World War II drastically affected the Japanese culture, economics, and politics.
Japan is considered one of the most important and powerful countries in the modern world but this accomplishment has been reached by a lot of work and changes made in the Japanese society. During World War II the destruction of Japanese cities and the death of a lot of Japanese people caused them to change their in their system of politics and foreign policy. The changes made in Japan were not only in the politics but also in the culture in general because of the entrance of western ideas into Japan after World War II made the Japanese adapt their ancient culture to some of the western culture.
These changes in their culture made the Japanese a whole new country and made it more open to foreign ideas and costumes. The efforts to recover from the was led the Japanese to have a strict and competitive view in technological and scientific advances. Now the Japanese people are considered as one of the most working and intelligent human beings, because of their brightness in the technology and scientific advances. The Japanese had a really difficult path to go through after World War II, but the people adapted to the new Japan and tried to make it a better place by being very strict and competitive. After the changes in Japan the Japanese people have shown that they are capable of a lot of things specially having an enormous change in their life such as culture, economics, technology and politics. This kind of change in any society is a very difficult task to undertake and not too many countries are able to do it. The effects of World War II, including the destruction of Japan, was the task for the Japanese and they were very strong and worked themselves out of the problems and succeeded in the modern world and now Japan is considered the fragile superpower in the top world.
The destruction of Japanese cities and the death of a lot of Japanese people caused them to change in their system of politics and foreign policy. Before World War II Japan was very closed minded in their way of thinking and the people were not important in the political and economic decisions of the country and that was because there was a decline of the political parties because of corruption and with that decline the military leaders caused struggles to the country. Also the Japanese foreign policy was very independent and only gave priority to its expansion to the south. This situation totally changed after World War II, Japan changed totally its politics and established a different government, ran by the different points of view of the people, that sought more freedom in their society. The Japanese Constitution of 1946, pledge to uphold the high ideals of peace and democratic order with the international society and also the banishment of tyranny and slavery, oppression and intolerance for all (The Japan of Today, 15). This citation shows the change in the Japanese after World War II. In this constitution the Japanese created a more democratic country and also a very opened minded constitution because before World War II, the Japanese were very close minded and that led them to have problems with other countries that had different views of things that the Japanese. . There are other aspects that changed after World War II and on of those are the return of Parliamentary government to Japan. (Japan:The Fragile Superpower, 268) After the War Japan regained its independence but it gave up Korea, Taiwan, South Jakhalin, and the Kurils. This situation meant that Japan reduced its lands after the war. In foreign policy, Japan became a peaceful country that obviously helped it to be now a successful country without many foreign problems. World War II opened the eyes of the Japanese people to a more open world, with democratic ideas, that everyday sought for more freedom and rights for the citizens. After World War II the Japan-US relation has strengthened, they work together to solve their problems, but at the same time they recognize that the economic issues must not be allowed to damage their good relations. Japan faced a different perspective of life after the war and that was also because Japan was placed, for a time, under the indirect rule of the US which implemented democratic reforms, the dissolution of the family-based industrial and financial conglomerates, and educational reforms (Japan in Modern History, 385). The good relationship with the US after the war was a big change that ended up in benefit to the Japanese people, because if they didnt have a good relationship with the US, it would be bad because the US is the most powerful country in this modern world. In Japans politics a huge change because of World War II and that was the creation of the Liberal Democratic party. (The Japan of Today, 20) Because of World War II, Japan changed their politics system to democracy which led the people to have more rights and freedom in the country and in the society as a whole.
The entrance of the western ideas into Japan after World War II made the Japanese adapt to their ancient culture some of the western culture. Japans culture before the war was very special and unique but after the war a lot of western ideas entered this culture and influenced it in several ways such as literature, architecture, religion and others. Japans literature got influenced by Russian, Western European, and American literature characteristics (Grolier, Japanese Literature) . For example, some modern authors wrote romantic novels based on their experiences in Germany. These novels were written after World War II. Newspapers and magazines started to carry cartoons, which led to the creation of comic books. This is a big change in the Japanese society, the creation of comic books. Comic books now are read by a lot of children and teenagers in order to entertain themselves.
