How was Modern-day JAPAN Born? – VisualPolitik EN

How was Modern-day JAPAN Born? – VisualPolitik EN

For many people, Japan is still pretty mysterious
– and that’s not only because it’s a country where people push their dogs around
in prams and drink coffee in places full of cats. Not at all. Despite being an overpopulated area with scarce
natural resources, Japan is one of the richest and most developed countries in the world,
with the highest average life expectancy on the planet, so it’s no wonder that it, never
ceases to amaze us. But… hold on just a moment, because Japan
wasn’t always the economic powerhouse we know today. Quite the opposite. Until the mid-nineteenth century this country
operated under a political and economic system that was very similar to Medieval Europe’s. At that time, Japan was a poor and backward
territory, closed off to the world and with a strongly stratified society. Now… The question is, how did the great change
occur? How did Japan manage to rise up from its status
as a poor rural country to that of a great industrial power? Was it all because of the influence from and
help of the United States after the Second World War? Was it the result of a meticulously designed
plan by the government? Well, we can say that this entire process
involved two major stages. We’ll talk about the first one in this video,
which began 150 years ago with the so-called Meiji Restoration. 150 years? Yes we’re covering this on an anniversary
year. The second stage, which we’ll talk about
in a future video – so now that you know, don’t forget to subscribe to VisualPolitik
– began at the end of the Second World War. But having said this, let’s start with the
story. Here we go. (THE MEIJI RESTORATION) 150 years ago, the Meiji Restoration of 1868
ended the dominance of the Tokugawa, a clan that for more than 250 years, since 1603,
had virtually supplanted the emperor’s power, turning them into the great lords of Japan. We’re talking about a long period during
which Japan remained isolated from all contact with the outside world., And while many western
countries were throwing themselves into the Industrial Revolution, this isolation caused
Japan to retain social, political and economic structures that were more similar to the Middle
Ages than to modern times. At that time Japan was a feudal society, dominated
by warlords and, for no less than 14 centuries, had behaved like a kind of vassal state of
the Chinese Empire. – Come on, that’s very different from the
Japan we know today. We’re talking about a country that prohibited
the use of its ports by foreigners to stop their influence from contaminating the local
culture and traditions. Of course… that also ended any trade and
any possibility that its rigid political estates would move to the beat of the times. This was the situation until in 1853 a modern
US fleet arrived in Tokyo Bay with a mission and a message: either the Japanese authorities
accepted and allowed trade or they’d have to face the consequences. («Steamboats/the hawks of the Pacific break
their rest/four boats are enough/to make us lose sleep at night» Japanese poem referring
to the American ships that arrived in the country in 1853) Obviously, the far less developed Japanese
institutions could do little in the face of a modern, technologically advanced war fleet. So they had no choice but to accept and open
up. That was the beginning of the end of the Tokugawa
regime. Within a few years, disgusted by the more
than palpable loss of sovereignty, by the humiliation of feeling like a poor and incapable
country and having seen the decline of the Chinese empire, the samurai – Samurai which
by the way, were much more modern than those we usually see in the movies – took control
and restored imperial Japan. We’re talking about the well-known Meiji
restoration which, against all odds, launched Japan into the arms of a broad reform program
that changed practically every field. After all, dear friends, given the enormous
technological, economic and military superiority of the Western powers, the best way to preserve
Japan’s sovereignty was to take note and promote the country’s development. And, you know what? They did just that. Within a few years, not even the Japanese
themselves could recognize Japan. These are the steps that the country followed
to jump from the feudal age to the modern world. Listen up. At the political level, many of the old institutions
were terminated and an independent judiciary power, a bicameral legislature and a modern
prefectural system were introduced to govern the country’s various regions. The old taxes on the sale of rice were replaced
by a land tax, which led to two huge advantages: First, it facilitated the calculation of the
revenues the government obtained each year – after all, the amount of land doesn’t
