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Technology In History: Japan

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Chapter Summary

Broadly speaking, modern Japanese technology started with the American gunboat anchored in Tokyo Bay in 1853, characterized by a clear preference and priority placed on military technology and this phase ended up with the American Occupation of Japan in 1945. The sixteenth century Japan saw a warring-states period, in which matchlock guns were introduced. Modern Japanese scientific and technological professions were the artificial creation of the new, Western-oriented government. Thus, modern Japanese scientific and technological professions were, at the beginning of their development, very 'samurai-spirited'. In the early Meiji period, the government encouraged invention by sponsoring Domestic Industry-fostering Fairs and conferring prizes on best inventors. Japan's surrender in 1945 was the second big turning point of Japanese S&p;T, in which a transformation from military-oriented to market-oriented occurred. In the late eighties, Japan has been involved in S&p;T conflict on the matter of intellectual property ownership with the US.

Keywords: Japanese S&p;T; Meiji period; modern Japanese technology; samurai class; Western-oriented government

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