Japan Guide writes on it's webiste thatCompare this to the education of the Samurai, the warriors of Japanese history. A Samurai was expected to be well versed in warfare, both through reading the works of strategists and through the use of weapons. On the other hand, writing poetry, drawing, tea preparation, meditation and flower arranging were also considered essential skills for a warrior. This is difficult for people in European cultures to fathom unless we understand that all of those skills were signs for the ephemeral nature of life, beautiful and then gone. A Samurai was like the cherry blossom; a beautiful object to behold both on the tree and floating to the ground in death; a life to be relished in the moment and released in jubilation.
"...Like other subjugated Asian nations, the Japanese were forced to sign unequal treaties with Western powers. These treaties granted the Westerners one-sided economical and legal advantages in Japan. In order to regain independence from the Europeans and Americans and establish herself as a respected nation in the world, Meiji Japan was determined to close the gap to the Western powers economically and militarily. Drastic reforms were carried out in practically all areas.Similarly, the manner in which Europeans and Americans regarded and treated the Chinese, even to the point of starting the Opium Wars by having drug pushers [oh, excuse me, purveyors of Free Trade] trying to force the native people of China to becme additced to opium, speaks to crude history of the Western nations and their approach to international diplomacy | Opposition and disgust was elicited then about the west's practices, of it's tendancy to wrap venality and arrogance in religion while actually promoting a brutal reign of terror using the arsenal of commerce - cojoined with weapons of war |
In order to stabilize the new government, the former feudal lords (daimyo) had to return all their lands to the emperor. This was achieved already in 1870 and followed by the restructuring of the country in prefectures. The education system was reformed after the French and later after the German system. Among those reforms was the introduction of compulsory education. After about one to two decades of intensive westernization, a revival of conservative and nationalistic feelings took place: principles of Confucianism and Shinto including the worship of the emperor were increasingly emphasized and taught at educational institutions.
Catching up on the military sector was, of course, a high priority for Japan in an era of European and American imperialism. Universal conscription was introduced, and a new army modelled after the Prussian force, and a navy after the British one were established.
The new government aimed to make Japan a democratic state with equality among all its people. The boundaries between the social classes of Tokugawa Japan were gradually broken down. Consequently, the samurai were the big losers of those social reforms since they lost all their privileges"
How different is this from the scandal in Iraq? Driven by the inspiration of false prophets touting righteousness, but weilding only superior firepower, so that the likes of Halliburton [and other such corporate pirate nations] might gorge themslves on the blood of ancient cultures, and on the people they claim to be pursuing the advances on behalf of one other than the American Citizenry | History shall be the judge, even though some in power keep trying to rewrite that history as it happens | Truth always prevails |When first your traders came to China it was not at our invitation; yet we received them, if not with enthusiasm, at least with tolerance. So long as they were content to observe our regulations we were willing to sanction their traffic, but alwasy on the condition that it should not disturb our social and political order. ...the trouble arose over a matter in regard to which you yourselves have not ventured to defend your own conduct.
...To a Chinaman who reviews the history of our relations of the past 60 years must you not appear to be little better than robbers and pirates?
...Which of us has been the aggressor ~ we who, putting our case at the worst, were obstinately resolved to maintain our society, customs, laws, and polity against the advances of an alien civilization, or you who, bent of commercial gains, were determines at all costs to force an entrance into our territories and introduce along with your goods the leaven of your culture and ideas? If, in the collision that inevitably ensued, we gave cause of offence, we had at least the excuse of self-preservation. Our wrongs, if they were that, were episodes in a substantial right; but yours were themselves the substance of your actions.
...Consider the conditions you have imposed on a proud and ancient empire, and empire which for centuries has been at the head of civilization. You have compelled us, against our will, to open your ports to your trade, you have forced us to permit the introduction of things which we believe are ruining our people; you have exempted your subjects residing among us from the operation of our laws; you have appropriated our coasting traffic, claim our inland waters as your own. And yet all the time you have posed as civilized peoples dealing with barbarians.
...You have compelled us to receive your missionaries, and when they by their ignorant zeal have provoked our people to rise in mass against them, you made an excuse for new depredations till we, not unnaturally, have come to believe that the cross is the pioneer of the sword, and that the only use you have for your religion is to use it as a weapon of war.
...It was at the point of the sword that you forced us to receive Embassies whose presence we have always regarded as a sign of national humiliation. But you say our mobs were barbarous and cruel. Alas, yes. But your troops? And your troops, nations of Christendom? Ask the corpses of murdered men and outraged women and children; ask the immocent mingled indiscrimnately with the guilty; ask the Christ, the lover of men, whom you profess to serve, to judge between us who rose in mad despair to save our country and you, avenging crime with crime, did not pause to reflect that the crime you avenged was the fruit of your own iniquity!
The lesson of the past is our only guide to the policy of the future. Unless you of the West will come to realize the truth; unless you will understand that events that [shake the world] are the Nemesis of along course of injustice and oppression; unless you will learn that the profound opposition between your civilization and ours gives no more ground why you should regard us as barbarians than we you; unless you will treat us as a civilized Power and respect our customs and laws; unless you will accord us the treatment you would accord to any European nation and refrain from exacting conditions you would never dream of imposing on a Western Power—unless you will do this, there is no hope of any peace between us. You have humiliated the proudest nation in the world; you have outraged the most upright and just; with what results is now abundantly manifest. If ignorance was your excuse, let it be your excuse no longer. Learn to understand us, and in doing so learn better to understand yourselves. To contribute to this end has been my only object in writing and publishing these letters. If I have offended, I regret it; but if it is the truth that offends, for that I owe and I offer no apology.