A History of Japan, 1582-1941: Internal and External Worlds by L. M. Cullen

By L. M. Cullen

Delivering a particular assessment of the pressures accountable for the emergence of recent Japan, Louis Cullen rejects the normal barriers of eastern historiography and combines fiscal, social, and political techniques to create a strong research. Cullen reports the japanese event of growth, social transition, business progress, monetary difficulty and battle, to provide an island kingdom that could be a turning out to be business energy with little notion of its around the world context.

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Eventually, driven back, it continued to hold the region around Pusan, which became the bridgehead for another thrust by an almost equally large army in 1596. The Japanese armies usually prevailed on land; the weakness on both occasions was Japan’s poor resources at sea, with Korean ships cutting off the lines of communication. They had to contend further with the forces of the Chinese Ming dynasty intervening in support of the Korean king, with a hostile Korean population and the insufficiency of rice in economically poor Korea to sustain the armies.

China at least had its prized silks. 2 In China Japanese were excluded, and equally China’s traders, if 1 2 Kaempfer’s Japan: Tokugawa culture observed (Honolulu, 1999), ed. B. M. 44. On Kaempfer, see also The furthest goal: Engelbert Kaempfer’s encounter with Tokugawa Japan, ed. B. M. Bodart-Bailey and D. M. Massarella (Folkestone, Kent, 1995). For a short account of the Wako, see M. B. 6–7. The trade ban of 1557 was relaxed within ten years to 20 A History of Japan, 1582–1941 they ventured to Japan, were disregarding prohibitions imposed in their homeland.

The death of the emperor, who was sensitive to the many preoccupations of han, meant his replacement by a young and inexperienced emperor who would be malleable in the hands of a forceful shogunate. The shogunate fell because of the alliance of Choshu (a dissentient han which not only favoured the resumption of uchi harai but had put it into practice in 1863–4) and Satsuma (up to this time a loyal supporter of the shogun). Chapter 7 considers how contact with the outside world through missions sent abroad convinced the Japanese of the strength of the western powers.

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