Imperial Seal of Japan
The Imperial Seal of Japan called the Chrysanthemum Seal, Chrysanthemum Flower Seal or Imperial chrysanthemum emblem, is one of the national seals and a crest used by the Emperor of Japan and members of the Imperial Family. It is a contrast to the Paulownia Seal used by the Japanese government. During the Meiji period, no one was permitted to use the Imperial Seal except the Emperor of Japan, who used a 16 petal chrysanthemum with sixteen tips of another row of petals showing behind the first row. Therefore, each member of the Imperial family used a modified version of the seal. Shinto shrines either displayed the imperial seal or incorporated elements of the seal into their own emblems. Earlier in Japanese history, when Emperor Go-Daigo, who tried to break the power of the shogunate in 1333, was exiled, he adopted the seventeen-petal chrysanthemum to differentiate himself from the Northern Court's Emperor Kōgon, who kept the imperial 16-petal mon; the symbol is a orange chrysanthemum with black or red outlines and background.
A central disc is surrounded by a front set of 16 petals. A rear set of 16 petals are half staggered in relation to the front set and are visible at the edges of the flower. An example of the chrysanthemum being used is in the badge for the Order of the Chrysanthemum. Other members of the Imperial Family use a version with 14 single petals, while a form with 16 single petals is used for Diet members' pins, orders and other items that carry or represent the authority of the Emperor; the Imperial Seal is used on the standards of the Imperial Family. National seals of Japan Chrysanthemum Throne Imperial Seal of Korea Order of the Chrysanthemum Mon Media related to Imperial seals of Japan at Wikimedia Commons
Prince Fumimaro Konoe was a Japanese politician in the Empire of Japan who served as the 34th, 38th and 39th Prime Minister of Japan and founder/leader of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association. He was Prime Minister in the lead-up to Japan entering World War II. Prince Fumimaro Konoe was born into the ancient Fujiwara clan, was the heir of the Konoe family in Tokyo, his younger brother Hidemaro Konoye was a symphony conductor. Konoe's father, had been politically active, having organized the Anti-Russia Society in 1903. In 1904, Atsumaro's death left Konoe, at the age of 12, with the title of Prince, plenty of social standing but not much money, he studied Marxian economics at Kyoto Imperial University. In 1916, he automatically became a member of House of Peers according to his hereditary title. Prince Konoe lobbied to be included in the Japanese delegation to the Paris Peace Conference, 1919. In 1918, prior to Versailles, he published an essay titled "Reject the Anglo-American-Centered Peace".
Following a translation by American journalist Thomas Franklin Fairfax Millard, Japanese political advisor Saionji Kinmochi wrote a rebuttal in his journal, Millard's Review of the Far East. During the Paris peace conference, Konoe was one of the Japanese diplomats who proposed the Racial Equality Proposal for the Covenant of the League of Nations; when the Racial Equality Clause came up before the committee, the following nations voted for it: Japan, Serbia, Italy, Brazil and China, but the American President Woodrow Wilson overturned the vote by declaring that the clause needed unanimous support. Konoe took the rejection of the Racial Equality Clause badly, was afterwards known to have had a grudge against white people who he felt had humiliated Japan by rejecting the Racial Equality Clause. In 1925, Konoe gained favorable public attention by supporting a bill extending suffrage to all males aged 25 and over. In 1933, he was elected President of the House of Peers, he was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure in 1934.
In June 1937, Prince Konoe became Prime Minister. One month Japanese troops clashed with Chinese troops near Peking in the Marco Polo Bridge Incident. Konoe dispatched three divisions of troops, admonishing the military to be sure not to escalate the conflict. Within three weeks the army launched a general assault. Konoe and his cabinet feared, he was unsure that Chiang Kai-shek could control his own forces. In August, Chinese sentries killed two Japanese marines who crashed a gate at a Chinese airfield in Shanghai. Konoe agreed with Army Minister General Hajime Sugiyama to send two divisions to defend Japanese honor; the Battle of Shanghai broke out. His cabinet issued a declaration, accusing both nationalist and communist Chinese of "increasingly provocative and insulting" behavior toward Japan. In December, Imperial General Headquarters, a structure autonomous from the civilian government being responsible only to the Emperor, ordered its forces in China to drive toward Nanjing, the Chinese capital.
