ASIA212Varley

Silence is based on the true story of a portuguese

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Unformatted text preview: g as it did, but was only one of several countries of the Far East—including China, Korea, and Vietnam—that effectively minimized or restricted trade and cultural ties with the West during the seventeenth century. In their first major encounter, the East as a whole thus managed to hold the West at arm’s length. Two centuries later when the West, having undergone its industrial revolution, sought once more to intrude into the Far East, its impetus was such that it could not be stopped by unilateral seclusion or restriction policies. The Tokugawa, of course, did not conceive of participating in a historical movement by which the East rejected the West. They pursued their seclusion policy for essentially two reasons: first, the fear, smoldering since Hideyoshi’s day, that Christianity was by its nature antithetical to Japan’s traditional social order and religious beliefs; and second, the apprehension that the daimyos of western Japan, who had been the leading opponents of the Tokugawa before the battle of Sekigahara, might ally themselves with the Europeans and attempt to overthrow the Edo regime. Although it is questionable how realistic the Tokugawa concern over Christianity was, there can be no doubt that the presence in Kyushu ports of Europeans capable of providing arms and other military supplies to the western daimyos was a very real threat to national peace. Short of seeking to assert more complete military overlordship of the country than had been achieved at Sekigahara, especially in the western provinces, the Tokugawa actually had no practical alternative other than to impose some sort of seclusion policy if they wished to ensure the security of their regime. As we saw in the last chapter, Hideyoshi gave a forewarning of the persecution of Christians in 1587 when he abruptly ordered all missionaries to leave Japan. Although the order was not strictly enforced, it was never rescinded; and ten years later, in 1597, Hideyoshi struck with fury against...
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2013 for the course ANTH 142 taught by Professor Hans during the Spring '13 term at UBC.

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