China And Japan Essay

Westernization In China And Japan Essay

In the middle of the 19th century, despite a few similarities between the initial responses of China and Japan to the West, they later diverged; which ultimately affected and influenced the modernizing development of both countries. At first, both of the Asian nations rejected the ideas which the West had brought upon them, and therefore went through a time period of self-imposed isolation. However, the demands that were soon set by Western imperialism forced them, though in different ways, to reconsider. And, by the end of the 19th century both China and Japan had introduced ‘westernizing’ reforms. China’s aim was to use modern means to retain and preserve their traditional Confucian culture. Whereas Japan, on the other hand, began to successfully mimic Western technology as it pursued modernization, and thus underwent an astounding social upheaval. Hence, by the year 1920, Japan was recognized as one of the world’s superpowers, whereas China was on the edge of anarchy.
The Chinese empire had once been one of the greatest and most powerful empires in the world. Before the 19th century, China had a large population and was ruled by families or dynasties. It was considered technologically advanced as China had a history of many miraculous inventions, such as: writing, magnetic compasses, movable sails, porcelain, abacus and paper money. Although China was isolated from the rest of the world, it coped well on its own, and saw no need to begin trading with the west, (as Lord McCartney proposed in 1793), since it was a self-sufficient nation. At that particular time, the Chinese empire was still able to exclude the ‘barbarians’, thus forcing them to only trade at one port. However, China soon took a turn for the worst as important developments took place in the 19th century. The population increased rapidly; in 1700 there were only 100 million people, whereas by the year 1850 it had increased to a whopping 300 percent; 400 million people. Due to this sudden population increase, many people faced starvation and famine, and the peasants rebelled as there was a shortage of food production.
In the meantime, the industrial revolution took place in many countries in Europe. Soon enough, steam and electrical power had been invented. The King of England, George the third, then sent an ambassador to the emperor of China to create a trading agreement. Although at the first, the emperor disagreed, he eventually said yes, and China began trading their porcelain and tea in return for silver from European merchants. When the European merchants found that the silver was too expensive, they introduced the sale of cotton. China tried to resist all foreign, economic and political penetrations by inhibiting foreign trade. However, though China tried to seal itself off from the rest of the world, it also invited an even more devastating penetration: the Opium War.
In 1820, european merchants bought opium from India, and began trading it to the Chinese. The...

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China and Japan Essay

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Throughout the dynasties in China and Japan, religion, economy and politics have been affected by each other in various ways. In the book “Religion and Making of Modern East Asia”, Thomas Dubois brings to light the impact religion made on both politics and economy in China and Japan throughout the historical period up till date. In his words, he describes “religion as an extremely political force” (Dubois, 2011, pp. 7-16). As various religions were introduced, it shaped the politics of leaders as most of them saw it as an avenue to impose their religion on the citizens. In all, religion invented political and economic stabilities and instabilities in various dynasties throughout Japan and China Ming China also known as…show more content…

The effect of Buddhism in China was one of the most profound changes China ever had, as it affected their economy. This time, economy brought about religion; Buddhism came into China through international trade. As South Asian countries came into China, they spread their religion which at that time was majorly Buddhism. To gain favor from the foreign traders, the emperors showed frivolities towards them. “Tang emperors spent huge sums of money on Buddhism” (Dubois, 2011, p. 34). They constructed Buddhist monasteries, excluded monks from taxes and lavished them with other benefits. In one sentence, the emperors at that time, sought to seek the face of Buddhist he monks at the expense of the economy. On a lighter note however, the spread of Buddhism increased the economy of China as it created revenue in trade. “Up till the twentieth century, Tang dynasty was the most cosmopolitan period of China’s history. Politically, emperors had conflicts of interest and so alternatively chose Buddhism or Daoism in succession” (Dubois, p. 34).
Worthy of mention is the Christianity in China. Dubois explains that the advent of Christianity in China was not solely to spread the religion, but was majorly concerned with economic matters. “the age of exploration. This is the time of Christopher Columbus, Vascode Gama and Ferdinand Megallan,

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