change but the rice production does change every year – which allowed the government
to, for example, design, finance and build several infrastructures. This then helped determine land ownership
with precision, establishing a modern property rights system for it. But that wasn’t all. Being aware of the importance of knowledge
and new technologies, in 1872, just four years after the Meiji Restoration, the Japanese
government established a universal primary education system and within a few years the
Tokyo Institute of Technology and the University of Tokyo were created. And, of course, in addition to everything
we’ve seen, Japan’s openness was also encouraged. Foreign experts and professionals were attracted
to transmit their knowledge, and many Japanese students were granted scholarships to study
both in Europe and in the United States. The result of this whole process was that
in just 50 years Japan managed to go through its own industrial revolution. That’s one-third of the time it took Europe. That way, in the following decades, Japan
continued its takeoff process and changed. And that’s also when it began extending
its influence to neighboring countries like Korea, China, Russia and Taiwan. In 1902, they also signed a friendship agreement
with Great Britain, an agreement that not only boosted its industry, but when World
War I arrived, enabled Japan to become an important supplier, further boosting its economy. In these years many Japanese entrepreneurs
became millionaires. – For one reason or another, in the end, when
countries boost their trade, every party usually benefits. Mr. Donald Trump, take note. But folks… that’s how we got to the year
1926, the year when the darkest time in Japan began. Listen up. (THE WAR ECONOMY) 1926, the year that Emperor Hirohito ascended
the throne… where he remained until the year 1989. And from that exact moment in the 20s, Japan
began to deepen its most warlike profile. In 1931, Japanese troops occupied the Chinese
province of Manchuria… where they not only committed an enormous amount of crimes, but
in occupying the province, also triggered the tense relations between Japan and most
of the Western powers. And that’s not all. Once Hirohito came to power, the government
began to boost the war industry to such an extent that in 1931, while the troops invaded
Manchuria, the Japanese government authorized and encouraged the creation of Cartels among
large companies, especially among the heavy industry, that is to say the industry related
to steel, boat, machinery, truck construction, etcetera, etcetera. That way, the government could urge large
companies to agree to increase production as quickly as possible while limiting the
entry of new competitors. And that’s not all. In the following years the government also
injected a lot of capital into these companies, until it became co-owner of several of them. All while military spending wouldn’t stop
growing: Of course this massive amount of government
intervention in the economy had consequences: small businesses were ravaged, and almost
every civilian industry closed long before the US bombing during World War II. The consequences of this war economy didn’t
only lead to a more authoritarian government, and a greater military influence which ultimately
ended up in a war, but also in the general impoverishment of the Japanese. Of course, military material had to be produced,
instead of goods that would improve people’s lives on a day-to-day basis. – More rifles and less sewing machines. Very successful, but much poorer in the end. And, you know what? It’s not strange at all. History teaches us that militarist policies
tend to be very efficient and boost the power of the elite while impoverishing the majority. The fact is that, as we all know, at the end
of World War II, Japan wasn’t only a defeated country, the Japanese economy was shattered
and the Japanese had gone back decades in terms of their standard of living. All this, of course, in addition to the tragedy
of having lost more than 3 million lives during the conflict. Now, some of you may be wondering, but… What happened after the war? How did Japan manage to become such a great
power within a few years? Folks, we’ll get those answers in a future
video here on VisualPolitik. So far, in this one we’ve already seen how
Japan made the great leap and went from the Middle Ages to the modern world. So I really hope you enjoyed this video, please
hit like if you did, and don’t forget to subscribe for brand new videos. Don’t forget to check out our friends at
the Reconsider Media Podcast – they provided the vocals in this episode that were not mine. Also, this channel is possible because of
Patreon, and our patrons on that platform. Please consider joining them and supporting
our mission of providing independent political coverage. And as always, I’ll see you in the next

