15-Aug-15 World View -- Japan's Shinzo Abe blames WW II on the Smoot-Hawley Tariff act

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John
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15-Aug-15 World View -- Japan's Shinzo Abe blames WW II on the Smoot-Hawley Tariff act

Postby John » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:18 pm

15-Aug-15 World View -- Japan's Shinzo Abe blames WW II on the Smoot-Hawley Tariff act

Brief generational history of Japan

** 15-Aug-15 World View -- Japan's Shinzo Abe blames WW II on the Smoot-Hawley Tariff act
** http://www.generationaldynamics.com/pg/xct.gd.e150815.htm#e150815




Contents:
Japan's Shinzo Abe blames WW II on the Smoot-Hawley Tariff act
Brief generational history of Japan


Keys:
Generational Dynamics, Japan, Shinzo Abe, Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act,
Manchurian Inciden, Mukden Incident, Manchuria,
Edo, Tokyo, Commander Matthew Perry, Meiji Restoration,
Britain, France, Taiwan, Korea, Russia

Derek
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Re: 15-Aug-15 World View -- Japan's Shinzo Abe blames WW II on the Smoot-Hawley Tariff act

Postby Derek » Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:12 pm

Thanks for this article.

I have a question about the Edo period in Japan as it relates to Generational Dynamics. Does this period, covering 1603 to 1868 and reported to be peaceful in its entirety, mean that Japan did not experience any crisis wars for over 250 years? Is there any chance the history is not accurate in this regard?

If this period was indeed peaceful, how does Generational Dynamics theory accommodate it?

(This topic came up a few months ago for me, when I was introducing Generational Dynamics to someone who has studied conflict for most of his professional career. This person talked about the Edo period as a contrary example to the theory. I'd particularly like to know how to answer this question in future discussions.)

Thanks in advance!

John
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Re: 15-Aug-15 World View -- Japan's Shinzo Abe blames WW II on the Smoot-Hawley Tariff act

Postby John » Mon Aug 17, 2015 10:33 am

I've never looked much at Japan's history prior to 1853, so I did a
little research this morning. There's very little information
available on the Edo period, except for pretty worthless summaries,
like "1603 to 1868 was very peaceful."

On the other hand, there are vague references to "peasant revolts"
during this period. However, when you try to get information
on these peasant revolts, there are many links, and almost every
one of them is behind a paywall.

Apparently there's an ideological debate as to the nature of the
peasant revolts during the Edo period, but information on what
happened is pretty much hidden away.

One article on the Edo period is at
http://www.history.com/topics/meiji-restoration

Here are some very brief excerpts:

> To guard against external influence, they also worked to close off
> Japanese society from Westernizing influences, particularly
> Christianity. ...

> Suspicious of foreign intervention and colonialism, the Tokugawa
> regime acted to exclude missionaries and eventually issued a
> complete ban on Christianity in Japan. Near the beginning of the
> Tokugawa period, there were an estimated 300,000 Christians in
> Japan; after the shogunate’s brutal repression of a Christian
> rebellion on the Shimabara Peninsula in 1637-38, Christianity was
> forced underground. The dominant faith of the Tokugawa period was
> Confucianism, a relatively conservative religion with a strong
> emphasis on loyalty and duty. ...

> For their part, peasants (who made up 80 percent of the Japanese
> population) were forbidden from engaging in non-agricultural
> activities, thus ensuring consistent income for landowning
> authorities. ...

> The Genroku era (1688-1704) in particular saw the rise of Kabuki
> theater and Bunraku puppet theater, literature (especially Matsuo
> Bosho, the master of haiku) and woodblock printing.


So here's what we can infer from these brief excerpts:

  • The crisis war climax was in 1600.
  • There were Christian anti-government revolts in 1637-38, towards
    the end of the Awakening era.
  • Genroku era (1688-1704) was another Awakening era, based
    on the growth in the arts.
  • Working backwards, there must have been a crisis war in the 1660s,
    probably putting down the Christians once and for all.

This is fairly speculative, but there's just no open source
available that I could find.

Here's a paragraph from another document:

https://webspace.yale.edu/wwkelly/pubs- ... y_21-3.pdf

> For the past three decades Japan has experienced a prolonged
> "history boom" — a burgeoning of academic research and media
> attention to the nation's past.

> One considerable benefit to scholarship of this often partisan and
> sometimes frivolous boom has been a widespread search for primary
> documents, their accessioning in public archives, and their
> publication as document collections and in local and perfectural
> history series. For several reasons, much of this new material has
> concerned social and economic conditions in the Tokugawa
> centuries, 1600-1868. Japanese historians, themselves the
> collectors and annotators, quickly exploited these records,
> diaries, and other public and private documents to renew debates
> about the nature and significance of commoner protest during those
> centuries. Western historians, however, wary of the polemics and
> unfamiliar with the sources, are only now beginning to deal
> confidently with these primary materials and secondary
> scholarship.


