The Edo period or Tokugawa period is the period between 1603 and 1868 in the history of Japan, when Japanese society was under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate and the country's 300 regional daimyō. The period was characterized by economic growth, strict social order, isolationist foreign policies, a stable population, "no more wars", popular enjoyment of arts and culture; the shogunate was established in Edo on March 24, 1603, by Tokugawa Ieyasu. The period came to an end with the Meiji Restoration on May 1868, after the fall of Edo. A revolution took place from the time of the Kamakura shogunate, which existed with the Tennō's court, to the Tokugawa, when the samurai became the unchallenged rulers in what historian Edwin O. Reischauer called a "centralized feudal" form of shogunate. Instrumental in the rise of the new-existing bakufu was Tokugawa Ieyasu, the main beneficiary of the achievements of Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Powerful, Ieyasu profited by his transfer to the rich Kantō area.
He maintained two million koku of land, a new headquarters at Edo, a strategically situated castle town, had an additional two million koku of land and thirty-eight vassals under his control. After Hideyoshi's death, Ieyasu moved to seize control from the Toyotomi clan. Ieyasu's victory over the western daimyō at the Battle of Sekigahara gave him control of all Japan, he abolished numerous enemy daimyō houses, reduced others, such as that of the Toyotomi, redistributed the spoils of war to his family and allies. Ieyasu still failed to achieve complete control of the western daimyō, but his assumption of the title of shōgun helped consolidate the alliance system. After further strengthening his power base, Ieyasu installed his son Hidetada as shōgun and himself as retired shōgun in 1605; the Toyotomi were still a significant threat, Ieyasu devoted the next decade to their eradication. In 1615, the Tokugawa army destroyed the Toyotomi stronghold at Osaka; the Tokugawa period brought 250 years of stability to Japan.
The political system evolved into what historians call bakuhan, a combination of the terms bakufu and han to describe the government and society of the period. In the bakuhan, the shōgun had national authority and the daimyō had regional authority; this represented a new unity in the feudal structure, which featured an large bureaucracy to administer the mixture of centralized and decentralized authorities. The Tokugawa became more powerful during their first century of rule: land redistribution gave them nearly seven million koku, control of the most important cities, a land assessment system reaping great revenues; the feudal hierarchy was completed by the various classes of daimyō. Closest to the Tokugawa house were the shinpan, or "related houses", they were twenty-three daimyō on the borders of Tokugawa lands. The shinpan held honorary titles and advisory posts in the bakufu; the second class of the hierarchy were the fudai, or "house daimyō", rewarded with lands close to the Tokugawa holdings for their faithful service.
By the 18th century, 145 fudai controlled the greatest assessed at 250,000 koku. Members of the fudai class staffed most of the major bakufu offices. Ninety-seven han formed the tozama, former opponents or new allies; the tozama were located on the peripheries of the archipelago and collectively controlled nearly ten million koku of productive land. Because the tozama were least trusted of the daimyō, they were the most cautiously managed and generously treated, although they were excluded from central government positions; the Tokugawa shogunate not only consolidated their control over a reunified Japan, they had unprecedented power over the emperor, the court, all daimyō and the religious orders. The emperor was held up as the ultimate source of political sanction for the shōgun, who ostensibly was the vassal of the imperial family; the Tokugawa helped the imperial family recapture its old glory by rebuilding its palaces and granting it new lands. To ensure a close tie between the imperial clan and the Tokugawa family, Ieyasu's granddaughter was made an imperial consort in 1619.
