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Modernization vs. Westernization in Meiji Japan (Essay Sample)


Write a response to the prompt below:
PROMPT: Compare Fukuzawa’s view of the West and moderation with that found in “The Western Peep Show” and “The Beefeater.” How do their views differ and why? Whose view best understands what impact the arrival of the West may have on Japan?
You should assume that the primary reader of the essay is a fellow class member, not the instructor Explanations, identifications, analysis and examples should be geared to someone who has read the assigned readings, the Goto-Jones and Mansfield texts, and paid attention to lectures, but is not an expert on modern Japan.
This is a history course. Your argument should focus in putting the documents and the society they record into historical context. What do the readings tell you about what japanese in the Meiji Era thought about modernization and Westernization?
The essay should not be a summary of the readings, but a cogent argument based on the prompt. While the essay should include a brief description of both points of view, these descriptions should not be just summaries of the readings. Remember your primary reader is a fellow class member who has done the reading and is familiar with their content. The reader may need to have details put in context, but not the whole account.
The introductory paragraph needs to include a thesis statement. A thesis statement is the point you want the reader to conclude at the end of the essay. It is something that can be proved and supported with evidence. For example, “This essay is about Fukuzawa Yukichi’s views of the West” is a statement of intent, not a thesis statement. An example of a thesis statement related to the general topic, but not this specific assignment, might be “Fukuzawa’s popularity and influence came from his writings.” This statement can be supported with evidence from the relevant documents and sources.
An essay is a literary device with an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Besides the thesis statement the introduction should answer three basic questions: 1.Who are the actors? 2. What are they doing? 3. What is the significance of their actions? These three answers are the foundation of the argument you want to prove. The body of the essay should develop these answers as they relate to the thesis. The conclusion—the final sentence or sentences in the last paragraph for an essay of this length—should summarize the essay’s argument and answer.
The better essays will support its argument through the use of ‘telling details” from the assigned readings. A better essay will also make sure that the presentation of information contributes to the overall argument is not just “filler.”
In developing your argument, remember that Fukuzawa, the second son in a lower samurai family from a minor domain, rose to national prominence by advocating acceptance of the West and modernization.
Cite your example with author’s name and page number in parentheses. (For the FukUzawa readings also include a short title: i.e. “Fukuzawa autobiography or Fukuzawa Outline.) if you only use the assigned readings, then you do not need to include a bibliography” If you do use additional sources, follow the above instructions for citation format and include a bibliography. Your bibliography should follow the University of Chicago Style. Here is a link that will help format your works in the proper style: http://www(dot)citationmachine(dot)net/


Modernization vs. Westernization in Meiji Japan
As times change, the needs of people also change, and this change is seen as “becoming modern.” Modernization is the process things undergo to adapt to the modern needs while westernization is used to refer to the influence of European (Western) cultures (Sairin 1). During the Meiji era, Japan underwent a series of changes. Fukuzawa is famed for documenting the Meiji era modernization and westernization. Different authors have different perspectives on Fukuzawa’s take on early modernization and westernization of Japan during Meiji restoration. At the start of the era, Japan never had any powerful military, they were technologically backward and relied primarily on agriculture. However, through modernization and westernization, they were able to make significant improvements. In this essay, I argue that the influence that Fukuzawa had was because of enigmatic records modernization and westernization of Japan during the Meiji restoration.
In the “Western Peep Show,” the author argues that the role that the westerners played was to westernize Japan. This is evident when the author argues that peep shows were already there in Japan, but the concept that the westerners brought was a whole new one (“Western Peep Show” 55). The authors argue that peep shows were not a great idea in the first place. To them, they were meant for the lazy and that no respectful business person would spend time on them. And yet, they spread to a great number of places in Japan. This is because they gave the people a whole new perspective, a different way to view the world and a new innovative way of doing things. The author argues that they gave the people the ability to grasp what is happening in other areas. Through these peep shows, the people of Japan were able to see essential technologies in other parts of the globe and mirror them for themselves. They were also able to have a lasting curiosity about what happens in other parts of the world and they were able to channel this

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