The Effects of Japanese Imperialism on East Asia

Apprehensive about the pressures of western powers, the Japanese set on a course for modernization and westernization in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As a result of said adaptation, the Japanese thought of themselves as culturally superior to the rest of East Asia. This is turn was a justification for the Japanese to enforce their domain over the rest of East Asia, instilling bloody and gruesome violence upon those who were culturally “inferior”.

I found it very interesting the relationship that Japan had with its neighbors. Connecting the Ginseng article as well as the primary sources, I can see when Japan was dependent on China for their Ginseng, they had a relationship, but as Japan gained the ability to grow their own, their domain would only grow. We can see how the relationships between Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese were with the testimony of the comfort movement. I think that because of the horrific acts done to non-Japanese East-Asians, much animosity grew towards the Japanese. This in turn allowed Chinese and Koreans to form ideas of nationalism and self determination, creating a more liberal atmosphere. The creation of schools in these areas also contributed to such ideas as well. It can also be said that such treatment of women sparked major feminist movements as well. With the education of both females and males, as well as events such as the Rape of Nanking, women started to become larger members of society, with their roles shifting.

In general, Japan, though through horror and bloodshed, caused a cataclysmic change in East Asia in early 1900s. Their attacks on non-Japanese individuals created an atmosphere of animosity as well as progressivism among those in Korea and China. I do question if they could have been as strong without treating their neighbors in the ways that they did.

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