Essay Shanghai and Tokyo: The Birth of Modern Cities of the East

2025 Words 9 Pages
Since the opening of treaty ports to foreign powers in the late 19th century, China and Japan have transformed themselves from being secluded countries to making an impressive claim in the world economy. Two of the biggest port cities were Japan’s Tokyo and China’s Shanghai. These two cities have followed a similar path of living the good life and facing devastating blows to their countries and their economies. Although their histories have found themselves pinned against one another, they have prevailed. Both China and Japan have been able to modernize from rural villages to mega metropolises that rival the cities of the West.
Shanghai can be considered a separate country from the rest of China in early 20th century, if not the Western
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Since the opening of treaty ports to foreign powers in the late 19th century, China and Japan have transformed themselves from being secluded countries to making an impressive claim in the world economy. Two of the biggest port cities were Japan’s Tokyo and China’s Shanghai. These two cities have followed a similar path of living the good life and facing devastating blows to their countries and their economies. Although their histories have found themselves pinned against one another, they have prevailed. Both China and Japan have been able to modernize from rural villages to mega metropolises that rival the cities of the West.
Shanghai can be considered a separate country from the rest of China in early 20th century, if not the Western city of China. The residents of Shanghai identify themselves as not only Chinese but also Shanghainese and speak in their own dialect. They were viewed by some in China as being unruly, or having too free a spirit especially the woman in the way they dressed and curled their hair. Eileen Chang describes them as “traditional Chinese people tempered by the high-pressure of modern life…misshapen products of old and new culture.” (Chang, 54) The economy of Shanghai was greatly helped by its integration with the West dealing with both imports and exports due also to its prime location on the Yangtze River. Shanghai was the fashion and trend hub of China, where all the latest Western fashion and film arrived first in China. Streets such as Hart

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