Five Questions And Answers From Fukuzawa Yukichi Essay
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Five questions and answers from Fukuzawa Yukichi
1. How was the social class divided in the Tokugawa bakufu? And what was Fukuzawa’s status?
→ The samurai was the small group of the top level. The peasants who grow rice formed the second class since rice was so important to the survival of the society. The third class was composed of artisans who made every sort of product, such as farm tools, swords, and clothes, for samurai and peasants. The merchants made up the fourth class because handling money or participating in any business operations was defiling in Confucian thinking (p.3).
Actually, samurai group was divided into two classes: the upper-ranking samurais all lived very well and their houses were close to the castle. The family of Fukuzawa was in the lower-level samurais and received such a small annual stipend that their family members were forced to take on side jobs to simply survive (p.4). In addition, Lower-level samurai could never advance beyond the highest designation of their status category, despite of talent or ability (p.5). 2. Was he a supporter of the bakufu or imperialists in the end of the Tokugawa bakufu?
→ He described the bakufu government “bureaucratic, oppressive, conservative, anti-foreign” and therefore did not like it. On the other hand, in his point, those who followed “imperial cause” were worse because they were “still more anti-foreign and violent in their action.” He did not want to be neither side because both took a stance of the