ChAPTER 32 -- Part 9: Russia and Japan: Industrialization
Keeping the early phases of Japanese industrialization in perspective is important.
Japan was not equal to the West before World War I.
For industrial purposes, Japan depended on imports of Western equipment and raw materials.
Although economic growth and careful government policy allowed Japan to avoid Western domination, it was often at a disadvantage due to being dependent on world economic conditions.
In order to pay for machine and resource imports, it needed exports to pay for hordes of low-paid workers.
The bulk of the silk was destined for Western markets.
The labor of poorly paid women who worked at home or in sweatshops made up most of the production.
The women were sold by farm families.
Efforts at labor organization were met with vigorous suppression.
The industrial revolution and wider extensions of manufacturing and commercial agriculture, along with political change, had significant ramifications within Japanese culture and society.
The changes helped create a more aggressive foreign policy.
The death rates were reduced by better nutrition and new medical provisions.
Steady population growth strained Japanese resources and ensured a constant supply of low-cost labor, but it also ensured a constant supply of low-cost labor.
Japan's class tensions were caused by this.
A universal education system was introduced by the Japanese government.
Science and technical subjects were emphasized in this education along with political loyalty to the nation and emperor.
Many Japanese students went abroad to study technical subjects in other countries after taking empha sized science courses at the university level.
Japanese insistence on distinctive values was revealed by education.
After a period of reform in the 1870s, when hundreds of Western teachers were imported and a Rutgers University professor was brought in for high-level advice, the emperor and conservative advisors stepped back.
This was the time when reformers like Fukuzawa Yukichi began to tone down their rhetoric.
individualism and innovation had gone too far.
The use of foreign books on morality was banned, and government inspection of textbooks was intended to promote social order.
As part of the effort to become modern, many Japanese copied Western fashions.
The samurai shaved their head with a topknot, an example of the Westernization of hair in world history.
The Japanese became enthusiastic toothbrushers and consumers of patent medicines as Western standards of hygiene spread.
The metric system was adopted by Japan.
Despite popular cultural fads, the Japanese managed to maintain an emphasis on their own values.
What the Japanese wanted from the West was practical techniques, and they intended to give them a Japanese spirit.
The barbarians looked upon The glory of the Eastern Empire of Japan.
Western enthusiasms were not meant to destroy the Japanese spirit.
Traditional emphases were retained in Japanese family life.
The birth rate went down as more people left the land.
The rise of factory industry made children's labor less useful.
This trend was developed earlier in the West.
The divorce rate exploded until legal changes made procedures more difficult.
The Japanese wanted to maintain the superiority of women in the home.
They were offended by the position of Western women.
The more open and boisterous behavior of Americans contrasted with the standards of Japanese courtesy.
The customs of the United States are "obscenity" according to a samurai visitor.
Japanese religious values were also preserved.
Shintoism won new interest because it appealed to the new nationalist concern with Japan's distinctive mission and the religious functions of the emperor.
There were other themes in the situation of Japanese women.
In Japan and Russia, women were used in the early factory labor force because of their low wages, which were an advantage in global markets.
As part of its new commitment to mass education, the government provided schooling for girls.
In Russia, many upper-class women had opportunities for high education in secondary schools or separate universities.
The tension they encountered, between assumptions that women should play subservient and domestic roles and the excitement of new educational opportunities, was not entirely different from current conditions in Russia or the West.
Outright feminism was not as common as in western or eastern Europe.
Rapid economic change made traditionalism impossible.