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100 thoughts on “How was Modern-day JAPAN Born? – VisualPolitik EN”

  • What happened after the Second world is both complex and simpale at the same time: please check the history of Japan's "Iron triangle", the relationship of the Japan's Liberal Democratic Party, the business sector and the (keiretsu), and the bureaucracy in post–World War II Japan and US occupation of General MacArthur created both the economic and political foundation of how the LDP still holds authority to this despite the reforms of Koizumi Junichiro and establishment of Hope party by the former mayor of Tokyo:
    Kibō no Tō (希望の党, Party of Hope) is a conservative political party in Japan founded by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike. Governor Koike formed the party just hours before Prime MinisterShinzō Abe declared an early 2017 general election. The party's ideology is mainly conservative.
    In 2016's gubernatorial election, Governor Koike was elected as the Governor with membership of the Liberal Democratic Party(LDP) even though she was not the official candidate of the party.[note 1] Then, she formed a regional party: Tomin First no Kai, which was founded for the 2017 metropolitan election. The Komeito party supported Governor Koike in the metropolitan council, even though they were part of the coalition government with the LDP at the national level.

    On 28 September 2017, the leader of the opposition Democratic Party (DP), Seiji Maehara, announced that the party had abandoned plans to contest the 2017 general election on 22 October.[4] The DP caucus in the House of Representatives disbanded, with many of the party's existing representatives contesting the election as candidates for Kibō no Tō.[5] This led to the split on 2 October 2017 of the Constitutional Democratic Party, which consists of left-leaning and liberal DP politicians whom Koike had rejected as Kibō no Tō candidates.[6][7]

    On 10 November 2017, the party held a leadership election to elect a co-leader of the party. Yūichirō Tamaki was elected in the caucus election by a margin of 39 to 14. Koike resigned as party leader on 14 November 2017 as a result of the poor performance in the general election, leaving Tamaki as a sole leader.[8][9]

    On 24 April 2018, the leadership of Kibō and the Democratic Party announced in a joint press conference that both parties agreed to merge in May 2018 under the name Democratic Party for the People (DPFP). Several factions in both parties do not plan to join the new party. The members of these factions are expected to form their own splinter party, join other parties or become independents.[10]

    Post-DPFP merger reestablishmentEdit

    Prior to the merger, right-wing members of Kibō led by Shigefumi Matsuzawa stated that they intended to form a separate party that retains the Kibō no Tō name.[11] The party was formed on 7 May 2018, on the same day with the DPFP merger.[12]

  • Japan had a foundation to develop.
    General education for citizens was given before the 18th century and the justice system was close to the present

  • Japan was an evil country that was threatening whole Asian poor neighbours with military force. Nanjing massacre is one of the examples that can never be forgotten. America taught them a good lesson. That was rightful for entire world.

  • Hello, could you please make a video about UN migration pact? I think explaining it would be great addition to this channel. Thank you


    Pro-EU chumps take notes.

  • Japan knows how to treat China ,that's why I like them ♥️
    Only they can control the Rising threat of Chinese Communist party .

    Communism is a cancer and only they can clean this Virus from the head of Chinese people by Giving them Nanjing 2.0 👍👍

  • With regards to you Trump remark, not when one country imports 500b more than they export and 1 country is allowed to cheat

  • Having been to Japan several times I can definitely say that it is indeed unlike any other place I have ever been to. There is definitely something special about Japan as a travel destination. The mix of high tech, the ancient, the polite people, the only in Japan moments, the food, the natural scenery, the pop culture, and the iconic imagry of Geisha, Sumo, Samurai, and Ninja is an amazing combination.

  • Could you please make a video on media propaganda and unfair use of social media for Narendra Modi 's campaign as well as hindutva promotion in Uttar Pradesh

  • White nationalists have a fetish for Japan (and asian women in general). Weird. As if Japan is an utopian country when it is not. Japan has the largest national debt in the world and its population will shrink to 0 population in 2500 if the current birthrate trend continue.

  • How the hell can you make this video and just gloss over their expansion over Korea? Let alone the occupation of Taiwan, the Okinawan Islands, Kuril Islands and Sakhalin Island in the early phases of the war Japan’s Imperial age? It was during this time the war economy was getting throttled because of the economic results that were helping them out of the Great Depression.

  • Hey @VisualPolitik, could you please do a video about my home country "Algeria" with the name : "Algeria, the next Venezuela" and thanks in advance

  • 9:33 In addition, the aggression of the Japanese army in Asia took at least 20 million other Asian lives, most of which being Chinese.

  • You fail to mention a very important fact. Japan traded with the Dutch since the 1600s long before the US came. So it was not entirely closed off

  • The Meiji Restoration was a huge civil war and a class warfare situation (progressive samurai and merchant class VS the old guard). While I know you can't fit everything in a short video, understating the terrible cost of revolutions, regime changes and "progress" is thoroughly dangerous.

  • They work themselves to death, that's what. South African, living in Japan, and just when you started talking about the Meiji restoration an earthquake happened and I was thinking: And this is the end of modern Japan.

  • 2:17 Just bullshit. Japan had contact with the outside world through the Dutch at the trade zone of Deshima.
    The Dutch brought the Japanese into the modern age, the Americans broke the cocon (twice) to let the beautiful butterfly Japan fly freely around the globe.

  • Japan sold more silver than entire Latin America before Meiji Regime. With that resources, Japan developed. The Western writers give a false story that Japan had no resources; it has coal. It is not using the coal mines because it is much cheaper to import coal from Australia. Japan was open before 1860. Nagasaki was an open city.

  • Just had to take a shot at the bad orange man right? Gonna edit that little dig out in 2 years so this vid remains relevant?


  • Dude. Great video, but stop it with the ads! I know you gotta earn something, but 1 every 2 minutes is just plain ludicrous.

  • How is Japan prospering? Good question.She was stepping on the body of the Qing Empire.At that time, East Asia could not afford two industrial countries.

