The Importance Of Westernization In Japan

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According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan who conducted a 2012 survey on the Image of Japan in 2012, 97% of those who took it said that Japan was seen as a country of great traditions and culture. Japan is indeed a country deeply rooted in its traditions which can be seen in its structures and festivals, including of which its view on women. Although many changes have occurred regarding women’s rights with the rise of feminism in the past years, many still consider Japan to be a highly patriarchal society where mainly men dominate in all aspects of life, except for matters concerning the household. This view on women can be traced deep into the Japanese history. And yet, despite this, from observing the different royal portraits…show more content…
During the late 19th century, to be counted as “high society” was synonymous with being seen as “highly Westernized”. “The new government saw westernization as a key element in modernization. Westernization would make Japan stronger, better able to compete with the western powers, and perhaps even match them or surpass them.” The imperial family put this out to serve as an example and role model for their people. “The emperor and his family were presented as symbols of the nation’s progressive “Westernization” and…show more content…
“Within this hierarchical system, samurai (warriors) occupied the highest rank; hyakusha (farmers) the second rank; shokunin (artisans) the third; and shanin (merchants) the lowest rank.” The rigid lines separating the classes forced each group to develop their own ways of life and each group, especially the common people, were to follow and adopt to the samurai-centered norms. In this feudal system, there was no place for women outside of the family. “Confucianism, in particular, was accepted by the samurai class as providing an adequate basis for both ideal and practical norms; its teachings were thus highly valued by all the samurai. It was the norm requiring the segregation of boys from girls, with the idea of the superiority of men and the inferiority of women, that was elaborated into a doctrine and a philosophy of life.” While Confucianism was widespread in the upper class, the norm of a separate line between men and women was then spread unto the lower class. It was more of the upper class than the lower classes that strictly followed this distinction between men and

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