The Rise of Japanese Militarism

This essay The Rise of Japanese Militarism has a total of 592 words and 3 pages.

The Rise of Japanese Militarism

Japan\'s political journey from its quasi-democratic
government in the 1920\'s to its radical nationalism of the mid 1930\'s,
the collapse of democratic institutions, and the eventual military
state was not an overnight transformation. There was no coup d\'etat,
no march on Rome, no storming of the Bastille. Instead, it was a
political journey that allowed a semi-democratic nation to transform
itself into a military dictatorship. The forces that aided in this
transformation were the failed promises of the Meiji Restoration that
were represented in the stagnation of the Japanese economy, the
perceived capitulation of the Japanese parliamentary leaders to the
western powers, a compliant public, and an independent military.
The ground work for Japanese militarism was a compliant
Japanese public. This pliant public was created through a variety of
factors. Beginning in the 1890\'s the public education system
indoctrinated students in the ideas of nationalism, loyalty to the
emperor and traditionalist ideas of self-sacrifice and obedience. Thus
ideas that were originally propagated to mobilize support for the
Meiji government were easily diverted to form broad support for
foreign militarism. Japanese society also still held many of the
remnants of feudal culture such as strong confusion beliefs that
stressed support for social order and lack of emphasis on
individualist values. These values taught obedience not to a
democratic but to the emperor; so the fact that the militaristic
government of the 1930\'s ruled under the emperor meant that the
Japanese were loyal to this government just as they had been to the
government of the 1920\'s. So when Japan\'s militaristic government
implemented programs characteristic of totalitarian governments such
as strong media control, a thought police, and community organizations
the public did little to protest.

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