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Modern Japan: A History in Documents (Pages from History) by James L. Huffman

By James L. Huffman

The civilization of Japan is an old one, and by the point the 1st Western viewers arrived in 1542, the japanese humans have been as hugely expert as any on the earth and loved a cosmopolitan tradition. From the 16th century on, the country's historical past was once formed via a pressure among its people's thirst to appreciate overseas associations and customs and their selection to claim and look after its local traditions. In smooth Japan, James Huffman tells the wealthy and dynamic tale of this historical past via a desirable variety of basic resource records. an image essay is devoted to the tumultuous decade and a part following the arriving of Commodore Matthew Perry and the U.S. military in 1853, which ended in an remarkable commencing of Japan to the West and accompanying turmoil. whereas many eastern welcomed the strangers, "men of zeal" signed blood oaths to force out the barbarians. the image essay explores this cultural conflict, with American and eastern photos of Perry pointing up the diversities in angle towards this divisive determine, and a photo of a eastern diplomatic venture to Washington dramatically underlining the cultural ameliorations among the japanese and the Westerners. The essay additionally demonstrates the hot mix of cultures, as conventional jap artwork types depict the energetic overseas enterprise district in Yokohama. This cultural conflict resulted in peasant uprisings and a coup, illustrated in ink and paint, that introduced an finish to the good, introverted Tokugawa rule and signaled the start of a brand new period for Japan. different basic resources during this assortment contain memoirs, tuition textbooks, the felony diary of a lady desirous about a plot to assassinate the emperor, political speeches, a chilling eyewitness account of the shedding of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and a comic description of Adam Smith's financial theories. involved in the author's illuminating observation, those varied voices hint Japan's historical past from its first uneasy interactions with the Western global to the purpose the place eastern tradition, items, and people-from sushi, ramen noodles, karaoke, video clips, anime, and autos to major-league baseball players-have come to pervade the realm as part of the typical overseas history.

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If the new rulers’ first goal was to make Japan strong, their second aim was to win the world’s respect. ” It also shows their resolve to make people everywhere see the superiority of the Japanese spirit. In a foretaste of the approach the officials would take through much of the Meiji era, they used traditional rhetoric in the document to justify radical innovations. Now, the spirit of the present differs from the spirit of the past. The countries of the world have joined themselves in a relationship of peace and friendship.

When I think of my past, my hair stands on end. He who would call himself a man would do well to not imitate my ways. Any grandchildren or great-grandchildren that I may have— let them read carefully what I have set down and take it as a warning. Even putting these words on paper fills me with shame. . I am most fortunate in having a filial and obedient son. My daughters, too, are very devoted. My wife has never gone against my wishes. I am altogether satisfied to have lived until now without any serious mishap.

42 Image Not Available Ando¯ Hiroshige was the first prominent artist to add landscapes and daily scenes to the woodblock genre, of which this depiction of a flash rainstorm at Ohashi is typical. Ando¯ is known to have designed more than 10,000 prints. MODERN JAPAN the Edo branch shops. Every day a thousand things were entered in his book, and people came to Fuji-ichi if they were ever in doubt. . Once, on the evening of the seventh day of the New Year, some neighbors asked leave to send their sons to Fuji-ichi’s house to seek advice on how to become millionaires.

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