HISTORY OF MODERN EAST ASIA: JAPAN
IGNOU BHIE 142 Solved Free Assignment
BHIE 142 Solved Free Assignment July 2023 & January 2024
Q. 1. Write a note on the Tokugawa rule in Japan.
Ans. Tokugawa Ieyasu began the system called as the baku-han system which refers to the Bakufu or central government and han or feudal domain or fief.
The system was dependent on a balance between the Tokugawa house and the semi-autonomous feudal fiefs (han). There was some extent of autonomy alongwith the regulatory mechanisms that kept them within central control.
There were many ways in which the daimyo or domainal lords were controlled like the involvement in the Tokugawa project that utilized their resources and the rules that governed marriages and the building of forts.
The title of seii-tai shogun (barbarian subduing general) was give to Tokugawa Ieyasu, unlike his predecessor from the Emperor but he also exercised total control and controlled the imperial household.
The titles maintained the symbolic authority of the Emperor and the regulations were laid down for each status group, the imperial household and nobility, the samurai, the peasantry and merchants.
There was regulation on the Monks and temples also. The Tokugawa house controlled direct power over its own territories. The rice was the main element that governed the productivity of the area.
Categories of Daimyo
There were three categories in which daimyo was divided:
Shinpan or Blood Relations: The ‘shinpan’ or blood relatives controlled only about ten per cent but were placed in the important areas such as Kyoto, Owari, (present day Nagoya) Kii (Wakayama) and Echizen (Fukui). Loyal Vassals (Fudai): This
- category was given 26 per cent of the land and placed in the important positions alongwith those of the Tokugawa house, their number exceeded that of the ‘tozama’ daimyo.
- Those who had opposed the Tokugawa and were considered less loyal, the ‘outside lords’ (tozama): This category controlled 38 per cent of the land. This intricate balance gave a high degree of autonomy to the daimyo but made it difficult for opposition to come together.
The System of Alternative Attendance method to control daimyo was sankin-kotai system or alternative attendance. The need was made formal in the year 1635 by lemistu, the third shogun. IGNOU BHIE 142 Solved Free Assignment
The daimyo had to go to Edo, (present day Tokyo) the capital regularly and also had to stay there and on their return to the domain their families were left back as hostage.
There was a heavy expenditure in the process as daimyo depending on rank travelled with between 15-300 retainers.
There was a defined route which led to the formation of roads, hostelries, temples, and businesses that helped in the movement of people. The literature on travel also developed during the period.
The Tokugawa peace formed the basis of the economic growth and population expansion. The period lies between 12-18 million in the 1600’s to nearly 30 million, in the early nineteenth century.
The foreigners were not allowed in the country and even within the country, the movement of people was restricted and the society was theoretically divided into status groups. IGNOU BHIE 142 Solved Free Assignment
The Tokugawa period was a period with full spirit when the country was in contact with the outside world and the trade and commerce was flourishing.
During the period, an important role was played by the merchants as there was growth in the production for the market with inter-regional trade and specialization.
There was growth in the political stability which led to urbanization and economic growth.
The period also witnessed the growth in literacy making the government relying on merit rather than status to appoint administrators. The develop-ments also led to the vibrant culture.
Q. 2. What were the political and economic reforms and contributed towards the modernization of Japan?
Ans. We shall study about the major political and economic developments.
Political Developments: The basic outline of the political system of Japan was defined by the year 1955. IGNOU BHIE 142 Solved Free Assignment
The two wings of the socialist party joined in October to form the Japan Socialist Party and in November the two conservative parties joined to form the Liberal Democratic Party which was to dominate the politics of post-war Japan.
The electoral process was dominated by the Liberal Democratic Party and was voted into power in the sixth House of Representatives.
The two socialist groups got separated in 1959 with the right wing forming the Democratic Socialist Party. The religious sects saw a growth and many new sects developed during the period.
One of these sects called the Sokkagakkai or Value Creating Society traced its origins to the Buddhist priest of the thirteenth century, Nichiren.
A Buddhist organization, namely Sokkagakkai became very influential and helped to found a political party in 1964.IGNOU BHIE 142 Solved Free Assignment
The initial period was marked by the changes in the alignments and controversies which led to disorder in the Diet and demonstrations outside.
The government wanted to expand its power and extend its control. There was an increase in the powers of the police and in the Self-Defence Forces.
The major controversy was over the United States-Japan Mutual Security Treaty of 1951 which was a revision in 1960 and a massive agitation built up against the ratification.
According to the socialists, the Japanese would function as frontline troops and if the United States were to fight another war, as it had done in Korea, then Japan would be involved. IGNOU BHIE 142 Solved Free Assignment
One of the important landmarks in the post-war period was the anti-Security treaty demonstrations and their failure. These demonstrations were provoked as much by the contents of the treaty as by Kishi’s handling of the situation.