So the situation is that there were definitely peasant uprisings
during the Edo period, but it's impossible to do a complete
generational analysis, because almost no open source information
is available.

If you want to do your own research, the last document quoted
above is a review of two books:

  • Peasant Protest in Japan, 1590-1884. By Herbert P. Bix (New Haven:
    Yale University Press, 1986. xxxix plus 296 pp.).
  • Peasant Protests and Uprisings in Tokugawa Japan. By Stephen
    Vlastos (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press,
    1986. xii plus 184 pp. $20.00).

If you want to do your own research, and if your purchase these two
books, you might have enough information to do a complete generational
analysis of the Edo period. If you do that, then please post your
findings here.

jmm1184
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Re: 15-Aug-15 World View -- Japan's Shinzo Abe blames WW II on the Smoot-Hawley Tariff act

Postby jmm1184 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:12 am

Last year I read "A History of Japan" revised edition by R.H.P. Mason & J.G. Caiger. If you want a relatively quick but excellent summary of Japanese history, I highly recommend it.

Unfortunately, there wasn't a whole lot of political history (including the peasant revolts) in its discussion of the Edo Period, though there is a lot of interesting information on the cultural, economic and intellectual changes that Japan underwent during that time.

Anyways, the brief reading of book left me with the impression that the battle of sekigahara was NOT a crisis war climax, but that instead Japan's previous crisis war had been the initial unification of Japan under Lord Nobunaga from 1560 - 1582. I need to study this period in more detail to be sure, but my cursory reading gave me the impression that it was a chaotic time with several different armies fighting brutal wars (crisis wars?) with each other, particularly over peasant vs. landlord, warlord vs. monk faultlines, with Nobunaga succeeding in uniting them. He was succeeded by Hideyoshi, who is most famous for his disastrous and brutal war against Korea - interestingly, he had ambitions to conquer China, which perhaps was unrealistic (though it fell to the Manchus, barbarian nomads from the north, so who knows). When Hideyoshi died, there was a power struggle that ended in the battle of Sekigahara, with Shogun Ieyasu coming out on top. The next twenty years or so are him largely consolidating his rule.

You mention the Shimabara rebellion as a possible awakening climax, but based on descriptions of the rebellion I actually think it was a short but brutal crisis war. Christianity was nearly annihilated during this rebellion, with hundreds of thousands killed or forced to convert, with some choosing to practice it secretly. The rebellion also resulted in Japan choosing to completely isolate itself from the rest of the world; before this rebellion it was largely ambivalent and had open trade with China and Europe. In short, the rebellion appears to have been a genocidal crisis war that annihilated Christianity in Japan, as well as ending decisively any question of whether Japan would stay united.

The timing of this also makes sense, if the Unification of Japan under Nobunaga & Hideyoshi was accomplished in 1582, and the Shimabara Rebellion began in 1637, then that means 55 years had passed between a crisis war climax and a regeneracy, which is quite feasible, if early.

I say this with the caveat that this was from a relatively quick read of a broad summary of Japanese history, and thus I have not studied this era in great enough detail to say for sure. I will post any findings about the Unification and Edo eras when I am able, though that may take several months.

John
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Re: 15-Aug-15 World View -- Japan's Shinzo Abe blames WW II on the Smoot-Hawley Tariff act

Postby John » Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:25 am

There's also another issue. Prior to 1600, there were numerous wars
between warlords, and those wars would have been on different
timelines. It usually takes a century or so for timelines to merge,
so there may have been more than one crisis war in the 1600s in
different parts of Japan.

jmm1184
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Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:02 pm

Re: 15-Aug-15 World View -- Japan's Shinzo Abe blames WW II on the Smoot-Hawley Tariff act

Postby jmm1184 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:13 pm

That's a good point. I have wondered if the differing timelines translated into different peasant revolts taking place at different times, similar to the warlord era when wars took place almost constantly, but crisis wars occurred at different times. This would have prevented a japan-wide peasant revolt during the Tokugawa period, with instead the revolts being localized and thus small-scale (compared to the rest of Japan).

I did some quick skimming of wikipedia on the subject, and found something intriguing. I was looking for candidates for the crisis war that preceeded the Meiji Restoration wars, and found that a very severe famine afflicted all of Japan from 1782-1788, which would be about the right time for the crisis war, being almost exactly 80 years before the Meiji Restoration.

Famines have always intrigued me when it comes to generational dynamics. While they don't in and of themselves exhibit genocidal violence, their impact on the population has an even greater Malthusian correcting influence that do wars, which even when brutal only kill off a small percentage of the population. So perhaps, especially if the famine caused several localized revolts to take place at the same time, the famine of 1782-1788 crisis war that occurred before the Meiji Restoration.


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