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Japanese Cultural Changes Due to Globalization and Americanization

This includes a brief history of Japan and how its culture has been affected by globalization and Americanization.

For Hundreds of years, Japan had laid dormant, in a sort of sleep. It wasn’t until the 1880’s that it emerged from this sleep to become a world super power. Japan’s dormancy had not been accidental. Feudal shoguns cut Japan off from the outside world to avoid war and change. In the 1880′a Japan was still using sword and bows to fight and were very far beind most countries in development. Commander Matthew Perry was ordered to force Japan to open its doors to the world because of its trade significance. Perry led 4 of battle ships into the Japanese harbor and enforced their new law. Japanese locals were dumbfounded by the ships, describing them as “Big Black Dragons” because of their color and the smoke coming from them (the ships were coal burning). This day changed Japan forever. Japan’s incredibly quick climb through its manufacturing revolution made it a major player in the world economic system. Japan had caught up to the rest of the world after only a few decades.

It wasn’t until the mid 1900’s that Japan first exposed its taste for imperialism. Japan attacked and conquered many Pacific Islands which they added to their growing empire. After the Pearl Harbor attack and the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, the victorious Americans landed on the Japanese beaches. They expected to face a society of fanatical emperor-worshipers, but instead were greated by women yelling “Yoo-hoo” from windows at the passing soldiers and men who asked them what the almighty conquerors wished. The American soldiers were completely baffled to find that Japan was not as fanatical as everyone thought. Japanese Children were affected by American soldiers to a great extent. “Hello,” “Jeep,” and “Give me chocolate,” were some of the first English words the children learned. In Japanese society, fathers would not speak with their sons. That was the mother’s job to do that. Children flocked to American soldiers because they were kind and would talk to them. The Feudal system that was predominant during the war was ended.

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