A code of laws was established to regulate the daimyō houses. The code encompassed private conduct, dress, types of weapons and numbers of troops allowed. Although the daimyō were not taxed per se, they were levied for contributions for military and logistical support and for such public works projects as castles, roads and palaces; the various regulations and levies not only strengthened the Tokugawa but depleted the wealth of the daimyō, thus weakening their threat to the central administration. The han, once military-centered domains, became mere local administrative units; the daimyō did have full administrative control over their territory and their complex systems of retainers and commoners. Loyalty was exacted from religious foundations greatly weakened by Nobunaga and Hideyoshi, through a variety of control mechanisms. Like Hideyoshi, Ieyasu encouraged foreign trade but was suspicious of outsiders, he wanted to make Edo a major port, but once he learned that the Europeans favored ports in Kyūshū and that China had rejected his plans for official trade, he moved to control existing trade
The Nanboku-chō period, spanning from 1336 to 1392, was a period that occurred during the formative years of the Muromachi bakufu of Japanese history. During this period, there existed a Northern Imperial Court, established by Ashikaga Takauji in Kyoto, a Southern Imperial Court, established by Emperor Go-Daigo in Yoshino. Ideologically, the two courts fought for fifty years, with the South giving up to the North in 1392. However, in reality the Northern line was under the power of the Ashikaga shōguns and had little real independence. Since the 19th century the Emperors of the Southern Imperial Court have been considered the legitimate Emperors of Japan. Other contributing factors were the Southern Court's control of the Japanese imperial regalia, Kitabatake Chikafusa's work Jinnō Shōtōki, which legitimized the South's imperial court despite their defeat; the consequences of events in this period continue to be influential in modern Japan's conventional view of the Tennō Seika. Under the influence of State Shinto, an Imperial decree dated March 3, 1911, established that the legitimate reigning monarchs of this period were the Southern Court.
After World War II, a series of pretenders, starting with Kumazawa Hiromichi, claimed descent from the Southern Court and challenged the legitimacy of the modern imperial line, descended from the Northern Court. The destruction of the Kamakura shogunate of 1333 and the failure of the Kenmu Restoration in 1336 opened up a legitimacy crisis for the new shogunate. Furthermore, institutional changes in the estate system that formed the bedrock of the income of nobles and warriors alike decisively altered the status of the various social groups. What emerged from the exigencies of the Nanboku-chō War was the Muromachi regime, which broadened the economic base of the warriors while undercutting the noble proprietors, a trend that had started with the Kamakura bakufu; the main conflicts that contributed to the outbreak of the civil war were the growing conflict between the Hōjō family and other warrior groups in the wake of the Mongol invasions of Japan of 1274 and 1281 and the failure of the Kemmu Restoration, which triggered the struggle between the supporters of the imperial loyalists and supporters of the Ashikaga clan.
Disaffection towards the Hōjō-led Kamakura regime appeared among the warriors towards the end of the thirteenth century. This resentment was caused by the growing influence of the Hōjō over other warrior families within the regime; the Mongol invasions were the main cause behind this centralization of power that took place during the regency of Hōjō Tokimune. During the crisis, three things occurred: Hōjō family appointments to the council of state increased. Note a They narrowed down their constituents by including only Hōjō family members and direct vassals, at the expense of a broader base of support; when a coalition against the Hōjō emerged in 1331, it took only two years to topple the regime. Wealth in agrarian societies is tied to land, medieval Japan was no different. In fact, land was the main reason for much of the discontent among the warrior class. Since the rise of the warriors under the Minamoto, it was expected that victory in battle would be rewarded by land grants given to those who served on the victorious side.
However, unlike any war, fought until the Mongol invasions presented a problem since this war, seen by most Japanese as a patriotic duty, did not take place against another warrior family, but against a foreign enemy. After the foreign enemy's defeat there were no lands to hand out to the victors; this was a problem for those warriors who had fought valiantly and petitioned the Hōjō regents for land. In the beginning of the fourteenth century this discontent put a tremendous pressure on any regime that emerged, they had to satisfy this group in order to succeed. When Kamakura's rule was destroyed in 1333, Kyoto's court society emerged again to confront the warriors. In the transition from the Heian to the Kamakura period, the warriors emerged from the domination of court patrimonialism as an independent political force. With the demise of Kamakura, the imperial court attempted once again to restore its de jure power as an alternative to warrior rule; the Kemmu Restoration was the last desperate attempt on the part of the court to restore their leadership, not just to preserve their institutions.
