A History of Japan, 1582-1941: Internal and External Worlds by L. M. Cullen

By L. M. Cullen

Providing a particular assessment of the pressures chargeable for the emergence of recent Japan, Louis Cullen rejects the conventional limitations of jap historiography and combines monetary, social, and political methods to create a robust research. Cullen reports the japanese event of enlargement, social transition, commercial development, financial trouble and battle, to provide an island kingdom that could be a turning out to be commercial energy with little belief of its all over the world context.

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There has been an overemphasis on the significance of Will Adams (1564–1620), the Englishman who had been second in command of the Dutch fleet which arrived in 1600, and who is sometimes presented as Ieyasu’s man of business. 25 Trade presented many problems. 26 The small Japanese communities abroad were to be found only in far-afield areas such as Siam. 28 This was far short of the size of Chinese communities in Japan or elsewhere. All foreigners raised security issues, none, however, as acutely as the Spanish.

Despite the rather artificially contrived campaigns mounted by militarists against individuals, the press itself remained independent, as did teaching except during bouts of factionalism among academic rivals in the state universities (though not in the private universities) when militaristic views served as the dividing line between friend and foe. Japanese history poses greater problems of interpretation than the history of other countries both because it was influenced by the political imperatives of legitimacy (in support of orthodox political institutions in the 1890s and of an effort in the 1930s by militarists to ‘reform’ them), and because both Marxists in the Japanese universities in the 1930s and, in the wake of the Allied Occupation in 1945, western historians, mainly though not exclusively American, were anxious to find historical evidence of dissent from authority, as proof of traditions to support democracy against authoritarian government in the 1930s or to underpin post-1945 Occupation-imposed institutions.

A figure of 100,000 koku would be an impossible scale for three vessels of the period combined. A figure of 10,000 koku – 1,425 tons, or an average of 475 tons per vessel – is, on the other hand, perfectly credible. Japan and its Chinese and European worlds, 1582–1689 25 The story of trade relations on either side of 1600 has to be related to the recent growth – or, more accurately, restoration – of central authority in Japan. 12 To the north of his own power centre in Osaka, Hideyoshi as regent entrusted land and authority to his own foremost lieutenant, Tokugawa Ieyasu, who in turn took over the reins of authority on Toyotomi’s death in 1598.

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