The Traditional Culture of Asian Civilizations from 1500 to 1700

1200 Words 5 Pages
Do you feel that Asian Civilizations from 1500 to 1700 veered towards modernity or careened back toward traditional culture? From the 16th to 18th century, the prominent Asian Civilizations were the Mughal Empire, the Ming Dynasty of China and the Edo Period of Japan. There was an obvious trend that these empires leaned toward traditional culture mainly because of political influences. Although there were also several aspects of each society such as the more important role of women in the Mughal Empire, the interactions of the Jesuits with China and Japan that might be indicative of modernity or act as a precursor to modern values, the reversion of traditional culture in each civilization is so much greater that it outweighed the …show more content…
For example, farming lands were reclaimed, campaigns of reforestation were initiated, roads and canals were paved and dug, and irrigation and flood-prevention measures were constructed. Instead of focusing on trading and commercialism like their previous Mongolian rulers, the Ming reverted back to the traditional Chinese agrarian society. At around the 16th Century, the Edo Period began in Japan, marked by the ruling of the Tokugawa Ieyasu over Daimyos, or feudal lords. Because of his military strength, the Shogun was able to help restore the Imperial rule to its former glory by granting lands to the royal family and creating a system that emulates tradition, installing the Emperor as the head of Japan, when in reality it is but a figurehead. However, at least it is ceremonially important and is considered upholding of traditional values. The Shogun also banned Japanese from traveling abroad as well as completely isolating Japan from the rest of the world after several disputes with Europeans and their Jesuits. This is why Japan remained largely uninfluenced by modern Western Ideals until the 18th century. Another noteworthy example of traditionalism in these civilizations is the presence of a strong caste system within their society. In the Mughal Empire, the caste system of the Indians which make up the most of the population was still in effect at that time.