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What effect did western imperialism have on Japan?

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vgz1116 | Honors

Posted June 13, 2011 at 11:04 AM via web

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What effect did western imperialism have on Japan?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 13, 2011 at 11:20 AM (Answer #1)

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In many ways, Western imperialism actually helped Japan.  Since Japan was pushed by the West but was never actually conquered, Western imperialism served to force Japan to modernize.  Because Japan was pushed and threatened by the West, it became the first non-European country to industrialize.

The major impact of Western imperialism on Japan came when Admiral Perry "opened" Japan to trade in 1854.  This action on Perry's part shocked Japan.  Japan's leaders had believed that their country was superior to all others until they were shown otherwise by the technology that Perry brought to bear on them.

Japan was not, however, actually colonized.  Instead, Japan simply opened up to Western contact.  When it did, it promptly started to borrow from the West.  It quickly adopted Western ways of production and of military and political organization.  This modernization, which was forced by Western imperialism, allowed Japan to become an international power.

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