Economic Growth: Japan grew at a miraculously rapid rate. The period saw the expansion in the industrial facilities. According to different scholars, this growth was the result of Japan’s deliberate policies.
Chalmers Johnson played an important role in directing and guiding Japanese economic development.
The Prime Minister Ikeda announced his “income doubling” plan which came to symbolize the creation of prosperity and led to the economic boom.
The steel industry in the country got the special attention with loans and funds for expansion so that by the mid-1970s Japan had overtaken the Western steel firms in productivity. IGNOU BHIE 142 Solved Free Assignment
Other industry which received special focus was shipbuilding. Only some foreign firms were allowed in the country with the restricted policies.
The Japanese policies and systems helped the country to grow at a rapid rate. The system included life time employment, promotion by seniority and enterprise unions.
The workers were given the housing and the medical benefits. The workers did not look for changing the job as they were promotes and paid according to the number of the years they worked with the organizations.
The company and the union worked in close co-ordination with each other to increase productivity.
But there were some small firms which did not follow the system. The women workers were discriminated against in terms of wages and types of jobs so that few were permanent employees within the lifetime system.
The economic growth led to the higher concentration of population in the urban centres. The Osaka-Tokyo belt was full of industries and population was concentrated in this region. IGNOU BHIE 142 Solved Free Assignment
The country was becoming rich but some areas still did not have the same access to social benefits as their counterparts in the Western countries.
The industrial pollution caused the Minamata disease in 1953. After that, a law was passed to check pollution in 1967 and in the 1970s the government took measures to seriously check pollution.
Q. 3. Discuss the Meiji political order.
Ans. An alliance was formed by the new Meiji Government built leading domains led by Satsuma and Choshu that brought about many changes between 1868 and 1890.
Initially, it put down opposition and the emperor moved away from Kyoto to Edo, renamed Tokyo to get away from the old orthodoxy used force to put down opposition and started the process of reorganising the political and economic order and building their military strength.
A new institution was established in 1880s along the European lines and in 1899 when the Emperor declared the main features of the new Constitution of Meiji political order. IGNOU BHIE 142 Solved Free Assignment
There were many rapid and visible changes during the period that were brought about to show the Western powers that Japan was a mature and civilised nation that should get an equal treatment.
Soon, Japan came out as a power in the world with a developed economy and a powerful military capability.
The main concern of the Meiji leaders was to dismantle the structure of the old government. A new Council was formed after the abolishment of the old offices.
There were many other changes that were brought about as the power of the new rulers expanded and their control increased. Some major steps were taken by crossing a lot of hurdles in between.
No to Privileges: The Daimyo enjoyed autonomy during the period which was to be abolished which was seen as the dismantling of an outmoded feudal structure and a confirmation of the power of the Emperor.
The leading han (Satsuma, Choshu, Tosa and Hizen) surrendered the priviledges enjoyed by them and asked that “the court issue such orders as it may deem necessary, disposing of the lands of the great domains and deciding changes in them so that state affairs, both great and small, may be in the hands of a single authority.”
This abolishing of the han formed the basis for extending the prefectural system all over Japan and creating a centralized authority.
A National Army: Another important step in the process was the formation of the national army. IGNOU BHIE 142 Solved Free Assignment
Omura Masujiro (1824- 1869) of Choshu presented a proposal for a conscript army in July 1869 which needed that the recruits sever all connection with their domains.
Yamagata Aritomo (1838-1922), one of the leading Meiji leaders supported the changes and saw the significance of western training and organizational methods and he also saw that the trained recruits would return to their villages and become a reserve force.
A conscription law was proposed on January 10, 1873 that needed the adults of twenty years to put in three years of active military service and four years of reserve service.
When the Meiji Government came to power it became necessary to have an effective force to quell internal disturbances and safeguard the nation from the foreign threat.
In 1869, a Ministry of Military Affairs (Hyobusho) was formulated and was fully integrated into the bureaucratic structure with the professional officers.
Q. 4. Write a note on the process of Japanese imperialist expansion in the early twentieth century.
Ans. The ideologies of Japanese imperialism have been described as “ultra-nationalistic” and “fascist”. There are many political societies which have propogated different views at different times.IGNOU BHIE 142 Solved Free Assignment
- Saigo Takamori supporters established the Genyosba which was a society that propogated an expansionist policy which was supported by many leaders within the government as well.
- Kokuryukai (Black Dragon Society) was established in 1901 by Uchida Ryohei which propogated propagated the liberation of Asian countries from European rule under Japanese leadership. The emphasis was on strengthening the morality and traditions.
