Japan is now Japan

I left my dorm room this after noon and realized how it was beginning to feel a lot like spring.

Gentle sun

snow melting

spring is coming

I still need to upload picture

The period of change under the transcendental order was one of, if not the biggest change in Japan’s culture and society to date.  Due to Japan shutting down its ports in recent years they had become an isolationist country.  Now, however, Americans were forcing their way into the country, bringing with them the modernized world.  This forced entry by the United States left Japan with one option, adapt or be colonized.  Japan naturally chose the former.  In order to adapt, Japan needed to move away from the narrow vision of here and now and broaden their gaze to the entire country; they needed a national identity.  One way that Japan began to nationalize was the “Cloud Scraper” building.  The building was, “designed to be a showcase of world space, the tower introduced the Japanese masses to a larger, international context” (Inouye 109).  The building allowed the Japanese to purchase goods from across the world and view the surrounding area in an all-at-once style as opposed to the previous one thing at a time style.  Another, more drastic, movement of nationalization was the involvement of the emperor.  He began to make public appearances and, “Upon seeing him in the flesh, they were able to identify him as their leader, a point of commonality” (Inouye 111).  This drastic change from invisibly to the public eye gave Japan a central point of government and nation.  With Japan’s nationalization also came their need to be legitimized and understood by the large countries of the world.  Nitobe Inazo’s Bushido is a prime example of this need to be noticed.  The book was written in English as a way to explain to the outside world who the Japanese were.  However, when viewed more critically we see that Inazo refers to Western thinkers and rulers very often to explain Japanese concepts.  This was undoubtedly done to make the concepts more easily understood, but it also has a tone of “see we’re like the French, and we’re like the Spartans.”  Inazo seems to be making the point that the Japanese are just as worthy of respect as the Western world and should be treated that way.  Regardless of whether Inazo’s teachings were immediately grasped Japan was now Japan, a nationalized country like it had never been before.

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