Nanjing was captured within a few weeks, after which the Japanese Army committed the infamous Nanjing massacre, killing upwards of 250,000 civilians. After taking Nanking, the Japanese Army was doubtful about its ability to advance up the Yangtze river valley, favored taking up a German offer of mediation to end the war with China. Konoe by contrast, was not interested in peace, instead chose to escalate the war by suggesting deliberately humiliating terms that he knew Chiang Kai-shek would never accept, in order to win a "total victory" over China. In January 1938, Konoe's government announced that it would no longer deal with Chiang, but would await the development of a new regime; when asked for clarifications, Konoe said he meant more than just non-recognition of Chiang's regime but "rejected it" and would "eradicate it". The American historian Gerhard Weinberg wrote about Konoe's escalation of the war: "The one time in the decade between 1931 and 1941 that the civilian authorities in Tokyo mustered the energy and ingenuity to overrule the military on a major peace issue they did so with fatal results-fatal for Japan, fatal for China, for Konoe himself".
Meanwhile and the military pushed a National Mobilization Law through the Diet. This allowed the central government to control all material. Japanese victories continued at Xuzhou, Canton, Hanyang – but still the Chinese kept on fighting. Konoe, stating that he was tired of being a "robot" for the military, resigned in January 1939, was appointed chairman of the Privy Council. Kiichirō Hiranuma succeeded him as Prime Minister. Konoe was awarded the 1st class of the Order of the Rising Sun in 1939. Due to dissatisfaction with the policies of Prime Minister Mitsumasa Yonai, the Japanese Army demanded Konoe's recall as Prime Minister. On 23 June, Konoe resigned his position as Chairman of the Privy Council, on 16 July 1940, the Yonai cabinet resigned and Konoe was appointed Prime Minister. One of his first moves was to launch the League of Diet Members Supporting the Prosecution of the Holy War to counter opposition from politicians such as deputy Saitō Takao who had spoken against the Second Sino-Japanese War in the Diet on 2 February.
Against the advice of his political allies and the Emperor, Konoe appointed Yōsuke Matsuoka as his foreign minister. Matsuoka was popular with the Army and the Japanese public, having established himself as the man who angrily led Japan out of the League of Nations in 1933. Konoe and Matsuoka based their foreign pol
Economic history of Japan
The economic history of Japan is most studied for the spectacular social and economic growth in the 1800s after the Meiji Restoration, when it became the first non-Western great power, for its expansion after the Second World War, when Japan recovered from devastation to become the world's second largest economy behind the United States, from 2013 behind China as well. Scholars have evaluated the nation's unique economic position during the Cold War, with exports going to both U. S.- and Soviet-aligned powers, have taken keen interest in the situation of the post-Cold War period of the Japanese "lost decades". Renaissance Europeans were quite admiring of Japan when they reached the country in the 16th century. Japan was considered a country immensely rich in precious metals, a view that owed its conception to Marco Polo's accounts of gilded temples and palaces, but due to the relative abundance of surface ores characteristic of a volcanic country, before large-scale deep-mining became possible in Industrial times.
