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Choshu in the Meiji Restoration

In 1853 Commodore Perry arrived in Japan, and so Japan became open to Western trade. He found Japan to be a country of sword-bearing samurai, castle towns, Confucian academies, peasant villages, rice paddies, merchants, bath houses and Kabuki. In the following 15 years Japan moved towards becoming the only non-Western nation of the 19th century to have a modernized centralized bureaucratic state and industrial economy. This text looks at the state of Choshu, in Japan, and how it changed in the years between 1853 and 1868. The author emphasizes the vitality of traditional values in Japan's early reaction to the West, and looks at the contribution of the old society to the formation of the new Meiji state.
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Table of Contents

Part 1 Background: The Anatomy of a Han Chapter 2 Introduction Chapter 3 Choshu and the Tokugawa Policy Chapter 4 Choshu's Finances and the Tokugawa Economy Chapter 5 Choshu and the Tempo Reform Chapter 6 The Early Stage of Bakumatsu Politics, 1853-1861 Chapter 7 The Background of Ideas in Choshu Part 8 The Restoration Movement Chapter 9 The Rise of Choshu in National Politics, 1861-1863 Chapter 10 The Decline of the Choshu Sonno Joi Movement, 1863-1864 Chapter 11 The Choshu Civil War Chapter 12 The March to Power Chapter 13 Conclusion

About the Author

Albert M. Craig is Harvard Yenching Research Professor of History at Harvard University. He is the author, with others, of The Heritage of World Civilization (1999), Personality in Japanese History (1995), and East Asia: Tradition and Transformation (1989).

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