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Globalization in Asia

Globalization In Classical Japan

Japan holds a different view of globalization than China. Its position, however, is inextricably interwoven with China's fate. Much of the early history of Japan was peppered with samurai clan warfare. Consequently it was occupied with an inward-looking gaze, while China enjoyed an outward-looking gaze. By the Tang dynasty (618–907 C.E.), periods of disunity in China came to a close and the spread of Chinese culture throughout Asia flourished. By the sixth century Confucianism and Buddhism flooded into Japan through Korea. The effect of Chinese models of government, culture, and philosophy influenced Japan for more than a millennium throughout the Nara, Heian, Kamakura, and Ashikaga periods. In the sixteenth century Portuguese and Dutch traders appeared in Japan with muskets and Bibles. This changed the course of Japanese history in terms of warfare, religion, and relationships with the newly developing global trade networks. At the end of the Muromachi Bakufu, another period of fierce clan "provincial" warfare, a triumvirate of unifiers emerged: Oda Nobunaga (1534–1582), Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536–1598), and Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542–1616). These three daimyo (great names) were open to Western influences as far as it could advance their cause. Oda, for instance, supported the Jesuits in an attempt to disrupt Buddhist alliances against him. Likewise Toyotomi encouraged Jesuit trade while sending out his own commercial ships (vermilion seal ships) to ports in the Philippines and Siam. In 1570 Omura Sumitada, a prominent daimymo (samurai lord) who converted to Christianity, opened Nagasaki to Portuguese trade, later yielding it to the Jesuits as a territorial possession.

After the deaths of Oda and Toyotomi, Tokugawa ended another century of conflict at the battle of Sekigahara in 1600 that marked the beginning of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Lasting until 1868, the Tokugawa peace undertook a policy of sakoku (closed country) or national seclusion that officially saw the banning of Christianity, the revival of Shinto, and the suspicion of foreign philosophies, including China's. However, Japan was not as secluded as it pretended. Although frowned upon by the shogunate, the newly developed town cultures of Edo, Osaka, and Kyoto continued to see an influx of Western and Asian traders. This culture was known as the ukiyo (the Floating World) that included tea houses, baths, brothels, and theaters. As a compendium of Eastern and Western cultural trends, the Floating World left a lasting mark on both sides of the Pacific. Popular among the townsfolk were paintings, poetry, literature, puppet plays, and kabuki theater that were in turn exported to Europe. Unofficially Chinese junks continued to arrive at a welcoming Nagasaki port. Marius Jansen reports on Tokugawa's false image of isolation and its true indebtedness to China:

Chinese influence rose to a peak in the Tokugawa years. The rising tide of literacy meant that more Japanese could read and write Chinese. The production of poetry in Chinese, something expected of every educated person, was so great that it may have exceeded the amount of verse composed in Japanese. (p. 4)

Various Chinatowns populated the coast from the Kii Peninsula to Kyushu and in Yamaguchi, Matsuyama, Kawagoe, and Odawara. In 1853 U.S. admiral Matthew Perry's "black ships" arrived in Japan from the United States, followed in 1856 by Townsend Harris, the first American consul. The resulting trade treaties effectively ended Tokugawa's seclusion policy as it entered a new global age. While the Meiji Restoration (1868–1911) oscillated between cries of expelling the barbarians and returning to ancient wisdom, it witnessed a wave of scholars and youth leaving for North America. On the home front, Tokyo and Yokohama saw the introduction of railroads, telegraph, steamships, and other Western inventions that continued up until World War I.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Gastrula to Glow dischargeGlobalization in Asia - Asian Views Of Globalization, The Global Village, Definitions Of Globalization: West And East, Globalization In Classical China