Not until the Meiji Restoration of the 19th century did this occur again. In the spring of 1333, the Emperor Go-Daigo and his supporters believed that the moment had arrived to restore the glory of the imperial court; the Emperor Daigo, who lived at a time when the court had no rivals and effective rule was exercised directly from the throne, became Go-Daigo's adopted name and model. Of cardinal importance was the ideology that emerged with the Kemmu Restoration: it was a conscious movement to restore the imperial power vis-a-vis the warriors. Two of the movement's greatest spokesmen were Kitabatake Chikafusa. Prince Morinaga was Daigo's son, archrival to Ashikaga Takauji: he advocated the militarization of the nobles as a necessary step towards effective rule. Kitabatake Chikafusa epitomized what Prince Morinaga was looking for: a Kyoto noble who became the greatest of the imperialist generals, combining the ways of the warrior to his noble upbringing. During the long siege in Hitachi
The Russo-Japanese War was fought during 1904-1905 between the Russian Empire and the Empire of Japan over rival imperial ambitions in Manchuria and Korea. The major theatres of operations were the Liaodong Peninsula and Mukden in Southern Manchuria and the seas around Korea and the Yellow Sea. Russia sought a warm-water port on the Pacific Ocean for maritime trade. Vladivostok was operational only during the summer, whereas Port Arthur, a naval base in Liaodong Province leased to Russia by China, was operational all year. Since the end of the First Sino-Japanese War in 1895, Japan feared Russian encroachment on its plans to create a sphere of influence in Korea and Manchuria. Russia had demonstrated an expansionist policy in the Siberian Far East from the reign of Ivan the Terrible in the 16th century. Seeing Russia as a rival, Japan offered to recognize Russian dominance in Manchuria in exchange for recognition of Korea as being within the Japanese sphere of influence. Russia refused and demanded Korea north of the 39th parallel to be a neutral buffer zone between Russia and Japan.
The Japanese government perceived a Russian threat to its plans for expansion into Asia and chose to go to war. After negotiations broke down in 1904, the Japanese Navy opened hostilities by attacking the Russian Eastern Fleet at Port Arthur, China, in a surprise attack. Russia suffered multiple defeats by Japan, but Tsar Nicholas II was convinced that Russia would win and chose to remain engaged in the war. Russia ignored Japan's willingness early on to agree to an armistice and rejected the idea to bring the dispute to the Arbitration Court at The Hague; the war concluded with the Treaty of Portsmouth, mediated by US President Theodore Roosevelt. The complete victory of the Japanese military surprised world observers; the consequences transformed the balance of power in East Asia, resulting in a reassessment of Japan's recent entry onto the world stage. It was the first major military victory in the modern era of an Asian power over a European one. Scholars continue to debate the historical significance of the war.
After the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the Meiji government endeavored to assimilate Western ideas, technological advances and ways of warfare. By the late 19th century, Japan had transformed itself into a modernized industrial state; the Japanese wanted to be recognized as equal with the Western powers. The Meiji Restoration had been intended to make Japan a modernized state, not a Westernized one, Japan was an imperialist power, looking towards overseas expansionism. In the years 1869–73, the Seikanron had bitterly divided the Japanese elite between one faction that wanted to conquer Korea vs. another that wanted to wait until Japan was more modernized before embarking on a war to conquer Korea. Worse, the Western Powers were conquering small pieces of China and China had dominated Korea with its military for centuries; the Japanese were doing what they could to emulate the West in every way possible, including conqering and occupying its neighbors. In much the same way that Europeans used the "backwardness" of African and Asian nations as a reason for why they had to conquer them, for the Japanese elite the "backwardness" of China and Korea was proof of the inferiority of those nations, thus giving the Japanese the "right" to conquer them.
