Good Essay On Why Was Japan Able To Remain Independent When So Many Other Asian States Fell To Western Empires?

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Japan, Countries, European Union, History, Culture, Imperialism, Students, Empire

Pages: 6

Words: 1650

Published: 2020/12/14

ByNameID NumberSubjectUniversityCourseTermYearDate

The history of Japan is somehow different in compare to the other countries of Asia. In the pages of history it can be found that Japan is mentioned as one of the independent countries in Asia whereas many other larger states of the continent had fallen to the western empires in the past. In order to find the reason of the question why Japan was able to remain independent in the past when so many other Asian countries fell to western empires the historical culture of Japan, the mindset of Japan that was beyond secularism, the imperial condition of the country and the strength in mindset of the people and the Japanese ruler have to be discussed and analyzed. Other Asian countries like Korea, China, and Taiwan had fallen to western countries but Japan certainly has the power and strength that made them different and the country never bowed down in front of western empires. The historian has certainly neglected so many important things regarding to the empire system of Japan but after revealing the whole origin and evolution history of Japan can certainly help to understand what are the main differences among Japan and other Asian countries that helped Japan to remain independent (Starrs, 2011).

Japanese Historical Culture

Japanese historical culture had played a huge role to prevent Japan to except the western culture and the country never fell to the western empires. Legend attributes the Japanese emperors were descended from the sun goddess of Japan (Atkins, 2010). Jimmu was said to be the first ascendance of throne in 660 B.C., an age old tradition that aggregated official doctrine till the year 1945. Since very early of the history Japanese clan system has been originated when the Yamato clan managed to take the control of other groups in western and central Japan in A. D. 400. Thereafter Buddhism was introduced in Japan by Korea and in the 700 A. D. around Japanese clan system was inspired by China and the Yamato clan took the Chinese model of clan system to set up the same (Shively and McCullough, 2008). The imperial system had gained a new dimension in Japan. At the same time a distinct class named as samurai had come into the Japanese warrior clan system (Steinmetz, n.d.). The Minamoto clan built a military governing system in 1192 and for more than 700 years the successors of shoguns ruled Japan. Since 1542 when the first contact with the western countries had come all the trades with the western and foreign countries had been prohibited by the shoguns of the Tokugawa period (Shani, 2014). Many Spanish, Dutch and British traders had come to the country but failed to make any progress in trade as the rulers did not want to issue an entry for the foreign countries (Auslin, 2006). Until 1853 all the attempts to start of western trading relations had been cancelled. When Matthew Perry came to Japan the trade with the western country had been forced to Japan. In the year 1868 the shogun system was come into an end as the Meiji emperor has acquired the throne. Thus the historical culture of Japan shows that the country always avoided the western empire to trade or something else and that is one of the major factor of Japan being independent as of to the other Asian countries (Beasley, 1987). Apart from that The Russo- Japanese War in the year 1904-1905 was stated to be the first greatest war of twentieth century and it certainly had grown out a rival mindset between Emperor of Japan and Russia over Korea and Manchuria. To secure the market of Korea and Manchuria both Russia and Japan wanted the dominance. Russia had spotted the influence of Japan on Korea and demanded Korea north had to be the distinct difference between Japan and Russia emperor but when the negotiation had broken in 1904 Japanese Navy attacked Russia and the war had set in. Finally Japan had emerged to be the victorious side of war and set the emperor over the concerned place.

Japanese beyond Secularism

The Japanese ancient history shows that the Japanese are always tend to be far beyond secularism (CLAMOR, 2006). Countries economic culture has been boosted from the past as the country’s secular interest have certainly helped to achieve economic growth of the country (Myers, Peattie and Zhen, 1984). The spirit of dominating the globe certainly helps to the cause of the Japanese market and the economy to grow. In order expand the culture and the economy Japanese are certainly impressive as the self-help kind of strategy has been taken by the country in order to grow. Analyzing and understanding the ancient past of Japan have helped to develop the idea of Japan’s secularism tactics since the very beginning of its economy (Calman, 1992). The secular change in the mindset in many cases and practices has certainly proved helpful for Japan to remain independent as far as economy is concerned. Consequently, more investigation of Japan’s early religious life can prove to be helpful to make out why Japan is so powerful as far as its political terms (Suzuki and Jaffe, 2010). The Country has always adopted the theory of self improvement and the secular energy among the Japanese explored the belief in divine forces that would always provide support when needed (Tierney, 2010). The religious practices certainly proved to be helpful for the Japanese in order to maintain a steady calmness in the tough situation and to fight against the opposition when it is necessary (Chandra Chari., 2008). The energy generated from the sources was utilized to carry out the orders in order to complete a job. These mindsets of the civilians certainly helped Japan to remain independent in their decision making whether other countries had lacked these type of mindset in order to survive. Apart from that the significance of Buddhism which was imported by the Japanese had played a huge role to change the mindset of the people and to make economic progress with the help of their own resources (Coble, 1991). Eventually Pan-Asianism was stated to be a vital aspect for the success of Japan in global market. Pan-Asianism is also known as Asianism or Greater Asianism is an ideology from the countries of Asia that promotes the unity of the people and countries of Asia. Pre World War 2 Japanese Pan-Asianism was very simple and it had stated that all the Asian countries should unite against European imperialism which helped Japan immensely in order to make further progress in the global market to grow its footprints globally. Japanese Pan-Asianism proved to be vital in order to keep Japan from the reach of western emperor.

