East Asia and Empire

From our discussion last week on Friday we can see there are people who see the reformation and modernization on Japan to be a good thing. In the end that can be said with decent certainty but that of course is ignoring the human aspect of it all. The Japanese empires history in east Asia is one paved in horrible conditions and death.

Japan made the switch to be an empire in the 20th century. This to them meant adopting the industrial life style ad reforming the position of men and women. Women especially were effected by this. While education was made available to them it was a vastly different education as it focused around their new role in society rather than literacy and subjects of great importance at the time. In the end woman had it rough, and that may be an understatement. Countless reports of women being forced into role of sexual servants to the military and others of Women who have achieved power being seen as false figure heads who get places because of connections alone. That last point reminds me a fair bit of our own political sphere in the U.S.

So why is this all important. well for starters it did not help the role of women in society at all. There were trapped in a sense because they received and education but in the end were treated as tools to the government more than anything else. The Japanese government justified this as their role in the new society but it certainly lead to unrest within. Japan hardly managed to maintain its protectorates and their main focus, Korea, easily broke off to form its own national identity, yet remained mostly unsuccessful but that doesn’t help the point here. Japan built a military that stepped on its people rather than with them. So in the end it really is hard to justify that Empirical rule in East Asia was a good thing but without it Japan probably wouldn’t be anywhere near where it is today.

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