Meiji Restoration Essay

1958 Words8 Pages
The inception of the Tokugawa Shogunate around 1600 would reduce the impact of foreign relations throughout Japanese society. This bulwark helped resist change and development in Japan, although it continued throughout the western world. Following two hundred years of self imposed seclusion from the rest of the world, the forceful re-entry of the foreigner brought about considerable change in Japan. While managing the foreign threat, there was also an imbalance of power in the current feudal system of the Tokugawa Shogunate. This imbalance created uncertainty for Japan and the imperialistic foreigners. This imbalance and uncertainty would lead to the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate and the emergence of the Meiji Restoration. However, to…show more content…
Throughout the various themes presented in The Analects, there are some particular teachings implicit within Japans feudalistic samurai society. The general discussion of virtues and morals promoted within The Analects leads the student to strive to achieve “gentleman” status or if possible “sage” status. While the broad application of these lessons did occur in Japan, there are inherent differences with its practice in China. While the movement of an individual in social and economic stature in China was based on the quality of work they were able to complete through their apparent knowledge and work ethic. The same flexibility did not apply in Japan. The rigid feudal, hereditary structure provided a lack of upward mobility throughout all of society. So the quest for personal enlightenment was checked by lack of encouragement and the void of personal independence. However, Confucianism did support the established government’s role of enhancing filial piety. “Duke Ching of Ch`I asked Confucius about government. Confucius answered, ‘Let the ruler be a ruler, the subject a subject, the father a father, the son a son.’” The lessons are scattered with words of honoring and obeying your parents, “Meng yi Tzu asked about being filial. The master answered, ‘Never fail to comply.’” 1 This application, in its transition to Japan included an individual’s superiors, that is to say the daimyo, the Shogun, and the Emperor.
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