Inouye Kaoru, the Foreign Minister, gave a speech in 1887 saying "What we must do is to transform our empire and our people, make the empire like the countries of Europe and our people like the peoples of Europe", going to say that the Chinese and Koreans had forfeited their right to be independent by not modernizing. Much of the pressure for an aggressive foreign policy in Japan came from below, with the advocates of "people's rights" movement calling for an elected parliament favoring an ultra-nationalist line that took it for granted the Japanese had the "right" to annex Korea, as the "people's right" movement was led by those who favored invading Korea in the years 1869–73; as part of the modernization process in Japan, Social Darwinian ideas about the "survival of the fittest" were common in Japan from the 1880s onward and many ordinary Japanese resented the heavy taxes imposed by the government to modernize Japan, demanding something tangible like an overseas colony as a reward for their sacrifices.
Furthermore, the educational system of Meiji Japan was meant to train the schoolboys to be soldiers when they grew up, as such, Japanese schools indoctrinated their students into Bushidō, the fierce code of the samurai. Having indoctrinated the younger generations into Bushidō, the Meiji elite found themselves faced with a people who clamored for war, regarded diplomacy as a weakness; the British Japanologist Richard Storry wrote the biggest misconception about Japan in the West was that the Japanese people were the "docile" instruments of the elite, when in fact much of the pressure for Japan's wars from 1894 to 1941 came from below, as ordinary people demanded a "tough" foreign policy, tended to engage in riots and assassination when foreign policy was perceived to be pusillanimous. Though the Meiji oligarchy refused to allow democracy, they did seek to appropriate some of the demands of the "people's rights" movement by allowing an elected Diet in 1890 (with limited powers and an equally
The Yayoi period is an Iron Age era in the history of Japan traditionally dated 300 BC–300 AD. Since the 1980s, scholars have argued that a period classified as a transition from the Jōmon period should be reclassified as Early Yayoi; the date of the beginning of this transition is controversial, with estimates ranging from the 10th to the 6th centuries BC. The period is named after the neighborhood of Tokyo where archaeologists first uncovered artifacts and features from that era. Distinguishing characteristics of the Yayoi period include the appearance of new Yayoi pottery styles and the start of an intensive rice agriculture in paddy fields. A hierarchical social class structure has its origin in China. Techniques in metallurgy based on the use of bronze and iron were introduced from China over Korea to Japan in this period; the Yayoi followed the Jōmon period and Yayoi culture flourished in a geographic area from southern Kyūshū to northern Honshū. Archaeological evidence supports the idea that during this time, an influx of farmers from the Asian continent to Japan absorbed or overwhelmed the native hunter-gatherer population.
The Yayoi period is traditionally dated from 300 BC to 300 AD. During this period Japan transitioned to a settled agricultural society; the earliest archaeological evidence of the Yayoi is found on northern Kyūshū, but, still debated. Yayoi culture spread to the main island of Honshū, mixing with native Jōmon culture. A recent study that used accelerator mass spectrometry to analyze carbonized remains on pottery and wooden stakes, suggests that they dated back to 900–800 BC, 500 years earlier than believed; the name Yayoi is borrowed from a location in Tokyo where pottery of the Yayoi period was first found. Yayoi pottery was decorated and produced using the same coiling technique used in Jōmon pottery. Yayoi craft specialists made bronze ceremonial bells and weapons. By the 1st century AD, Yayoi farmers began using iron agricultural weapons; as the Yayoi population increased, the society became more complex. They wove textiles, lived in permanent farming villages, constructed buildings with wood and stone.
They accumulated wealth through land ownership and the storage of grain. Such factors promoted the development of distinct social classes. Contemporary Chinese sources described the people as having tattoos and other bodily markings which indicated differences in social status. Yayoi chiefs, in some parts of Kyūshū, appear to have sponsored, politically manipulated, trade in bronze and other prestige objects; that was possible by the introduction of an irrigated, wet-rice culture from the Yangtze estuary in southern China via the Ryukyu Islands or Korean Peninsula. Wet-rice agriculture led to the growth of a sedentary, agrarian society in Japan. Local political and social developments in Japan were more important than the activities of the central authority within a stratified society. Direct comparisons between Jōmon and Yayoi skeletons show that the two peoples are noticeably distinguishable; the Jōmon tended to be shorter, with longer forearms and lower legs, more wide-set eyes and wider faces, much more pronounced facial topography.