Japan was to become a major exporter of silver during the period. Japan was perceived as a sophisticated feudal society with a high culture and advanced pre-industrial technology, it was densely urbanized. Prominent European observers of the time seemed to agree that the Japanese "excel not only all the other Oriental peoples, they surpass the Europeans as well". Early European visitors were amazed by the quality of Japanese metalsmithing; this stems from the fact that Japan itself is rather poor in natural resources found in Europe iron. Thus, the Japanese were famously frugal with their consumable resources; the cargo of the first Portuguese ships that arrived in Japan consisted entirely of Chinese goods. The Japanese were much looking forward to acquiring such goods, but had been prohibited from any contacts with the Emperor of China, as a punishment for Wakō pirate raids; the Portuguese therefore found the opportunity to act as intermediaries in Asian trade. From the time of the acquisition of Macau in 1557, their formal recognition as trade partners by the Chinese, the Portuguese started to regulate trade to Japan, by selling to the highest bidder the annual "Captaincy" to Japan, in effect conferring exclusive trading rights for a single carrack bound for Japan every year.
The carracks were large ships between 1000 and 1500 tons, about double or triple the size of a large galleon or junk. That trade continued with few interruptions until 1638, when it was prohibited on the ground that the ships were smuggling priests into Japan. Portuguese trade was progressively more and more challenged by Chinese smugglers on junks, Japanese Red Seal Ships from around 1592, Spanish ships from Manila from around 1600, the Dutch from 1609, the English from 1613; the Dutch, rather than "Nanban" were called "Kōmō" by the Japanese, first arrived in Japan in 1600, on board the Liefde. Their pilot was the first Englishman to reach Japan. In 1605, two of the Liefde's crew were sent to Pattani by Tokugawa Ieyasu, to invite Dutch trade to Japan; the head of the Pattani Dutch trading post, Victor Sprinckel, refused on the ground that he was too busy dealing with Portuguese opposition in Southeast Asia. In 1609 however, the Dutch Jacques Specx arrived with two ships in Hirado, through Adams obtained trading privileges from Ieyasu.
The Dutch engaged in piracy and naval combat to weaken Portuguese and Spanish shipping in the Pacific, became the only westerners to be allowed access to Japan from the small enclave of Dejima after 1638 and for the next two centuries. The beginning of the Edo period coincides with the last decades of the Nanban trade period, during which intense interaction with European powers, on the economic and religious plane, took place. At the beginning of the Edo period, Japan built her first ocean-going Western-style warships, such as the San Juan Bautista, a 500-ton galleon-type ship that transported a Japanese embassy headed by Hasekura Tsunenaga to the Americas, continued to Europe. During that period, the bakufu commissioned around 350 Red Seal Ships, three-masted and armed trade ships, for intra-Asian commerce. Japanese adventurers, such as Yamada Nagamasa, were active throughout Asia. In order to eradicate the influence of Christianization, Japan entered in a period of isolation called sakoku, during which its economy enjoyed stability and mild progress.
But not long after, in the 1650s, the production of Japanese export porcelain increased when civil war put the main Chinese center of porcelain production, in Jingdezhen, out of action for several decades. For the rest of the 17th century most Japanese porcelain production was in Kyushu for export through the Chinese and Dutch; the trade dwindled under renewed Chinese competition by the 1740s, before resuming after the opening of Japan in the mid-19th century. Economic development during the Edo period included urbanization, increased shipping of commodities, a significant expansion of domestic and foreign commerce, a diffusion of trade and handicraft industries; the construction trades flourished, along with banking facilities and merchant associations. Han authorities oversaw the rising agricultural production and the spread of rural handicrafts. By the mid-18th century, Edo had a population of more than 1 million and Osaka and Ky
Education in the Empire of Japan
Education in the Empire of Japan was a high priority for the government, as the leadership of the early Meiji government realized the critical need for universal public education in its drive to modernize and westernize Japan. Overseas missions such as the Iwakura Mission were sent abroad to study the education systems of leading Western countries. During the Edo period the common citizens of Japan were given limited means of education. What these low-class citizens did learn was geared towards the basic and practical subjects such as reading and arithmetic; the change came forth during the Meiji period. After sending several learned Japanese representatives to travel abroad, the government was able to learn many aspects of the West, from that developed a new process of education for the country. By the late 1860s, the Meiji leaders had established a system that declared equality in education for all as a means by which to help in the process of Japan entering into a more modernized nation, it was required by law.
