The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization Chapter 4 - The East Remains Dominant: the twin myths of oriental despotism and isolationism in India , South-east Asia and Japan , 1400-1800 Class: Periwinkle Central and South Asia John Estrella Alexis Feliciano Kate Heaney
The East over the West, 1200-1800 Proof that the East was ahead of Europe in economics, trading, and standard of living
The myth of Japanese oriental despotism and isolationism: Japan as an ‘early developer’, 1600-1868 Even though Eurocentrics portray Japan as a backwards country, Japanese economic growth rates that were experienced in the post-1868 Meiji period exceeded those of almost all the European economies. Much of the relative ease of the Meiji achievement is now attributed to the start which that the Tokugawa gave it.
How it all really began in Japan: economic dynamism in the Tokugawa era, 1603-1868
Tokugawa enjoyed per capita income growth
Japanese enjoyed high living standards
Significant growth rate in agricultural production
The Tokugawa state sought to undermine the power of the samurai
Castle towns caused rapid development & rapid commercialization
Advancement of Industry
Fishing, textiles, paper making, sake & soy sauce brewing, iron & other metalworking, agricultural and marine product processing
Japanese Industry: Goods & Professions Textiles Fishing Iron & Metalworking Soy Sauce
The myth of Japanese isolationism: the post-1639 continuation of foreign trade
Myth: Japan withdrew and became isolated from international trade
The policy of Sakoku taken too literally
State sought to regulate foreign trade
Tokugawa fundamentally committed to maintaining trade
Eradicate influence of Catholic Christian ideas
Japan’s desire to counter the dominance of Chinese rather than Western merchants
Eurocentric ideas have influenced many viewpoints and attitudes of nations & historical events, but through the strong verifications presented, one can see that the East was more dominant & independent than it was accredited for.
Of course, Eurocentrism is one point of view ; this source is still one point of view as well…
Looking at the world through one perspective leads to subjective views and claims.
In order to learn about the world as a whole, you must see the world as a whole.