The Fall of Japan Imperial Nation And Mobilization in Japan

“The fall of Imperial Japan struck us like a thunderbolt from the suddenly darkened sky.” The fall of Japan, imperial nation happened so quickly and was seen as unexpected., and a majority of its people were drowned by their patriotism and were oblivious to the potential downfall of their country. Japan’s desire to become a global power of the East deprived its people of their own judgment creating a division between itself and other nations. What seemed to be an opportunity to better Japan with Westernization and Imperialism soon led to a fall in Japan’s empire.

Japan’s strategies implicated to ensure supremacy and imperialist nations destroyed cultures within its nation and brainwashed its people.

The Japanese failed and succeed in convincing its colonial population as the reason for its fighting. Although its people fought for it, many were not persuaded with the ideology of imperializing these nations. Some people saw through Japan’s yellow journalism and tactics to discover the tyranny placed on other non-Japanese like the Okinawans, Taiwanese, and Koreans.

These drifts directed a split domestically and internationally causing failure to become a plausible future for Japan. Japan’s smitten love for becoming a dominating nation blinded its people to believe Japan was doing this for the better while also spreading division not only to itself from other nations, but also amongst its people and other cultures.

From the beginning of the Meiji Period, Japan’s leaders prioritized preserving stability and order within Japan while also maintaining national sovereignty abroad.

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Within the text of “On the Korea Question” for Japan to achieve sovereignty abroad, they believed the best way was to civilize and westernize Japan without harming the throne. After the Iwakura Mission which involved Japan sending groups of young men on a two-year study missions to look closely at infrastructure, military system, hospitals, and education of the West, Japan was greatly amazed by the western wealth and power. They presumed that by moving in the direction of a constitutional system that would ensure successful westernization. With a national educational system, large-scale factories and industrialization, and the development of a modern military system, Japan believed that it would ensure them to be the champions of the East. Japan sought out strategic locations for economic expansion like Taiwan for its agriculture, Korea for its industrialization, and Manchukuo for its industrialization and migration.

In the First Sino-Japanese War against China, the war developed over Korea and its natural resources of coal and iron, and with Japan’s victory, it emerged as an eastern power and China demonstrated weakness. It became a war between Japan’s modernization and China’s corruption. Amongst the Japanese citizens, they had a hatred for war and did not wish for it. Within “Iriye l Imperialism”, it discusses that if Japan would have not obtained tangible materials, the public opinion would possibly oppose to their military action. The Foreign Minister, Mutsu Munemitsu, also justified Japanese actions as being in the interest of civilization. During the Japanese war experience, people who lived through these traumatic events desired to banish these memories. Although most buried the memories of war deep inside and did not speak about the events during the war, a majority of people kept photographs, items, and belongings of the deceased.

Ten years after the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95, Japan defeated the Czarist Russia in the Russo-Japanese War and gained Liaotung Peninsula at the south end of Manchuria along with the railroad rights for all of Manchuria. During the Russo-Japanese War, the men of the family fought proudly for Japan even if their beliefs went against Japan’s. As the men in Manchuria would go off, many females held so much patriotism for Japan; they felt obligated to fight for their nation. With a high demand for nurses, a majority of the women felt as if it was their duty to represent Japan, most were not mentally ready. In the text “Kuramoto”, a young girl from Manchuria is blinded by her great pride for Japan and enrolls in the Red Cross. She soon discovers that although she believes she is a true Japanese, others would find it debatable; however, she is not discouraged and continues to show pride towards Japan. It can be seen as rather ironic that many people who fight for Japan are not treated as Japanese citizens, yet some show an unconditional love for Japan. A majority of people in Japan were so centered around the idea of Japan growing as a country during the war that forgot the idea of life after the war. Japan convinced it’s people that war and showing patriotism were the top priorities during these times.

As Japan was imperializing nations, it forced assimilation amongst other cultures and countries like Koreans, Okinawans, and the Ainu people. Japan forced all Koreans to take Japanese names and educate their children in Japanese; Japan attempted to cover over Korea culture and language while making Koreans feel inferior to them. Koreans were typically hired as maids, babysitters, and servants. Although in-house maids were sometimes treated like family, some were abused by upper-class Japanese women. Within schools, Koreans were blended with Japanese pupils to be barely recognizable as “Koreans” and were seen as even more Japanese than actual Japanese. Forcing other cultures to assimilate into Japan’s showed Japan’s fear for their own culture to disappear and become assimilated into other cultures. Unsure of what to do Japan forces their traditions and values that define their community on people like the Koreans. Although it may be seen as a preservation of one’s nation, it gradually diminishes the importance of another culture.

Once Japan lost the war, realization filled Japanese citizens, and most were furious, betrayed, and in disbelief. Japan built all these ideas and filled people’s head with these unrealistic concepts that made most people’s lives for the worse. Many Japanese citizens look back on the wars as something they wished never happened. “If that war hadn’t happened, all my friends would have led peaceful lives with their children and grandchildren.” Although Japan viewed imperialism, modernization, and westernization as a betterment for its country, it leads to the unexpected downfall that divided its people from other cultures and itself from other countries, and its desire to become an eastern power caused trauma amongst its people. In the end, the question for Japan becomes, “Was it worth it?”.

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The Fall of Japan Imperial Nation And Mobilization in Japan. (2022, Apr 20). Retrieved from

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