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When faced with the question of precisely what percentages of what sorts of people were literate, historians do not give a precise answer. The data simply is not conclusive. The best we can do is point to figures that may serve as broad indicators of the dimensions of literacy. Among samurai, who made up 6 to 7 percent of the population, literacy was almost universal and generally of a very high level. The degree of learning varied, however, according to rank, office, and wealth. There are accounts of illiterate samurai, especially later in the Tokugawa period. These cases occurred among the lowest, most impoverished ranks. Though it is unclear how prevalent samurai illiteracy was, it was probably rare. It was certainly the source of great shame for the unlettered individual and his family.

Although they might not look as propagandistic and problematic as Western-style War Campaign Record Painting such as Miyamoto’s The Meeting of General Yamashita and General Percival, which I described at the beginning of this article, wartime Japanese-style paintings nevertheless ideologically supported the state. The seemingly obscure link between art and politics in the case of Japanese-style painting can be clarified and most productively understood through the concept of fascism rather than, for example, militarism (which only refers to a governing system and military violence) or cultural nationalism, which does not acknowledge the degree to which wartime Japan’s concerns centered on modernity.


Japanese History Essay - 87,000+ Free Term Papers and Essays

Japan has very strong and unique cultural customs that have not changed over time (Japan)....

Asato Ikeda is an Assistant Professor of non-Western Art at Fordham University. She co-edited Art and War in Japan and its Empire: 1931-1960 (Brill, 2012), the first English-language book on Japanese art produced during the Second World War, and is writing a monograph tentatively titled Envisioning Japan: Japanese Art of the Second World War.


Essays on Japan is a compilation of Professor Michael F

When I think of the spirit of Japanese-style painting, I think of planes and modern weapons. When we think of the plane as the most representative form of modern beauty, it strikes me that it is born out of highly developed technology but it also has the beauty of symmetry and simplicity in form. Superior beauty refers to formal simplification that removes unnecessary parts for the sake of pure art. I feel that we have to make use of commonality between the artist’s sublime intuition and modern scientific principle in New Japanese-style Painting. The greatness of art by Sōtatsu, Kōrin, Sanraku, Eitoku lies in their expressions of strict simplification that pursue truth of nature…We must learn from classical art (koten).

Tea in Japan: Essays on the History of Chanoyu

The popular image of the occupation, at least in the United States, has generally been very positive. In that view, MacArthur and his forces benevolently led the transformation of a former enemy into a modern, peaceful democracy. Skeptics argue that the role of the occupiers has been exaggerated. They say that SCAP’s reforms were only successful because they built on existing trends in Japan. Some in Japan (especially those on the political left) take a much more negative view. They assert that the occupation betrayed the Japanese people. The Americans promised thoroughgoing reform and true freedom. But SCAP compromised its ideals in the “reverse course.” According to this view, the occupation bolstered the conservative status quo in Japan. By not trying the emperor as a war criminal, by backtracking on labor and antitrust policy, and by working to rehabilitate Japan as a Cold War ally, the occupation confirmed existing power relationships in Japan. Whether or not one believes that the occupiers delivered on their promise of democratization, MacArthur and the SCAP staff clearly had a profound role in establishing the foundations of postwar Japan’s social stability, democratic political institutions, and dynamic capitalist economy.

Japanese history 16th century | Accurate Essays

Later, beyond their geographical conditions being a reason for their extreme isolation, the Tokugawa Shogunate in the 1600s consciously “took decisive measures to expel Europeans from the country.” The Tokugawa Shogunate was the feudal military government whose shoguns acted as the de facto rulers of Japan under the powerless Emperor (who essentially acted as the figurehead of Japan.) The Tokugawa Shogunate would control Japan for a period of two-hundred years.