- The Koku Suikai (Japan National Essence Society formed in 1919) and Kokuhonsba (National Foundation Society formed in 1924) societies stressed on saving Japan from socialism. Kita Ikki and Okawa Shumei had formed the Yuzonsba which espoused military expansion abroad and military takeover at home.
There were other expansionists who had a more agrarian vision of Japan and got inspired from the agrarian past of Japan.
The Meiji Restoration gave the country a new direction and a revolutionary programme of transformation, the expansionists felt that now Japan required a “Showa restoration” in order to meet the demanding times.
Konoe Fumimaro wrote that Japan would be “forced to destroy the status quo for the sake of self-preservation”. The army patriotic societies also debated these questions and planned ways to change the situation.
The Imperial Way faction (Kodo ha) and the Control faction (Tosei ha) were the main groups in which Imperial Way faction was led by Araki Sadao and focused on the importance of the Emperor, cooperation with China and war against Russia.
On the other hand, the Control faction, which had Nagata Tetsuzan and Tojo Hideki and came to dominate after 1936, proclaimed that Japan needed to be mobilized for the coming war which meant the gearing up of the economy and the people and stretched its territories to be able to meet the challenge.
Ishiwara Kanji proclaimed that Japan must be ready to fight a series of wars against Russia, then Britain and then the United States.
Japan must be totally geared for the war and the political, economic and social policies should be fully unified for the defence of Japan and for him the army was the prime mover of national policy.IGNOU BHIE 142 Solved Free Assignment
Q. 5. Discuss the Anglo-French rivalry in Japan.
Ans. The Anglo-French rivalry led to the interference in the affairs of Japan with the French gravitating towards the Bakufu and the British supporting Satsuma and Choshu.
In 1864, the French connection started when a Bakufu official was sent to Paris and Leon Roches (1809-1901) came to Japan.
Roches started pursuing an independent French policy rather than work in concert with the other Western powers.
He was in favour of the strict response to the attacks by Japanese on foreigners and advanced loans to the Bakufu to build the Yokosuka arsenal and the idea of a joint Franco-Bakufu trading company was also floated.
The British were also moving towards supporting the han. Ernest Satow, an official of the British Legation had translated into Japanese a series of articles that he wrote urging foreigners not to treat Japan as one single entity but rather as a collection of daimyo ruled than.IGNOU BHIE 142 Solved Free Assignment
Over a period of time, Japan gradually got involved in Anglo-French rivalry and the danger of imperialist incursion was rapidly assuming dangerous proportions.
There were serious consequences of the linking of Bakufu with France and Britain with Satsuma-Choshu.
On one hand, the daimyo were strengthened against the Bakufu but mutual suspicion also increased and conciliatory overtures were made difficult.
There was an increase in the dependence of both daimyo and the Bakufu on Western military technology and training.
The involvement of the foreign powers increased with the war against Choshu particularly in the matter of supplying guns to the various groups.
There were many rumours that the daimyo were receiving financial aid and military help. IGNOU BHIE 142 Solved Free Assignment
A Bafuku official nmely Katsu Kaishu described England as a “famished tiger” and he went on to warn that the bakufu too should not borrow money from France as that was a “hungry wolf”.
The other areas that added to the problem were the inland travel by foreigners and missionary activity. Not only the diplomats but technicians and missionaries were moving about in areas of Japan.
There were incidents of violence as the public had still to accept the idea of foreigners entering Japan.
There was an increase in the attack on the foreigners which increased the demands for indemnities.
Q. 6. Japanese Constitution.
Ans. The Constitution of Japan is the fundamental law of Japan. It was enacted on 3 May, 1947 as a new constitution for a post-war Japan.
The Constitution provides for a parliamentary system of government and guaranteed certain fundamental rights.
Under its terms, the Emperor of Japan is the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people and exercises only a ceremonial role acting under the sovereignty of the people.IGNOU BHIE 142 Solved Free Assignment
The Constitution also known as the post-war constitution or the Peace constitution. The Japanese constitution is the oldest unamended constitution in the world. It has not had any amendments to its text in more than to years.
It is a short constitution with only 5000 words, compared to the average constitution with 21000 words. It comprises 103 articles grouped into11 chapters.
Q. 7. Samurai.
Ans. The term samurai was originally used to denote the aristocratic warriors (bushi), but it came to apply to all the members of the warrior class that rose to power in the 12th century and dominated the Japanese government until the Meiji Restoration in 1868.
Emerging from provincial warrior bands, the samurai of the Kamakura period (1192-1333), with their military skills and deep pride in their stoicism, developed a disciplined culture distinct from the earlier, quiet refinement of the imperial court.
During the Muromachi period (1338-1573) under the growing influence of Zen Buddhism, the samurai culture produced many such uniquely Japanese arts as the tea ceremony and flower arranging that continue today.