They have strikingly raised brow ridges and nose bridges. Yayoi people, on the other hand, averaged an inch or two taller, with close-set eyes and narrow faces, flat brow ridges and noses. By the Kofun period all skeletons excavated in Japan except those of the Ainu are of the Yayoi type with Jomon admixture, resembling those of modern-day Japanese; the origin of Yayoi culture has long been debated. The earliest archaeological sites are Itazuke or Nabata in the northern part of Kyūshū. Contacts between fishing communities on this coast and the southern coast of Korea date from the Jōmon period, as witnessed by the exchange of trade items such as fishhooks and obsidians. During the Yayoi period, cultural features from China and Korea arrived in this area at various times over several centuries, spread to the south and east; this was a period of mixture between immigrants and the indigenous population, between new cultural influences and existing practices. Chinese influence was obvious in the bronze and copper weapons, dōkyō, dōtaku, as well as irrigated paddy rice cultivation.
Three major symbols of Yayoi culture are the bronze mirror, the bronze sword, the royal seal stone. Between 1996 and 1999, a team led by Satoshi Yamaguchi, a researcher at Japan's National Museum of Nature and Science, compared Yayoi remains found in Japan's Yamaguchi and Fukuoka prefectures with those from China's coastal Jiangsu province and found many similarities between the Yayoi and the Jiangsu remains; some scholars have concluded. Mark J. Hudson has cited archaeological evidence that included "bounded paddy fields, new types of polished stone tools, wooden farming implements, iron tools, weaving technology, ceramic storage jars, exterior bonding of clay coils in pottery fabrication, ditched settlements, domesticated pigs, jawbone rituals." The migrant transfusion from the Korean peninsula gains strength because Yayoi culture began on the north coast of Kyūshū, where Japan is closest to Korea. Yayoi pottery, burial mounds, food preservation were discovered to be similar to the pottery of southern Korea.
However, some scholars argue that the rapid increase of four million people in Japan between the Jōmon and Yayoi periods cannot be explained by migration alone. They attribute the increase to a shift from a hunter-gatherer to an agricultural diet on the islands, with the introduction
Occupation of Japan
The Allied occupation of Japan at the end of World War II was led by General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, with support from the British Commonwealth. Unlike in the occupation of Germany, the Soviet Union was allowed little to no influence over Japan; this foreign presence marks the only time in Japan's history that it has been occupied by a foreign power. The country became a parliamentary democracy that recalled "New Deal" priorities of the 1930s by Roosevelt; the occupation, codenamed Operation Blacklist, was ended by the San Francisco Peace Treaty, signed on September 8, 1951, effective from April 28, 1952, after which Japan's sovereignty – with the exception, until 1972, of the Ryukyu Islands – was restored. According to John Dower, in his book Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor/Hiroshima/9-11/Iraq, the factors behind the success of the occupation were: Discipline, moral legitimacy, well-defined and well-articulated objectives, a clear chain of command and flexibility in policy formulation and implementation, confidence in the ability of the state to act constructively, the ability to operate abroad free of partisan politics back home, the existence of a stable, sophisticated civil society on the receiving end of occupation policies – these political and civic virtues helped make it possible to move decisively during the brief window of a few years when defeated Japan itself was in flux and most receptive to radical change.
Japan surrendered to the Allies on August 14, 1945, when the Japanese government notified the Allies that it had accepted the Potsdam Declaration. On the following day, Emperor Hirohito announced Japan's unconditional surrender on the radio; the announcement was the emperor's first planned radio broadcast and the first time most citizens of Japan heard their sovereign's voice. This date is known as Victory over Japan, or V-J Day, marked the end of World War II and the beginning of a long road to recovery for a shattered Japan. Japanese officials left for Manila, Philippines on August 19 to meet MacArthur and to be briefed on his plans for the occupation. On August 28, 1945, 150 US personnel flew to Kanagawa Prefecture, they were followed by USS Missouri, whose accompanying vessels landed the 4th Marine Regiment on the southern coast of Kanagawa. The 11th Airborne Division was airlifted from Okinawa 30 miles from Tokyo. Other Allied personnel followed. MacArthur arrived in Tokyo on August 30, decreed several laws.
