Paths of Modernisation

Japan became a modern country from the days of petty daimyo of Japan. In the 12th century, the shoguns ruled Japan with the help of samurais and daimyo with their capital in Edo (Tokyo city). In the 16th century, Samurai ensured peace and order. Silk industry flourished in Nishijin in Kyoto. British dominance in Asia alerted Japan, and scholars there wanted to learn European modern ideas. The government launched a policy with the slogan ‘fukoku kyohei’ (rich country, strong army). Imperial Rescript on Education of 1890 was passed. In 1910, education became universal. During 1870-72, Railway line was built between Tokyo and Yokohama. Modern Banking institution was setup in 1872. Zaibatsu (business families) dominated the economy. By 1913, 4 million workers were engaged in manufacturing industries. Tanaka Shozo launched the first agitation against industrial pollution in 1897. Meiji Constitution had created a Diet and declared emperor as the commander of the forces. During the 1930, Japan excercised imperialist policy and invaded China to extend its colonial empire. However, it was defeated in the World War II when US dropped Atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; it was de-militarised. Suffrage was given to women in the elections of 1946. During 1839, British won the first opium war in China and snatched power from the Qing dynasty. Liang Qicha popularised Chinese nationalism among. Sun Yat Sen was the founder of the modern China. He established a republic in 1911 AD. Later, the Guomindang (the National People’s Party) and the Communist Party of China (CCP) strived to unite Chinese. Chiang Kai Shek, leader of the Guomindang, militarised China. Mao Zedong, CCP leader, organised a Soviets or peasant councils and fought Japanese colonization. When Guomindang intensified attacks, the Soviets shifted the base to Yanan, after a ‘Long March’. The Communist Party captured power and established the People’s Republic in 1949.

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