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Why japan was able to modernize rapidly?


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2014-07-23 20:38:36
2014-07-23 20:38:36

It took the majority of Europe around 150 years to modernise, but it took Japan only 40 years (at an average) to catch up after having missed the industrial revolution while being in the Edo period of isolation. Why? Here are three main reasons: Incentive: Japan's close neighbour China had been reduced to a state of near humiliation after resisting change at the hands of the west. Japan was under the threat of western Imperialism and modernisation was a means of escaping the same fate. Feudalistic classes had also been recently abolished, meaning that its people now had the opportunity to persue their own talents. Education was also made compulsory in 1872: another chance for people to further improve their situation Japan had great motives for modernising. Foundation: The late tokugawa Bakufu conditions (era just before the meiji period and modernisation of Japan) were relatively prosperous. Rich merchants had saved large amounts of captial which could be invested in industry. Some clans had already established some industries as well: Such as ship and arms manufacturing in Satsuma and Choshu. Japan had a good foundation for modernising. Modernisation: The Charter Oath of 1868 translates that 'knowledge shall be sought throughout the world..'. Experts were employed from all over, and the Japanese selected the best examples of education, political, military and other such systems and adapted them for their country's own use. And they weren't afraid of changing if the first option didn't work. Therefore as a result of strong incentive and a good foundation to modernise, Japan was able to change very rapidy, however that is not to say it was as easy as it may seem.

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