The ideal samurai was supposed to be a stoic warrior who followed an unwritten code of conduct, later formalized as Bushido, which held bravery, honour, and personal loyalty above life itself; ritual suicide by disembowelment (seppuku) was institutionalized as a respected alternative to dishonour or defeat.
In the early part of the Tokugawa period (1603-1867), the samurai, who accounted for less than 10 percent of the population, were made a closed caste as part of a larger effort to freeze the social order and stabilize society.
Q. 8. Russo-Japanese War.
Ans. Russo-Japanese War, (1904-05) conflict between Russia and Japan over territorial expansion in East Asia. IGNOU BHIE 142 Solved Free Assignment
After Russia leased the strategically important Port Arthur (now Lüshun, China) and expanded into Manchuria (northeastern China), it faced the increasing power of Japan.
When Russia reneged on its agreement with Japan to withdraw troops from Manchuria, the Japanese fleet attacked the Russia naval squadron at Port Arthur and began a siege of the city in February 1904.
Japanese land forces cut the Russian army off from coming to aid Port Arthur and pushed it back to Mukden (now Shenyang).
The reinforced Russian army took the offensive in October, but poor military leadership blunted its effectiveness.
After the long Japanese siege of Port Arthur, in January 1905 the corrupt Russian commander surrendered the garrison without consulting his officers, despite adequate stores and ammunition for its continued defense.
Heavy fighting around Mukden ended in March 1905 with the withdrawal of Russian troops under Aleksey Kuropatkin.
The decisive naval Battle of Tsushima gave the Japanese the upper hand and brought Russia to the peace table. IGNOU BHIE 142 Solved Free Assignment
With the signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth, Russia abandoned its expansionist policy in eastern Asia and Japan gained effective control of Korea and much of Manchuria.
Q. 9. Japanese Foreign Trade in the Inter-War Period.
Ans. There was growth in the Japan’s exports during and immediately after World War I. Also, there was increase in the foreign trade as well.
The trade between Japan with her colonies, Korea and Taiwan was just like that between England and colonial India.
The manufactured goods were exported by Japan to her colonies and imported only foodstuffs and raw materials.
All this indicated that the country was rapidly industrializing. There was a tremendous increase in the Japan’s exports which was met with an outcry from other countries in 1930s.
There were many drastic changes in the world trade Japan adjusted her foreign trade quite successfully to the violent changes in world trade in early and mid 1930s.
The country had new customers and alternative commodities to compensate for the decline in some of her markets and earlier commodities.
There were some policies that were not suiting the expansionist economic policies of Japan which led to a situation where certain political groups in Japan advocated territorial expansion so that she might have monopolistic advantages.
There was an increase in the pressure of militarists in 1930. The military got involved in terror-tactics to force government officials to concede to the demands.
The main officials whose thinking was at variance with that of the course advocated by the military were killed which led to a situation where those who were in high ranks either remained silent or agreed to the demands.
There were huge investments that were made in armament industry or in its related branches.IGNOU BHIE 142 Solved Free Assignment
The agricultural depression continued during 1930s and the labour migrated from agriculture to industry leading to a further fall in wages. The whole economy was being geared towards war and the cost of living went up.
In 1937, when war broke out with China, the industries were forced to produce mostly material related to war efforts.
The people had to work extra hours to help the country fight the war. There was shortage of food and the sufferings continued till the end of the World War II in 1945.
Q. 10. Zaibatsu.
Ans. In Oligopoly, only some producers are involved in the production of a particular commodity. At the time of inter-war, the industrial monopoly increased in Japan.
The role of zaibatsu during these years has a bearing on industrial concentration. Zaibatsu means the large business houses with varied operations and interests.
The four major zaibatsu during this period were Mitsui, Mitsubishi, Sumitomo and Yasuda.IGNOU BHIE 142 Solved Free Assignment
There were various measures initiated by the government because of the financial difficulties in the 1920s. There was a decline in the number of banks and four of the five greatest banks were in control of zaibatsu.
The financial power of the zaibatsu increased a lot in the process of consolidation. The two sectors banking and finance were the important bases for industrial control by the zaibatsu.
The power of Zaibatsu was not restricted only to the economic field but was also involved in the political field as well.
There was a close link between the zaibatsu and the statesmen who were carrying out important policies and would provide resources and assist in the implementation of the policy.
As zaibatsu were close to politicians, they had an important say on policy matters and this came to a point where they could impose their views on the government.
But as peasantry and small producers had suffered a lot in the world depression, they held the zaibatsu responsible for their problems.
The zaibatsu came under heavy criticism and were retreated and adopted a low profile. Their power declined despite of the various contributions made by them as a proof of their loyalty to the nation.