Japanese Naval Alliance II

Lead: In the early 1900s a newly powerful Russia was becoming aggressive all along its borders. This pressure hit at British interests especially in the Far East. Britain needed a partner.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The logical partner for Britain would be another European power such as Germany. The combination would have probably proven a potent one and sufficient to cool Russia's assertive tendencies, but no such alliance came about despite serious discussions. Britain then turned its attention to the Far East, the most vulnerable part of the Empire, farthest from home, at the end of the long colonial lifeline. There Japan was also concerned about Russian expansion specifically into Manchuria and Korea. For two years, in a delicate diplomatic dance, Japan and Britain drew closer to one another.

 

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [5.71 KB]

Japanese Naval Alliance I

Lead: In 1902, Great Britain ended a century of splendid isolation and cut a deal with Japan.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: For nearly a century the oceans of the world were dominated by the British Navy. It was technologically superior to any other and was backed by an industrial economy that overshadowed all others until the late 1800s when other nations such as Germany, France, Russia and the United States began to catch up. The power of this naval machine was so overwhelming that Britain was permitted a freedom of action unequaled as it established and maintained the largest empire in the modern era. By 1900 this power was under challenge. The greatest threat to British interests at this time was in the Far East. The Chinese Empire was set to rot. Various European powers were nibbling around the edge of that Eastern giant. It could hardly handle its own internal affairs much less resist pressure from the modern states of the West. The weakness of the Chinese meant that Britain had to protect her trading interests there against the infringement of other powers. Russia was expanding into areas of special British interest along Russia's borders: Manchuria in northern China, northern India, and Persia. Germany, France and the United States were increasing their navies which threatened Britain's link with her colonies.

 

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [5.55 KB]

Samurai

Lead: Out of ancient Japanese history emerged a caste of iconic warriors that often had military and political power. They were the samurai.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The bushi or samurai were members of a powerful class of military combatants who played an increasingly influential role in Japanese political life from approximately CE 800 to fairly late in the modern era. They adhered to the strict ethical code of bushido, the way of the warrior, which stressed Confucian morality, devotion to one’s master, self-discipline and respectful conduct. In defeat, rather than accepting capture, some bushi chose what they considered to be an honorable death by se’ppuku, ritual suicide.

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [102.25 KB]

Japanese Royal Family

Lead: The position of the royal family of Japan has swirled in and between myth and reality until the modern era. Today the Emperor and his kin are respected, even loved, but fulfil a role that is strictly symbolic.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: While Buddhism is Japan’s dominant religion, Shinto is the country’s indigenous faith where originate the ancient creation myths that established the foundation of royal governance. In this mythological tradition, Japanese emperors were thought to possess magical powers and direct divine communication. This cultic role made it unseemly for the emperor to be engaged in day-to-day public administration which was handled by advisors and ministers. From the establishment of the a new capital in Kyoto in the late eighth century, a city following a Chinese design, real power was wielded behind the throne in alternating succession by two powerful clans, Fujiwara and Taira.

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [99.71 KB]

History’s Turning Points: Japan Discovers the Gun II

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider history’s turning points: Japan rediscovers the gun.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: In 1543, visiting Portuguese explorers jumped from the deck of a Chinese commercial ship into Japanese shallow waters and with their muskets shot a duck. The unfavorable results on the duck were duly noted by Lord Tokitaka, who purchased from the Portuguese two guns and commissioned his swordsmiths to copy these new weapons. Within a century firearms were playing a widespread, destructive role in the dynastic and feudal warfare consuming the Japanese upper class. These weapons were very good, indeed the Japanese significantly improved on comparable European designs. One such innovation was waterproof rain protection for the ignition platform, but soon the Japanese abandoned firearms and mostly returned to hand-held weapons such as the sword and the bow and arrow.

Read more →

History’s Turning Points: Japan Discovers the Gun I

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider history’s turning points: Japan rediscovers the gun.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Japan has taken a well-earned place in the modern era as a seat of much industrial innovation. Within 60 years of the visit of Commodore Perry in 1855, Japan had wrenched itself so significantly into the contemporary world that its navy had inflicted havoc on Russian naval forces at the Battle of Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese War, sending the pride of the Czar’s fleet to the bottom of the Sea of Japan. In another thirty-six years, Japan would temporarily humble the world’s preeminent industrial power at Pearl Harbor.

Read more →

Empress Jingu II

Lead: Through the indigenous Shinto religion delivered orally and then in written form after the 8th century, the Japanese are closely tied to their ancestral roots.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The earliest records of Japanese history were written in the eighth century. The Kojiki or Records of Ancient Matters along with the Nihongi or Chronicles of Japan were ordered to be compiled by the imperial court and were written in Chinese. Besides written language, the Chinese introduced new forms of art and literature as well as Buddhist and Confucian theologies.

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [71.16 KB]

Japan’s Morohito Hosakawa

Lead: In the summer of 1993, Japan's prime minister appeared to be the herald of vast changes in Japanese life. Less than a year later his resignation under fire revealed how much a part he was of that which was traditional and old in Japan.

Content: Morihiro Hosokawa was the youngest prime minister since World War II and his cabinet the youngest on record. He brought women into the national political process as never before. Social Democrat Takako Doi (Tah-KAH-koe DOE-ee) served as speaker of the lower house and a record three women were appointed to cabinet posts. Hosokawa held regular new conferences, informally talking to the press corps in shirt sleeves. He promised not only political reform but a new, more open approach to international relations. The prime minister stunned Japan's wartime generation when he took office, by saying that World War II was a "war of aggression, and it was wrong." Despite a genuine pro-American bias he refused to bend to pressure and rejected a face-saving statement on trade when appearing with President Bill Clinton in Washington in the winter of 1994. At the time of the crisis leading to his resignation, he was the most popular Japanese prime minster ever.

 

Read more →