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Book Review
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A Changing Japan In A Changing World As Seen By De Coningh (Book Review Sample)


Order topic: A Changing Japan in a Changing World as seen by de Coningh, a Dutch trader in Yokohama
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The article from teacher has pointed out two parts, stage 1 is about proposal, this was handed in before. But stage 1 has some information about the essay, its a hint given by teacher. Stage 2 is the final essay, teacher talked about it briefly, because stage 1 has pointed out so many content. So should connect all the point, the teacher's requirement was clearly stated. Then have to write the final essay, doesn't need the proposal (essay doesn't have to write connected to the proposal, teacher does not have a strict requirement about that)


left730123000Japan is one of the countries that have realized significant changes especially after it was forcefully opened by European gunboats. A study of the changing Japan in a dynamic world can only be achieved through the analysis of works on Japan done by such authors as Coningh (a Dutch merchant). Assendelft de Coningh in his book, A Pioneer in Yokohama: A Dutchman's Adventures in the New Treaty Port, relates his life encounters at an island named Deshima as well as at Yokohama’s port in the late 1850s.1 Coningh offers an unprecedented personal experience of his daily life in the fast growing Japanese treaty ports. He also gives the reader an outstanding perspective on the economic, political, and military forces that placed significant pressure on the sprouting Japan. Coningh’s book has a general introduction which provides important cultural and historical background together with a summarized biography of Coningh. The book has considerable footnotes which explain various terms, cultural references, and names which are likely to be unaccustomed to modern readers. Coningh narrates the short-lived Japanese 'Gold Rush' to battles and terrorist attacks, from the dangers of global commerce to hysterical problems associated with miscommunication and translation.2 These encounters show the reader the situation during the trade in nineteenth-century and the international community at Yokohama. Currently, Japan has realized significant changes where it is considered to be one of the leading countries in such areas as technology, manufacture of automobiles, economic growth research and innovation among others. A review of the situation at Japan in the nineteenth century and the current situation shows that the country has been changing in a changing world.
1. Assendelft De Coningh & ‎Martha Chaiklin, A Pioneer in Yokohama, A Dutchman’s Adventure’s in the New Treaty Port. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2012.
To gain more understanding of the Japan calls for a thorough analysis of introductory Japanese history. Coningh starts off his Japanese story by outlining his stay at Nagasaki before the opening of Yokohama. The majority of Europeans had been evicted from Japan around 1630s leaving only the Dutch who had been secluded in a tiny artificial island known as Dejima which is located at Nagasaki.1 His encounters shows that the life at Dejima was gloomy but comfortable and safe. The author employed a narrative strategy to begin the story and some researchers have since suggested that it was a literary device meant to depict an idyllic Japan that was subjected to chaos upon the opening of the port at Yokohama. One of the major themes shown in the book is that of a fall the Dutch influence after Yokohama was opened and Coningh condemns those Dutch officials who showed reluctance to move out of Nagasaki’s comfort.
left337756500The reluctance shown by the Dutch was expected. Coningh’s story shows that Yokohama was an anarchistic place in the early years and surrounded by both natural and human disasters, bereaved of the comforts of creatures and inhabited by distasteful characters. However, the author failed to mention that life was calmer on the other side of the bay at Kanagawa. The Westernizers living at Yokohama engaged in public drunkenness, cursing, brawling and went as far as engaging in food fights.1 The author criticizes the Americans and the British who formed a significant proportion of the population as well as the Dutch. However, he considered some of fellow Dutch to be law abiding and brave men while the rest were people with as questionable honesty, drunkards and even some were murderers.
2. Andrew Gordon, A Modern History of Ja...
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