Modern Japan and Meiji Restoration The Japanese did not treat Meiji restoration differently since they thought historical injustices would still be repeated. The Japan people believed that Meiji just signified reshuffling of power and that much could not be done since the samurai class would still enjoy privileges as before (Goto-Jones 42-46). The samurai class took themselves ethnocentric thus culminating the public with the ethnocentrism idea. Japan people were very pessimistic and they did not expect much from the Meiji regime.
The Meiji Restoration had a huge responsibility of convincing the public that they had purely different ideology of transforming Japan’s political, social, and economic systems. The Charter Oath, which was promulgated made very democratic and great pledges that would see Japan people being involved in decision making regardless of their social status as well as embracing the natural law of nature. This was a very important step made by the Meiji in transforming Japan people and putting them ready for new improved Japan (Goto-Jones 42-46).
Privileges introduced were absolutely different and were meant to propel Japan into a civilized system of governance. Meiji Restoration was driven by the need to create a very powerful nation with strong political structures that could not be humiliated by the Western powers simply because their system of governance was exotic compared to the Westerners’. The new administration wanted the Western powers to respect Japan and treat them as equal partners and as a way of reducing humiliation brought about by unequal treaties. Influence on demands of foreign powers was imminent in Japan and therefore it was significant for japan to institute strong legal and political system (Goto-Jones 42-46).
Indeed, the new government fought tirelessly to stop cultural imperialism that was imposed by the Western powers and in the end, treaties were renegotiated after riots and protests in Japan. Japan now had a formal constitution that governed them and there was evidence of imperial power in Japan. They even managed to organize a civilized military power, which was used in defeating powerful China (Goto-Jones 42-46).
Generally, the reforms in Japan during Meiji Restoration were as a result of both domestic and international pressures. The regime was pressurized to form their own state because of the powerful foreign forces, which they were not pleased with. Yes, there was need to remain an independent state and this was even part of the Tokugawa project. Traditional Japanese injustices and the need to be civilized and equal to the West was the main greatly drove the Meiji restoration to form a state that would address all the forms of injustices and democratic issues (Goto-Jones 42-46).
Leadership and governance of Japan was no longer left in the hands of a few individuals from Satsuma, Choˆshuˆ, Tosa, and Hizen. The regime provided a new focus of national worship by building a national shrine in Tokyo thus creating sense of oneness and nationalism as well as sharing a national religious icon that legitimized the new regime (Goto-Jones 42-46). There was need of bringing people together and therefore, the national religious symbol remained an important factor in bringing unity. Meiji regime did commendable job in enhancing patriotism and nationalism, which was very important in beating traditional divisions amongst the Japanese prior Meiji Restoration.
Goto-Jones, Christopher S. .Modern Japan: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.