Japanese Imperialism and Fundamental strength in independence mindset

Through the studies of the origin and the nature of imperial system of Japan it can be said the time would be from the Sino-Japanese war of 1894-95 to 1945. It can be certainly mentioned that Japan is the only country of Asia in modern times that has certainly built an empire and a successful industrial economy at the same time (Duus, 2008). In context to this phenomenon two most important incidents have to be closely related to show the same. Japan’s aim to improve was obviously influenced by the experience it has got of western imperialism and the on growing industrialization of the western empires (Totman, 2000). But at the same time the external circumstances related to Japanese economy and industry have changed and the capacity of Japan has been increased that lead to the improvement in basic needs and ambitions of the country (Ferfila, n.d.). The Meiji Restoration was one of the vital prospects of Japan’s success in making emperor like western countries. Meiji Restoration also known as Meiji Ishin is the kind of Renovation, Reform, Renewal or Revolution, a series of parallel events to restore the practical imperial rule to Japan in the year 1868 under the emperorship of Meiji. These particular changes had moved the Japanese to a significant prosperity in order to grow its emperor and trade. In twentieth century the evolution of Japanese empire is one of the most renowned exploits. In order to gain a successful empire Japanese had certainly modeled the western countries at first but in order to growing environment of the countries need they have to think of their own efficiency and had achieved the worth in support of their own progressive strategies (Fletcher and Young, 2000). The outcome and evolution of Japanese imperialism had certainly helped the country and its citizens to remain independent. The dearth of raw materials in the country forced Japan to import raw materials from the other countries of Asia and also Japan had found the opportunity to export their manufactured products in the several other countries of the continent. By industrialization Japan found a new way in the market to prove its worth (Fletcher and Young, 2000). Japan had grown the stage to dominate the market with their own manufactured goods and products and sell those in other countries to compete with the western countries that had the same idea of global industrialization (Hall, 2008). By the virtue of the geographical advantage Japan had the edge to acquire the larger portion of the market. Japan had a strong intend and determination in the mindset that the country would not allow to be dominated by the western empires as like China did. Japan had the opportunity when Emperor Meiji announced that Japan had got the capabilities to become the super power of the Asia continent (Jansen, 2008). According to historians the emperor also created a huge boost to the citizens by telling them that Japan was heading towards the golden future and the country was doing the same as the western countries were doing. Japan had also found better ideas to serve countries like China and Korea in compare to the western countries (Koshiro, 2008). Thus Japan had reclaimed its super power title in Asia and remains totally independent where countries like China and Korea fell down in front of western empires industrialization tactics. Militarily, Japan not only benefited from the rapid industrialization, being an island nation it has got a significant edge (Kratoska, 2005). Apart from that the country has a neighbor who also has got military power. Additionally Japan had got an upper hand over Europe and the United States as Asia being the closer target for Japan geographically to set imperial interest. Significantly Japan’s arrogance was proved to be a vital ingredient for imperial expansion as the country was popular as superior to the other Asian countries (KwangMyong Ko, 2012). In order to tackle the Japanese arrogance countries like Korea and Taiwan served diplomacy to Japan and had accepted all the conditions presented by Japan in order to imperialism. The dominance attitude in the mindset of the Japanese Emperor had certainly helped the country to remain independent as the country was renowned as superior to the other countries (Mishra, 2015).


