JAPAN - JAPAN 11:01:00 AM Historical Background Like most...

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JAPAN 01/04/2008 11:01:00 Historical Background Like most European countries, Japan live under a FEUDAL SYATEM  for  much of its history, meaning there was no strong, centralized government o FEUDALISM     -system in which poor is diffused and contested among  autonomous elites with private military forces.  Structure of Japanese Feudalism Tenno: Emperor     o Originally a largely symbolic leader, later ‘elevated’ to divine status.  Shogun: Military Leader     o Nominally Emperor’s chief administrator but more often the actual  center of power.  Diamyo: regional Lords     Rulers/owners of large landed estates Samurai: private Militia     o Warriors/Knights who were personally loyal to their daimyo, not the  state.  -Feudal system persisted for hundred of years until arrival in Japan of  Westerners provoked two “shocks” to system. -First incursion(by European in 1500’s) produced strong centralization of power  under the  Tokugawa Shogunate-long period of hereditary shogun rule by Tokugawa  clan.  -Second incursion produced far more sweeping changes called the Meiji  Restoration (1868)
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Meiji Restoration     o Arrival of US military forces in Japan in 1846 convinced Japanese  political and military leaders that they faced serious threat from  outsiders.  o In order to respond to threat, Japan embarked on a rapid program of  economic and military modernization. o Meiji Restoration entailed two broad sets of Revolutionary changes. Economic Modernization State-Led Industrialization: creation of  ZAIBATSU     -Powerful clans given monopolies over certain  sectors to develop key industries to enhance power of  state.  Political Re-Legitimization     Co-Optation of Shinto to elevate Emperor to status of  divine being.  Shinto     -Japans original religion based on worship of  nature and ancestors. Developmental model designed to improve the strength of the  state, not the well-being of the people.  MOTTO: Rich Nation, Strong Army” Meiji was one of the relatively few historical examples of a  “revolution from above” Patterns of Macro-Political Change 1. Social Revolution     : Rapid, Fundamental transformation of a country’s  political and social structures following class-based revolt from below  (peasants, workers, etc) France (1789) Russia (1917) China (1949)
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2. Coup d’etat     : One set of elites/military takes power from existing rulers,  with some degree of political change but virtually no alteration of social  structures.  Chile (1973) Pakistan (1999) Thailand (2006) 3. Revolution from Above    
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course PLSC 2013 taught by Professor Comparativepolitics during the Fall '07 term at Arkansas.

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JAPAN - JAPAN 11:01:00 AM Historical Background Like most...

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