The Modernization of Japan Essay

786 Words 4 Pages
Prior to the modernization of Japan, the samurai were one of the most respected social classes. The different clans of Japan were constantly fighting for control of the island; therefore the samurai were heavily depended upon for protection and warfare. This period of unceasing warfare did not last forever, eventually one clan was able to secure power over Japan and bring about reforms to bring Japan up to par with the Western World. The modernization of Japan brought about the necessary changes to keep the island culture relevant, but because the samurai were not keen to adapt they were soon irrelevant in the rapidly changing Japanese culture.
Japan’s modernization began with the restoration of the emperor to the only source of power on the island. Previously the majority of power was held by the ruling Shogun, or war leader. This restoration was called the Meiji Revolution; the main priority of the new government was economic development. The first problem that the government looked to solve was management of the national government budget; these included the debts from the domains that accepted the governments rule. The national government also became accountable for the stipends paid to the samurai in as compensation for their previous services to the government. At first the stipend paid to the samurai made up one third of the governments, the stipend was changed to a fixed interest bonds. Later, with the excessive creation of money, prices went up and the real value…