In order to remain independent to the western empires where other countries of Asia had fallen to the western states Japan had got their own point of view. It was the belief of the emperor of Japan and the civilians of the country that had pushed them to become the super power of Asia at that point of time. The country had followed its own resources and utilized them to get the best possible result. Japan certainly had found the edge for some geographical reasons too. Japan’s military also helped the country’s cause to achieve imperialism in different counties. Japan had certainly understood one basic phenomenon of history that if the country had to survive it had to push others to go back in order to be the front runner like western and European countries did in order to expand their territory (Turner, 2013). Proper strategies to counter the circumstances, the mental power and force of the Japanese, the military power of the country and the decision making of industrialization have to be credited for remaining independent. Japan had certainly impressed the historians by the way the country has able to deal with situation in the past history where other Asian states had fallen down to the Western and the European empires.


Atkins, E. (2010). Primitive selves. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Auslin, M. (2006). Negotiating with imperialism. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Beasley, W. (1987). Japanese imperialism, 1894-1945. Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Clarendon Press.
Calman, D. (1992). The nature and origins of Japanese imperialism. London: Routledge.
Chandra Chari., (2008). War, peace and hegemony in a globalized world. London: Routledge.
CLAMOR, A. (2006). Beyond Secularism and Dogmatism. Louvain Studies, 31(3), pp.335-361.
Coble, P. (1991). Facing Japan. Cambridge, Mass.: Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University.
Duus, P. (2008). The Cambridge history of Japan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ferfila, B. (n.d.). Economic monetary union, U.S. and Japan - three economic superpowers; some comparisons and interelations.
Fletcher, W. and Young, L. (2000). Japan's Total Empire: Manchuria and the Culture of Wartime Imperialism. Journal of Japanese Studies, 26(1), p.246.
Fletcher, W. and Young, L. (2000). Japan's Total Empire: Manchuria and the Culture of Wartime Imperialism. Journal of Japanese Studies, 26(1), p.246.
Hall, J. (2008). The Cambridge history of Japan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Jansen, M. (2008). The Cambridge history of Japan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Koshiro, Y. (2008). Sadao Asada. Culture Shock and Japanese-American Relations: Historical Essays .:Culture Shock and Japanese‐American Relations: Historical Essays. AM HIST REV, 113(3), pp.798-799.
Kratoska, P. (2005). Asian labor in the wartime Japanese empire. Armonk, N.Y.: Sharpe.
KwangMyong Ko, (2012). A Study on the Social Background of Chosun Entrepreneurs under Japanese Imperialism. The Japanese Modern Association of Korea, null(37), pp.441-462.
Mishra, P. (2015). From the ruins of empire. London, England: Penguin Books.
Myers, R., Peattie, M. and Zhen, J. (1984). The Japanese colonial empire, 1895-1945. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Shani, G. (2014). Religion, Identity and Human Security. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.
Shively, D. and McCullough, W. (2008). The Cambridge history of Japan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Starrs, R. (2011). Modernism and Japanese culture. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Steinmetz, G. (n.d.). Sociology & empire.
Suzuki, D. and Jaffe, R. (2010). Zen and Japanese culture. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Tierney, R. (2010). Tropics of savagery. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Totman, C. (2000). A history of Japan. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers.
Turner, B. (2013). The religious and the political. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cite this page
Choose cite format:
  • APA
  • MLA
  • Harvard
  • Vancouver
  • Chicago
  • ASA
  • IEEE
  • AMA
WePapers. (2020, December, 14) Good Essay On Why Was Japan Able To Remain Independent When So Many Other Asian States Fell To Western Empires?. Retrieved November 30, 2022, from
"Good Essay On Why Was Japan Able To Remain Independent When So Many Other Asian States Fell To Western Empires?." WePapers, 14 Dec. 2020, Accessed 30 November 2022.
WePapers. 2020. Good Essay On Why Was Japan Able To Remain Independent When So Many Other Asian States Fell To Western Empires?., viewed November 30 2022, <>
WePapers. Good Essay On Why Was Japan Able To Remain Independent When So Many Other Asian States Fell To Western Empires?. [Internet]. December 2020. [Accessed November 30, 2022]. Available from:
"Good Essay On Why Was Japan Able To Remain Independent When So Many Other Asian States Fell To Western Empires?." WePapers, Dec 14, 2020. Accessed November 30, 2022.
WePapers. 2020. "Good Essay On Why Was Japan Able To Remain Independent When So Many Other Asian States Fell To Western Empires?." Free Essay Examples - Retrieved November 30, 2022. (
"Good Essay On Why Was Japan Able To Remain Independent When So Many Other Asian States Fell To Western Empires?," Free Essay Examples -, 14-Dec-2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 30-Nov-2022].
Good Essay On Why Was Japan Able To Remain Independent When So Many Other Asian States Fell To Western Empires?. Free Essay Examples - Published Dec 14, 2020. Accessed November 30, 2022.

Share with friends using:

Related Premium Essays
Contact us
Chat now