This was done for the purpose of not only instilling the values of what it meant to be a Japanese citizen, but to bring about the knowledge necessary for the people to understand how the new nation would work under Western methods. With the change in education there was brought about more opportunities to prosper in the newly evolving and modernizing Japanese nation. Individuals and families moved up in society in ways beyond the freedoms or abilities of their ancestors; as education changed, so too did the range of talents and efforts applied by the Japanese people to enhance their society. In 1871, the Ministry of Education was established, with a school system based on the American model, which promoted a utilitarian curriculum, but with the centrally-controlled school administration system copied from France. With the aid of foreign advisors, such as David Murray and Marion McCarrell Scott, Normal Schools for teacher education were created in each prefecture. Other advisors, such as George Adams Leland, were recruited to create specific types of curriculum.
Private schools run by Buddhist temples and neighborhood associations were nationalized as elementary schools. However, they added a new curriculum which emphasized conservative, traditional ideals more reflective of Japanese values. Confucian precepts were stressed those concerning the hierarchical nature of human relations, service to the new Meiji state, the pursuit of learning, morality; these ideals, embodied in the 1890 Imperial Rescript on Education, along with centralized government control over education guided Japanese education until the end of World War II. In December, 1885, the cabinet system of government was established, Mori Arinori became the first Minister of Education of Japan. Mori, together with Inoue Kowashi created the foundation of the Empire of Japan's educational system by issuing a series of orders from 1886; these laws established an elementary school system, middle school system, normal school system and an imperial university system. Elementary school was made compulsory from 1872, was intended to create loyal subjects of the Emperor.
Middle Schools were preparatory schools for students destined to enter one of the Imperial Universities, the Imperial Universities were intended to create westernized leaders who would be able to direct the modernization of Japan. With the increasing industrialization of Japan, demand increased for higher education and vocational training. Inoue Kowashi, who followed Mori as Minister of Education established a state vocational school system, promoted women's education through a separate girls' school system. Compulsory education was extended to six years in 1907. According to the new laws, textbooks could only be issued upon the approval of the Ministry of Education; the curriculum was centered on moral education, design and writing, Japanese calligraphy, Japanese history, science, drawing and physical education. All children of the same age learned each subject from the same series of textbook. During the Taishō and early Shōwa periods, from 1912-1937, the education system in Japan became centralized.
From 1917-1919, the government created the Extraordinary Council on Education, which issued numerous reports and recommendations on educational reform. One of the main emphases of the Council was in higher education. Prior to 1918, "university" was synonymous with "imperial university", but as a result of the Council, many private universities obtained recognized status; the Council introduced subsidies for families too poor to afford the tuitions for compulsory education, pushed for more emphasis on moral education. During this period, new social currents, including socialism, communism and liberalism exerted influences on teachers and teaching methods; the New Educational Movement led to teachers unions and student protest movements against the nationalist educational curriculum. The government responded with increased repression, adding some influences from the German system in an attempt to increase the patriotic spirit and step up the militarization of Japan; the Imperial Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors became compulsory reading for students during this period.
Specialized schools for the blind and for the deaf were established as early as 1878, were regulated and standardized by the government in the Blin
Second Sino-Japanese War
The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan from July 7, 1937, to September 2, 1945. It began with the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1937 in which a dispute between Japanese and Chinese troops escalated into a battle; some sources in the modern People's Republic of China date the beginning of the war to the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931. China fought Japan with aid from the United States. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the war merged with other conflicts of World War II as a major sector known as the China Burma India Theater; some scholars consider the start of the full-scale Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937 to have been the beginning of World War II. The Second Sino-Japanese War was the largest Asian war in the 20th century, it accounted for the majority of civilian and military casualties in the Pacific War, with between 10 and 25 million Chinese civilians and over 4 million Chinese and Japanese military personnel dying from war-related violence and other causes.
