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    Hey everyone Was my first day back after AS exams today and we've been told to think of some topics for our personal study in A2.

    I'm really interested in 19th century japanese history; especially the meiji restoration and the satsuma rebellion. Is anyone else thinking of doing this, or done it in the past?

    What type of question could you make for yourself regarding these topics? Thanks ^^
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    Hey - I did the Meiji Restoration for this (Edexcel Unit 4), my question being whether it was a turning point in Japan's socioeconomic development (so looking at the weakening of the samurai and merchant classes, changes to the educational system, development of railways). How much do you know about Japanese history so far? I have a ton of books, both general and specific to C19, that I can recommend.
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    Hi rkd! I don't really know alot so far to be honest, I just thought it would be extremely interesting Thanks for the help so far, sounds good ^^ Could you recommend any books?
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    Japanese history books I own:
    A History of Modern Japan, Richard Storry (goes from about 660 BC to the 1990s, but not massively long)
    A Short Economic History of Modern Japan, G C Allen (only the first couple of chapters are C19)
    A Concise History of East Asia, CP Fitzgerald (a touch broad)
    Japanese Culture, H Paul Varley
    An Introduction to Japanese Civilisation, ed. Arthur Tiedemann (a load of history and culture essays - quite cool - it's got stuff on Japanese law, literature etc. which might be nice if you're thinking of doing it at uni)
    The Making of Modern Japan, Marius B. Jansen (long, about 800 pages)
    The Rise of Modern Japan, WG Beasley
    The Meiji Restoration, WG Beasley (a bit hard going and 400 pages, but it's pretty much the definitive work)
    Emperor of Japan: Meiji and his World 1852-1912, Donald Keene (long, about 900 pages)

    This isn't a definitive list - I skipped over some good works, like 'Choshu in the Meiji Restoration', because I was doing socioeconomic stuff and they were a bit political. If you want to know anything else, just ask.

    Edit: Actually, that's quite a lengthy list, so I'll summarise it: I'd get Storry to introduce you to Japanese history in general, either "The Making of Modern Japan" or "The Rise of Modern Japan" which are focused on the kind of time you're interested in, and Tiedemann as general Japanese studies interest (and also for more information on broad Japanese history, if anything in Storry particularly interests you)
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    Awesome, thanks so much mate Great help, thanks for your time I'll probably get all of them in the end haha, thanks again
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    No problem, enjoy
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    Sorry for bothering again xD I'm doing the AQA syallbus, and from what I've heard it's vital that I have two clear historical ideas on a topic.

    Do you think there are historical contrasts on whether the Meiji restoration was more of a continuity or a breaking point in japanese socioeconomic history? If not, would you be able to suggest any areas that have been argued? Thanks
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    My topic didn't really have clear schools of thought as such - I more relied on quotes here and there from individual historians. One major area of debate - though I'm not sure of the historians involved, it's just a debate Storry refers to in passing - is over the 1854 opening of the ports, and its effect on the Shogunate. Some argue that the Shogunate was declining, and the inability to resist foreign intervention was just a symptom of that weakness; others that by breaking with Japanese values and going against the Emperor's wishes, the Shogunate created a lot of opposition to itself and brought about its downfall, or in other words, no opening of the ports, no Meiji Restoration.

    Storry puts it better: "Among historians there have been, successively, two main schools of opinion on what really caused the downfall of the shogunate. The first [...] believed that the Tokugawa system of government might have continued essentially unchanged had it not been for the forcible opening of the closed door by the United States and other countries [...] This view, however, has been superseded by another, which emphasises the undoubted fact that the whole regime had been under indirect attack from many quarters inside Japan long before Perry arrived. [...] Western aggression [...] merely provided the final impetus towards a collapse that was inevitable in any case."

    If you go with that, grab Storry, Jansen and Tiedemann (at least), looking particularly at Marlene J. Mayo's essay in Tiedemann (on the Shogunate: "its politics and institutions were bankrupt and losing authority. It was too much identified with the shame of yielding to the foreigners").
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    (Original post by rkd)
    My topic didn't really have clear schools of thought as such - I more relied on quotes here and there from individual historians. One major area of debate - though I'm not sure of the historians involved, it's just a debate Storry refers to in passing - is over the 1854 opening of the ports, and its effect on the Shogunate. Some argue that the Shogunate was declining, and the inability to resist foreign intervention was just a symptom of that weakness; others that by breaking with Japanese values and going against the Emperor's wishes, the Shogunate created a lot of opposition to itself and brought about its downfall, or in other words, no opening of the ports, no Meiji Restoration.

    Storry puts it better: "Among historians there have been, successively, two main schools of opinion on what really caused the downfall of the shogunate. The first [...] believed that the Tokugawa system of government might have continued essentially unchanged had it not been for the forcible opening of the closed door by the United States and other countries [...] This view, however, has been superseded by another, which emphasises the undoubted fact that the whole regime had been under indirect attack from many quarters inside Japan long before Perry arrived. [...] Western aggression [...] merely provided the final impetus towards a collapse that was inevitable in any case."

    If you go with that, grab Storry, Jansen and Tiedemann (at least), looking particularly at Marlene J. Mayo's essay in Tiedemann (on the Shogunate: "its politics and institutions were bankrupt and losing authority. It was too much identified with the shame of yielding to the foreigners").
    Wow thank you so so much! You're such a great help, and you've given me ideas Sorry for taking up your time, I REALLY appreciate it! You're a star! Thanks :cool:
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    (Original post by Iroquoisfox)
    Wow thank you so so much! You're such a great help, and you've given me ideas Sorry for taking up your time, I REALLY appreciate it! You're a star! Thanks :cool:
    No problem. It's nice to be able to procrastinate and help people at the same time :p:

    *goes back to wasting his time on Zelda*
 
 
 
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