In the aspect of religion, Shinto was promoted during World War II, and now is the most important religion in Japan but after World War II freedom of religion was established with Japan (The Japan of Today, 13) World War II made the Japanese change their way of thinking and made them have a common idea, in this case religion, in order to have a more united society and that led to have a more solid and strong society. This affected the Japanese people because after the war new religious movements were created in Japan, and these religious movements created various social and cultural activities, some also come to engage in substantial political activities (The Japan of Today, 116). The appearance of new movements in Japan because of World War II was beneficial to the Japanese because it enlarged the activities that could be made in the society.
The effects of the war were not only in religion but also in arts and specially in architecture. An important advance was made in Japanese architecture, after World War II. This advance is that Japanese people started using steel and concrete in their buildings. Japan now is a country with a lot of huge buildings and this buildings are offices most of them so the use of concrete and steel affected in the architecture and in the daily way of living of the Japanese people. The advances in the Japanese culture were because of the influence of the western people that used steel and concrete in their buildings long before World War II. The use of concrete led the Japanese to the emerging of Ultra-high-rise architectural engineering like said in the book, Ultra-high-rise architectural engineering has notable progress to meet the demand for office space ( The Japan of Today, 137). The increase of business in Japan after the war created a new, different style in Japan architecture. Now Japan has a very modern architectural city. All these changes because of World War II join and make a whole new different Japan, that was seriously affected by the harshness of the war.
Technology and science accomplishments characterize the Japanese. This is because of the contributions they have made to the society in those areas, this has been accomplished by hard work and studies of the Japanese people. In the late 1940s the emphasis of the Japanese was to rebuild the war-ravaged structure by scientific endeavor and acquiring technology from abroad. (The Japan of Today, 68) Japan was destroyed during World War II. It wasnt easy for the Japanese to recover from the war. The countries that have faced a war end in economic, social, political, and cultural crisis. The Japanese looked for a very efficient way for their recovery and that was by focusing on making technological and scientific advances. Japanese people are known for their hard work, but their system for improvement and high quality was created because the Japanese traveled to advanced and powerful countries to gather ideas and then improve them. Thats why Japanese people wish to visit the US and Switzerland to gather ideas in order to improve their work (Japan: The Fragile Superpower, 27) The Japanese became competitor after World War II, therefore when they went to gather the ideas of another country, the Japanese always wanted to make better things that the ones already made by others. The US is an example for Japan in technology and science but at the same time is a competitor and oppressor (Japan: The Fragile Superpower, 28). In this quote we can see that the US is an oppressor to Japan and an oppressor is an strict authority to someone, so that pushed the Japanese to have the US as an example. This shows that Japan has a very competitive point of view towards technology and science. The effects of the war made the Japanese to have the most powerful country of the world as an example.The whole attitude of the Japanese changed because of World War II and made the Japanese to have high expectations towards their future, they became very positive and strict after the war. Now Japan is known by their almost exclusive orientation toward civilian use and by the fact that they are funded largely by the private sector. (The Japan of Today, 68) After World War Ii and its effects, the Japanese gave the private sector priority in the growth society because it gives jobs to the Japanese and leads the country to have a more solid economics system which leads Japan to be a successful country as a whole. Because of World War II the private sector created large projects to improve and consolidate Japans structure and also to move towards independent research. With the technological changes made in Japan after the war, computers are used widely in the country, and its use has been rewarded by efficiency. Japanese people had become more organized and practical after the war, and I think that organization is very important for the improvement of a society. The creation of the private sector in Japan led the the Japanese to have a sense of individuality and politic freedom in the society. This freedom allowed large companies to succeed nationally and internationally.
For conclusion, Japan is now a world power country that even after facing destruction it has come out of it by hard work and changing in a way, their way of living and thinking. The recovery of the war in several aspects, mostly economic and political are the thing that affected the most to the Japanese society. The politics after the war became more democratic and gave more rights to the people, and that is a very important effect on the society. The change in the foreign policy was very important for the country in general because it brought the country peace and a good relationship with the most powerful country of the world, the US. This new society brought the Japanese people a large period of adaptation to their new country. This adaptation enclosed the things such as the entrance of new ideas to the people, therefore to the culture in general. The Japanese were able to adapt to the changes after the war and now we have a whole new recovered Japan, that has been drastically affected by the war but anyway its now a superpower in the world.
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Japan in Modern History. The International Society for Educational Information; Tokyo, 1996.
The Japan of Today. The International Society for Educational Information; Tokyo,1989.
The New Grolier Electronic Encyclopedia. Computer Software. Grolier Inc. 1996.