No Allied personnel were to assault Japanese people. No Allied personnel were to eat the scarce Japanese food. Flying the Hinomaru or "Rising Sun" flag was severely restricted; this restriction was lifted in 1948 and lifted the following year. On September 2, 1945, Japan formally surrendered with the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender. On September 6, US President Truman approved a document titled "US Initial Post-Surrender Policy for Japan"; the document set two main objectives for the occupation: eliminating Japan's war potential and turning Japan into a democratic-style nation with pro-United Nations orientation. Allied forces were set up to supervise the country, "for eighty months following its surrender in 1945, Japan was at the mercy of an army of occupation, its people subject to foreign military control." At the head of the Occupation administration was General MacArthur, technically supposed to defer to an advisory council set up by the Allied powers, but in practice did not and did everything himself.
As a result, this period was one of significant American influence, described near the end of the occupation in 1951 that "for six years the United States has had a freer hand to experiment with Japan than any other country in Asia, or indeed in the entire world." Looking back to his work among the Japanese, MacArthur said, "Measured by the standards of modern civilization, they would be like a boy of twelve" compared to the maturity of the US and Germany, had a good chance of putting away their troubled past. On V-J Day, US President Harry Truman appointed General Douglas MacArthur as Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, to supervise the occupation of Japan. During the war, the Allied Powers had planned to divide Japan amongst themselves for the purposes of occupation, as was done for the occupation of Germany. Under the final plan, however, SCAP was given direct control over the main islands of Japan and the surrounding islands, while outlying possessions were divided between the Allied Powers as follows: Soviet Union: North Korea, South Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands United States: South Korea, the Amami Islands, the Ogasawara Islands and Japanese possessions in Micronesia China: Taiwan and Penghu It is unclear why the occupation plan was changed.
Common theories include the increased power of the United States following development of the atomic bomb, Truman's greater distrust of the Soviet Union when compared with Roosevelt, an increased desire to restrict Soviet influence in East Asia after the Yalta Conference. The Soviet Union had some intentions of occupying Hokkaidō. Had this occurred, there might have been a communist state in the Soviet zone of occupation. However, unlike the Soviet occupations of East Germany and North Korea, these plans were frustrated by Truman's opposition. MacArthur's first priority was to set up a food distribution network. With these
Wadōkaichin romanized as Wadō-kaichin or called Wadō-kaihō, is the oldest official Japanese coinage, having been minted starting on 29 August 708 on order of Empress Genmei. The coins, which were round with a square hole in the center, remained in circulation until 958 AD; these were the first of a series of coins collectively called jūnizeni or kōchō jūnisen."Wadōkaichin" is the transliteration of the four characters in the coin's inscription, thought to be composed of the era name Wadō, which could alternatively mean "happiness", "Kaichin", thought to be related to "Currency". This coinage was inspired by the Tang dynasty coinage named Kaigentsūhō, first minted in Chang'an in 621 CE; the Wadōkaichin had the same specifications as the Chinese coin, with a diameter of 2.4 cm and a weight of 3.75 g. Ryō Japanese mon Wadō Economy of Japan Brown, Delmer M. and Ichirō Ishida, eds.. Gukanshō: The Future and the Past. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-03460-0; the Imperial House of Japan.
Kyoto: Ponsonby Memorial Society. OCLC 194887 Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth.. Japan encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5. Annales des empereurs du Japon. Paris: Royal Asiatic Society, Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. OCLC 5850691 Varley, H. Paul.. A Chronicle of Gods and Sovereigns: Jinnō Shōtōki of Kitabatake Chikafusa. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-04940-5.
