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Japan Under Paternalism: The Changing Image Of Japan During The Russo-Japanese War

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the changing Western views of Japan during the war in terms of paternalism which appeared not only in the countries criticizing Japan for its superficial imitation of Western civilization, but also in countries praising Japan. Paternalism is the key concept of the chapter, and has many definitions. A relationship based on paternalism, however, can be seen in various social contexts: father-child, teacher-pupil, guardian-protégé, master-disciple, doctor-patient, leader-follower, feudal lord-vassal, king-subject and state-nation. Paternalism was the latent and unspoken assumption among the Western countries, even such countries favouring Japan as Britain and the United States. Although there were diverse opinions on Japan in Britain, the majority of the British press was favourable towards Japan. After the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the modernization of Japan began in earnest. Japan successfully transformed herself from a premodern feudal state into a modern state by the middle of the 1880s.

Keywords: Japan; Meiji restoration; Russo-Japanese war; United States; Western paternalism

10.1163/ej.9781905246199.i-348.107
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9781905246199.i-348.107
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