Political unification in Japan from the 17th through the 19th centuries was due to Tokugawa Ieyasu and the Tokugawa shogunate. They set up a bafuku a militarily run government, that enabled them to prevent rebellion. In addition, the Tokugawa shogunate was careful in its dealings with ruling elites such as daimyos and samurais. They made sure to exercise control over daimyos by making them spend time in the Japanese court so that the shoguns could keep an eye on them. Also, the Tokugawa shogunate made a clear mission to reduce the amount of samurais, professional warriors, in the realm to prevent uprisings.
They encouraged samurais to break the chivalry code of bushido by urging them to become bureaucrats and scholars. By keeping control over the daimyos and limiting the effects of the samurai, the Tokugawa shogunate was able to keep its realm unified and under control for about 267 years. The shogunate was also very prudent about its dealings with foreigners, which led to the isolation of Japan during their reign.
Japan dealt only a little with foreigners, and all dealings were heavily supervised. Overall, the shogunate’s control over daimyos and samurais in addition to its prudence with foreign relations allowed it to unify Japan for a long period of time.
The Chinese and Japanese imperial systems were very similar. Both managed to gain political control over their region and hold that control for centuries. They also both tightly restricted communications with foreigners and helped to stimulate the economy. As a result of the stimulation of the economy, merchants and artisans rose in social status in both China and Japan. In addition, both the Chinese government and Japanese government promoted neo Confucianism. Although they were extremely similar, there were a few differences. For starters, Japan was never unified before the Tokugawa shogunate, while China was with the Ming dynasty and other dynasties in the past. Also, most of the Chinese political leaders and advisors were people who passed the civil service exam and were hired, while in Japan, leaders ruled as shoguns and descendants of Tokugawa Ieyasu. The Chinese imperial system was also more of a traditional, centralized system, while the Japanese imperial system was militarily run and involved controlling the samurai and the daimyo, two members of Japanese society that were not present in Chinese society. Overall, both governments shared some similarities, but were run differently.