Japanese economic miracle
The Japanese economic miracle is known as Japan's record period of economic growth between the post-World War II era to the end of the Cold War. During the economic boom, Japan became the world's second largest economy. By the 1990s, Japan's demographics began stagnating and the workforce was no longer expanding as it did in previous decades, despite per-worker productivity remaining high; this economic miracle was the result of post-World War II Japan and West Germany benefiting from the Cold War. It occurred chiefly due to the economic interventionism of the Japanese government and due to the aid and assistance of the U. S. Marshall Plan. After World War II, the U. S. established a significant presence in Japan to slow the expansion of Soviet influence in the Pacific. The U. S. was concerned with the growth of the economy of Japan because there was a risk after World War II that an unhappy and poor Japanese population would turn to communism and by doing so, it can ensure that the Soviet Union would control the Pacific.
The distinguishing characteristics of the Japanese economy during the "economic miracle" years included: the cooperation of manufacturers, suppliers and banks in knit groups called keiretsu. The Japanese financial recovery continued after SCAP departed and the economic boom propelled by the Korean War abated; the Japanese economy survived from the deep recession caused by a loss of the U. S. continued to make gains. By the late 1960s, Japan had risen from the ashes of World War II to achieve an astoundingly rapid and complete economic recovery. According to Mikiso Hane, the period leading up to the late 1960s saw "the greatest years of prosperity Japan had seen since the Sun Goddess shut herself up behind a stone door to protest her brother Susano-o's misbehavior." The Japanese government contributed to the post-war Japanese economic miracle by stimulating private sector growth, first by instituting regulations and protectionism that managed economic crises and by concentrating on trade expansion.
Japanese economic miracle refers to the significant increase in the Japanese economy during the time between the end of World War II and the end of the Cold War. The economical miracle can be divided into four stages: the recovery, the high increase, the steady increase, the low increase. Though destroyed by the nuclear bombardment in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, other Allied air raids on Japan, Japan was able to recover from the trauma of WWII, managed to become the second largest economic entity of the world by the 1960s. However, after three decades, Japan had experienced the so-called "recession in growth", as the United States had been imposing economic protection policy in oppressing Japanese production and forcing the appreciation of the Japanese yen. In preventing further oppression, Japan improved its technological advances and raised the value of the yen, since to devalue, the yen would have brought further risk and a possible depressing effect on trade; the appreciation of the yen led to significant economic recession in the 1980s.
To alleviate the influence of recession, Japan imposed a series of economical and financial policy to stimulate the domestic demand. The bubble economy that took place in the late 1980s and early 1990s and the subsequent deflationary policy destroyed the Japanese economy. After the deflationary policy, the Japanese economy has been through a time of low increase period which has lasted until today. For more detailed information regarding this period, see Economic history of Japan and Lost Decade. Japan was harmed in WWII. For instance, during wartime, "the Japanese cotton industry was brought to its knees by the end of the Second World War. Two-thirds of its prewar cotton spindles were scrapped by wartime administrators, bombing and destruction of urban areas had caused a further loss of 20 percent of spinning and 14 percent of weaving capacity". Nonetheless, the ability of recovery astonished the world, earning the title of "Japanese Economic Miracle". By and large, every country has experienced some degree of industrial growth in the postwar period, those countries that achieved a heavy drop in industrial output due to war damage such as Japan, West Germany and Italy, have achieved a most rapid recovery.
In the case of Japan, industrial production decreased in 1946 to 27.6% of the pre-war level, but recovered in 1951 and reached 350% in 1960. One reason for Japan's quick recovery from war trauma was the successful economic reform by the government; the government body principally concerned with industrial policy in Japan was the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. One of the major economic reforms was to adopt the "Inclined Production Mode"; the "Inclined Production Mode" refers to the inclined production that focus on the production of raw material including steel and cotton. Textile production occupied more than 23.9% of the total industrial production. Moreover, to stimulate the production, Japanese government supported the new recruitment of labour female labour. By enhancing the recruitment of female labour, Japan managed to recover from the destruction; the legislation on recruitment contains three components: the restriction placed on regional recruitment and relocation of workers, the banning of the direct recruitment of new school leavers, the direct recruitment of non-school leave