Japan (Modern World Nations) by Charles F. Gritzner, Douglas A. Phillips, Kristi L.

By Charles F. Gritzner, Douglas A. Phillips, Kristi L. Desaulniers

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Economic deflation damaged the economy as prices dropped. Moreover, shortages of rice, Japan’s primary food, caused widespread rioting. By the early 1920s, Japan was at a crossroads. MILITARY RULE In 1926, Hirohito became emperor of Japan. ” During Hirohito’s early years, the military became increasingly frustrated with democratic rule by civilians. They believed that the military budget was not being increased fast enough. They also thought that the military would be more effective than civilians in running the government.

This was Japan’s first permanent capital, and the Japanese modeled it after the Chinese capital. Nara soon became a powerful city with nearly 200,000 people, many of whom worked in government. The new government produced coins and collected taxes from farmers. In time, the imperial government tightened its grip on the people. This led to warfare as various members of the imperial family and other leading families fought for power and influence. Other problems arose as farmers could not pay their taxes and began to lose their lands.

After centuries of division and fighting, the era of the shoguns had ended. A courageous and enlightened young emperor would determine Japan’s future. Early in 1868, the youthful Mutsuhito called nearly 400 leaders to the Imperial palace. He pledged to them that he would take Japan in a new direction. These pledges are known as the Charter Oath. In the document, Mutsuhito said that Japan would develop its economy and seek knowledge from around the world. These and other progressive statements in the Charter Oath threw open the doors of Japan to the outer world.

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