The Rise and Development of Nationalism in Meiji, Japan was a Result of Government Modernization Efforts

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The Rise and Development of Nationalism in Meiji, Japan was a Result of Government Modernization Efforts

The rise and development of nationalism in Meiji Japan was a result of government modernization efforts.

The ban on Christianity was lifted and the Meiji government practiced religion toleration. Foreign missionaries were allowed to propagate Christianity and carry out educational and medical work. However, Christianity made little headway among the Japanese. By 1900, less than 1% of the population became Christians.

With the Meiji Restoration, in order to carry out the modernization programme, the Japanese government made Shinto as the state religion so as to push forward their reforms more
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In short, Shintoism had three elements: a religious devotion to the throne, a belief in divine mission and a concept of superiority of the Japanese race. These concepts were exploited by the Meiji oligarchs to fan up Japanese nationalism in the late 19ty century. They made Shintoism, the state religion, and they wrote in Article One of the Meiji Constitution that Japan ‘should be over and governed by a line of Emperor unbroken for ages eternal’. By using in their service the symbol of the Emperor, they were able to push forward their reforms, to appeal to the people’s emotions and to emphasize the imperial loyalty. This emperor-centred nationalism was so successfully implanted that all ruling classes in Japan made use of it to further their interests. First was the Meiji oligarchs, then were the party leaders as well as the militarists.

In the field of education, the Imperial Rescript on Education in 1890 urged the people not to give up their native tradition, such as ancestor-worship, loyalty to superiors and to the state. It is clear that education was to be subordinate to the source of the state. In brief, the educational system was used as a means of arousing a greater sense of nationalism.

At the same time, Meiji government also imposed reform on military field which encouraged the rise of

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