Russia has attempted meeting Japan half way on cultural ties even discussing the return of the Sakhalin Islands to Japan, however, the Russians historically have never trusted the Japanese ever since HSBC Bank loaned Japan the credit to build its industry to war on Russia in the Russo-Japanese War fought between 1904 and 1905. The fastest way for Japan to “modernize” is to begin dismantling the Imperial House of Japan. This is the year 2018, the American economy is rapidly converting to a space economy, cryptocurrencies are in the ascendancy, Japan is heavily invested in cryptocurrency, yet there still exits an archaic overly used and exaggerated in importance the Imperial House of Japan which still remains firmly in place. Right now the best thing Japan can do is to begin slowly phasing out their royal family. No human beings should have this much “royalty” and lives of such snobbish expensive existence. Hopefully after the 2020 Olympics to be held in Tokyo, Japan will rapidly begin joining the rest of us.
Source: The Atlantic
Japan’s Endless Search for Modernity
What the anniversary of the Meiji Restoration tells us about the country’s uncertain future.
by Michael Auslin • January 3, 2018
Since the morning of January 3, 1868, Japan has struggled to answer one question: What does it mean to be modern and Japanese? It was on that date that a group of mid-level samurai and imperial courtiers announced the formation of a new government to be ruled by the 16-year old Meiji emperor, thus ending two-and-a-half centuries of control by the Tokugawa samurai family.
One hundred and fifty years after the Meiji Restoration, several generations of growth and development have not erased the feeling that Japan remains in the midst of a transformation pitting tradition against modernity. Perhaps even more so today, 25 years since their economy cratered, Japanese people question what kind of society they want, how much to incorporate Western concepts of individualism, how much capitalist disruption to permit, and how to deal with the threat posed by hostile foreign countries—the same questions unleashed by the events of 1868.
The Meiji Restoration upended centuries of domestic stability that began in 1600, following a century of civil war. In that year, the victorious Tokugawa family imposed a political equilibrium among the country’s 250 largely autonomous feudal domains, which were loosely administered from the Tokugawa capital at Edo (modern-day Tokyo). With the connivance of the other great feudal lords, the family froze Japanese society into four Confucian-inspired castes: warrior, farmer, artisan, and merchant. To preserve a political equilibrium, the Tokugawas promulgated a series of maritime restrictions that curtailed, but did not eliminate, trade relations with foreign states.
By the late 19th century, this carefully calibrated system was coming apart. Under the Tokugawas, Japan developed a thriving domestic economy. But over time, merchants gained the upper hand, and many samurai, who received their pay in rice, found themselves impoverished by the shift to a cash-based economy. The frustrated younger samurai sought to break the shackles that bound them, while the newly rich merchants chafed at the constraints which kept them from wielding any real political power or marrying into the warrior caste.
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