventually, this resulted in the militarization of the country and a process of modernization without embracing Western culture that has been part of a tradition of centuries -- namely opening up the culture slightly, only enough to take what is necessary to slowly and steadily modernize without jeopardizing traditional values and, more importantly, the traditional hierarchical system of authority and tradition. Historically, this may be seen in the Japanese appetite for Western technological innovations -- the telephone, camera, movies, etc., all which actually began in the late 19th century.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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This slow, stead, but segmented opening of the culture is also known as "Japanese spirit, western things." "Instead of simply trying to preserve small cultural traditions, Japan's power-brokers tried to absorb western technology in a way that would shield them from political competition and protect their interests. Imitators still abound in Japan and elsewhere"("Japanese Spirit, Western Things," 2003). This is a cultural, political and social modernization technique that allows for Western technology and culture, but a continual strong push for traditional values and mores that transcend technology. Arguably, this technique was certainly successful up to 1945 and the end of World War II. However, once the United States occupied post-War Japan and began the process of helping to rebuild the war-torn economy, each succeeding generation seems to move towards Western culture without the same veneration and adherence to Japanese tradition as past generations.

Modernization, of course, has been extremely successful for Japan. Since 1956 it has been a member of the United Nations, and served as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for two… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Japanese Spirit, Western Things While China.  (2010, November 27).  Retrieved May 30, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/japanese-spirit-western-things-while/9505017

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"Japanese Spirit, Western Things While China."  Essaytown.com.  November 27, 2010.  Accessed May 30, 2020.