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HIST 3760A Modern Japan- Arrival of Foreign Powers at Japan's "Closed" Door

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HIST 3760
Joshua Fogel

1thMonday November 28 2011HIST 3760AARRIVAL OF FOREIGN POWERS AT JAPANS CLOSED DOORHistoriography we can look at the same event in history and come to different understandings how can that be There are different interpretations of events in history The same two people approach to the same set of documents and come to different conclusions because they bring different backgrounds and read the information differentlyoWe try to avoid biases but many people put together elaborate theories about what happened in historyoPeople try to figure out how one piece goes with another explainingJapan Sakoku reexaminedOnly 4 nations were capable of sailing around the world to Japan Spanish Portuguese Dutch BritishThe reason for the illusion that Japan is in isolation was because of the Dutch navy In order to maintain its control on trade they shut out these powers They forced others to stay away that the Dutch would have the area to themselvesoThe Dutch sank many ships they drove many other nations away not the Chinese they were too powerfuloFrom 1620s onward the Dutch prevented the Chinese from doing business with the JapaneseThe Bakufu couldnt tell one from another when foreigners were coming in but they were fed up with these foreigners They had to fire at all of them to keep them out However that might not work well with future relations with Dutch because some of these ships may be DutchIn 1825 Seishisai wrote his book New ThesesoJi means to drive out barbarians close the doors to anybodywesterners that want to come in This becomes a national policyoSeishisais book becomes very influentialoIn 1825 the expulsion of the dont think twice just shoot policy was not irrational Armed expulsion was in the capacity of the BakufuoWhalers couldnt fight back keeping them out was easyChinese vessels were making ships to Japan as well as the Dutch ships They have contacts throughout their empire in Southeast Asia Nagasaki being deprived of news
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