  • Oh, and by the way, the "samurais" (the warriors of the feudal lords) did not work for the restauration, but against it (Tom Cruise's Samurai film was historically correct, at least in this regard). They might not have been happy with the shogunate in its waning years (Bakumatsu), but the shogunate (actually a military junta, if you will) secured their standing within the empire.
    The restauration abolished the feudal system and ended the samurai. The restauration braught a nationalised military with the emperor as commander-in-chief.

    The samurai were actually quite divided during the Bakumatsu, with some of them being against anything foreign and some of them welcoming new ideas, science technology and chances for trade. Although both sides were mostly in favour of the feudal system.

    Some singular samurai were on the side of the restauration, driving it with ideas they got from aborad.

  • What makes you say that Japan before Meiji Restoration was poor? Compared to which country? Edo at a time was a biggest city in the world, and we didn't have a war for 260 years. Most Children were educated and able to read and write. There were a lot of arts and entertainments.

    Note, we already had Sushi and Tenpura too

  • Before US came to Edo in 1853, young people were already discussing whether they should open country more, or going war against western powers. Those young people are politicians who made Meiji government. It's not like US came, and ok let's change our country. US didn't have that much influence on Japan like Netherlands or UK

  • Actually, we didn't close the country. We stopped the diplomatic trade with counties allowed the slave trade. Tokugawa shogunate was very very upseted when he heard Japanese people sold as slaves.

  • Not all, but the most of all his stories were based on stories picked up stories by GHQ after ww2
    . So most of books in english based on GHQ stories. Japanese history is more interesting to know if you like history.

  • Japan is outpacing Europe in literally all quality of life components except for tolerance for minorities and gender equality. Their unemployment rate is 2%. Automation will replace the labour force. Population decline will increase median wealth (capital tax). Debt is high but owned by Japanese. Japan is doing fine, you should be more worried for Europe and North America.

  • There's an implicit narrative that the Emperor 'Hirohito' was in control of the events that began when he became emperor. I think you should clarify about that.

  • Before the 19th century it was a poor country, I misunderstood something about Japan.

    If you are talking about Japanese history, please learn more about Japanese history.

    While the industrial development like the West was delayed, in the Edo period educational standards and literacy rates were higher than those in the West, some also had mineral resources such as gold and silver, even in the world It was a leading developed country.

    If you are talking about Japan, you should study more various documents.

  • Japan is a great global economic power! Only America & China is ahead of Japan economically, Also Japan is also a cultural superpower! Japan is one of the safest & cleanest countries in the world! No wonder countries around the world are of awe of Japan!

  • @9:05 actually war is one of the great levellers in terms of economic inequality together with revolutions and plague

  • In October 2009, Japan's Labor Ministry released a report which stated that almost one in six Japanese, which would be 22 million people, lived in poverty, in 2007. This revelation was met with shock and surprise among the Japanese people.[5]

  • answered : Play nice with Uncle Sam despite the face they killed millions of people in Asia in WW2…Gain tons of money with all the wars happened in Asia during cold war.

  • Awesome video! Though they were open to the Dutch at a single port (can't remember the name), as well as other asian powers. There was a fairly steady flow of European knowledge and technology through that port, which is why the study of it was referred to as "Dutch studies"; though, it did obviously create a bottleneck and its impact was at a slow burn until the Meiji restoration. Also the Tokugawa shogunate were samurai, so it's more accurate to say another faction of samurai restored de facto power to the Emperor, who had been cloistered and mostly a figurehead. Dan Carlin did an awesome series of podcasts on this, and says it's almost as if the Japanese saw the writing on the wall and became determined to be a colonizing power, rather than the colonized.

  • If i understood correctly, the samurai taking the reins of the country and forcing progress at an incredibly rapid pace would make for a great movie, or several-season show. I think the topic deserves a much more in-depth view, as it seems like such a unique occurrence in human history.

  • 6:51 yeah he's right like how Trump policies have boosted the US trade , economy and lower the unemployment !

  • Well done if a bit oversimplified. I don't think most historians would say Japan acted like a vassal state of China during the Tokugawa Shogunate. Nor was Japan simply a "poor rural country." During the long Tokugawa era there was a substantial increase in wealth with most classes benefiting, ironically the despised merchant class the most. Foreign trade was not completely eliminated, since the Dutch continued their trade near Nagasaki. The young samurai who overthrew the Tokugawa and began the transformation of their country into an industrial and military power were some of the most remarkable individuals in world history. Their history is well worth studying.
    P.S. Great shirt Simon!

  • Actually it’s militant feel brewed in the 1920’s going full militant by 1928 after the Army crushes a huge labor strike.

    They believed communist spys from China and Korea did it. causing their 15 years of darkness.