The war was the result of a decades-long Japanese imperialist policy to expand its influence politically and militarily in order to secure access to raw material reserves and labor. The period after World War I brought about increasing stress on the Japanese polity. Leftists sought universal suffrage and greater rights for workers. Increasing textile production from Chinese mills was adversely affecting Japanese production; the Great Depression brought about a large slowdown in exports. All of this contributed to militant nationalism, culminating in the rise to power of a militarist fascist faction; this faction was led at its height by the Hideki Tojo cabinet of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association under edict from Emperor Hirohito. In 1931, the Mukden Incident helped spark the Japanese invasion of Manchuria; the Chinese were defeated and Japan created a new puppet state, Manchukuo. This view has been adopted by the PRC government. From 1931 to 1937, China and Japan continued to skirmish in small, localized engagements, so-called "incidents".
The Japanese scored major victories, capturing both Shanghai and the Chinese capital of Nanjing in 1937. After failing to stop the Japanese in the Battle of Wuhan, the Chinese central government was relocated to Chongqing in the Chinese interior. By 1939, after Chinese victories in Changsha and Guangxi, with Japan's lines of communications stretched deep into the Chinese interior, the war reached a stalemate; the Japanese were unable to defeat the Chinese communist forces in Shaanxi, which waged a campaign of sabotage and guerrilla warfare against the invaders. While Japan ruled the large cities, they lacked sufficient manpower to control China's vast countryside. During this time, Chinese communist forces launched a counter offensive in Central China while Chinese nationalist forces launched a large scale winter offensive. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the following day the United States declared war on Japan; the United States began to aid China by airlifting material over the Himalayas after the Allied defeat in Burma that closed the Burma Road.
In 1944 Japan launched Operation Ichi-Go, that conquered Henan and Changsha. However, this failed to bring about the surrender of Chinese forces. In 1945, the Chinese Expeditionary Force resumed its advance in Burma and completed the Ledo Road linking India to China. At the same time, China launched large counteroffensives in South China and retook West Hunan and Guangxi. Despite continuing to occupy part of China's territory, Japan surrendered on September 2, 1945, to Allied forces following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Soviet invasion of Japanese-held Manchuria; the remaining Japanese occupation forces formally surrendered on September 9, 1945, with the following International Military Tribunal for the Far East convened on April 29, 1946. At the outcome of the Cairo Conference of November 22–26, 1943, the Allies of World War II decided to restrain and punish the aggression of Japan by restoring all the territories that Japan annexed from China, including Manchuria, Taiwan/Formosa, the Pescadores, to China, to expel Japan from the Korean Peninsula.
China was recognized as one of the Big Four of the Allies during the war and became one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. In China, the war is most known as the "War of Resistance against Japan", shortened to the "Resistance against Japan" or the "War of Resistance", it was called the "Eight Years' War of Resistance", but in 2017 the Chinese Ministry of Education issued a directive stating that textbooks were to refer to the war as the "Fourteen Years' War of Resistance", reflecting a focus on the broader conflict with Japan going back to 1931. It is referred to as part of the "Global Anti-Fascist War", how World War II is perceived by the Communist Party of China and the PRC government. In Japan, the name "Japan–China War" is most used because of its perceived objectivity; when the invasion of China proper began in earnest in July 1937 near Beijing, the government of Japan used "The North China Incident", with the outbreak of the Battle of Shanghai the following month, it was changed to "The China Incident"
General Nobuyuki Abe was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army, Governor-General of Korea, 36th Prime Minister of Japan from 30 August 1939 to 16 January 1940. Abe was born into an ex-samurai family in Ishikawa Prefecture, his brother-in-law was Imperial Japanese Navy admiral Shigeyoshi Inoue. Abe attended Tokyo No. 1. While still a student, he volunteered for military service during the First Sino-Japanese War. After the war, Abe graduated from the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in November 1897. Commissioned a second lieutenant the following 27 June, he was promoted to lieutenant in November 1900 and attended the Army Artillery School, graduating in December 1901. Promoted to captain in November 1903, he enrolled in the 19th class of the Army War College, graduating in November 1907. Ultranationalist General Araki Sadao was one of his classmates, he was promoted to major in December 1908, becoming an instructor at the Army War College in September 1909. In November 1910, he was posted to the German Empire as a military attache' at the Japanese embassy, became a supplementary attache' at the embassy in Vienna in February 1913.
Abe was promoted to lieutenant colonel in February 1915, to colonel on 24 July 1918. He served as the commander of the 3rd Field Artillery Regiment from 1918–1921. In August 1918, his regiment was sent to Siberia during Japan's Siberian Intervention, but never saw combat, he became secretary of the Army War College on 3 June 1921, was promoted to major general on 15 August 1922. Appointed Director of the General Affairs Division of the Imperial General Staff on 6 August 1923, following the devastating earthquake of 1 September, he was placed in charge of overseeing martial law for the Kanto region on 3 September, he was appointed director of military service affairs in the Army Ministry on 28 July 1926, was promoted to lieutenant general on 5 March 1927. He served as chief of the Military Affairs Bureau and as Vice Minister of the Army, which he had been appointed as on 10 August 1928, he commanded the 4th Infantry Division from 22 December 1930. In January 1932, Abe was appointed to command the Japanese Taiwan Army, he was promoted to full general on 19 June 1933.
After serving on the Supreme War Council, he was placed on the reserve list on 10 March 1936. Abe Nobuyuki was not the obvious first choice as Prime Minister after the collapse of the Hiranuma Kiichirō cabinet. From the civilian side, Konoe Fumimaro or Hirota Kōki were regarded as front-runners. After genrō Saionji Kinmochi declared his lack of enthusiasm for any of those candidates, the Army was poised to have its way. However, Ugaki was hospitalized; the interim War Minister General Abe was a compromise choice. He had the advantage of belonging to neither the Tōseiha nor the Kodoha political factions within the Army and was supported as a relative political moderate by the Imperial Japanese Navy. Abe became Prime Minister on 30 August 1939, he concurrently held the portfolio of Foreign Minister. During a reign which lasted only four months, Abe sought to end as as possible the Second Sino-Japanese War, to maintain Japan's neutrality in the growing European conflict, he was opposed to efforts by elements within the Army to form a political-military alliance with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.
Lacking in support from either the military or the political parties, Abe was replaced by Mitsumasa Yonai in January 1940. Three months after his replacement as Prime Minister, Abe was sent by the army as a special envoy to China to advise the Japanese-supported regime of Wang Jingwei in Nanjing, to negotiate a treaty ensuring Japanese economic and military rights in northern China. However, he did have some sympathy for Wang Jingwei's pro-Japanese "reorganized national government" of China. After his return to Japan, Abe joined the House of Peers in 1942, accepted the ceremonial position as president of the Imperial Rule Assistance Political Association, he was appointed the 10th Governor-General of Korea in 1944 and 1945. Following World War II, Abe was purged from public office, arrested by the American occupation government. However, he was soon released, his second son was Nobuhiro Abe. Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun Barnhart, Michael.
Japan Prepares for Total War: The Search for Economic Security, 1919–1941. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-9529-6. Bix, Herbert P.. Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan. Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-06-093130-2. Coox, Alvin D.. Nomonhan: Japan Against Russia, 1939. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-1835-0. Baudot, Marcel; the Historical Encyclopedia or World War II. Facts on File Inc. ISBN 0-87196-401-5. Ammentorp, Steen. "Generals from Japan: Abe, Hiroaki". The Generals of World War II. Retrieved 2007-09-03. Newspaper clippings about Nobuyuki Abe in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics