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2-5. Imperialism, Colonialism and the Rise of Modern Japan

If the Portuguese and Spanish had given Asians a little taste of Christianity and colonialism, the second wave of Europeans provided a full meal. China's dominance of the region came under serious threat from European pressure for more trade and greater access to markets. What began as simple supply depots became fortified bases and later fortified towns with locally-built armies. Playing nice to access trade goods gradually gave way to forced acquisition and full control of production. Britain did precisely this in India and set its sights on the rest of Asia. The European industrial revolution not only gave these countries (and the United States of America) vastly superior ships and weapons but wealth production on a massive scale. They had goods to trade and sought relations of equality with China but the middle kingdom resisted this and regarded outsiders as little more than barbarians. With slim justification England went to war with China and, in the peace settlement, imposed its unequal treaties and got the trade access it desired. Other states did the same and soon Qing China was being carved up.



Josef Kreiner, ‘Notes on the History of European-Ryukyuan Contacts,’ in Josef Kreiner (Ed.) Sources of Ryukyuan History and Culture in European Collections. Munich: Iudicium, 1996.

上里 隆史、 琉日戦争一六〇九―島津氏の琉球侵攻。 出版社: ボーダーインク (2009/12)
ISBN-10: 4899821700  ISBN-13: 978-4899821700

Patrick Beillevaire, Ryukyu studies since 1854: Western Encounters Part 1 and 2 (10 volumes in total). Tokyo: Edition Synapse, 2000 and 2002, respectively.

山口栄鉄編訳・解説、 外国人来琉記 (Gaikokujin Ryuuraiki. A Record of Foreigners Visiting Ryukyu). 那覇:琉球新報社、2000.

山口栄鉄、 異国と琉球 (Ikoku to Ryuukyuu. Foreign Countries and Ryukyu).宜野湾:榕樹書林、1999.

Yamaguchi Eitetsu & Arakawa Yuko (Editors), The Demise of the Ryukyu Kingdom: Western Accounts and Controversy (琉球王国の崩壊:大動乱期の日中外交戦). Ginowan: Yojushorin, 2002.

Yamaguchi Eitetsu & Arakawa Yuko (Editors), The Loochoo Islands Two Versions (琉球の島々二編 - The Loochoo Islands by Charles S. Leavenworth and The Loo Choo Islands : a Chapter of Missionary History). Hamden, Ct.: English Institute of Japanese Studies, 2005.

Yamaguchi Eitetsu & Arakawa Yuko (Editors), Lewchew and the Lewchewans: Being a Narrative of a Visit to Lewchew, or Loo Choo, in October,1850 by George Smith. 那覇:欧文日本学研究所、2003.

Edwin Pak-Wah Leung's China's Quasi-War with Japan: The Dispute over the Ryukyu (Liu Ch'iu) Islands, 1871-1881. University of California Santa Barbara, unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, 1978.

Hokama, Seisho., editor (1975). Commodore Perry's Visit to Okinawa: Selections From Narratives of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan. Naha: Kyuyodo Shobo.

ラブ・オーシュリ (Rob Oechsle), 上原正稔編著, 青い目が見た「大琉球」: Great Lewchew discovered : 19th century Ryukyu in western art and illustration 那覇: ニライ社/下関: 新日本教育図書(発売), 2000.

Hall, B. (1975). Voyage of Discovery to the West Coast of Corea and the Great Loo-Choo Island. Seoul: Royal Asiatic Society, Korea Branch, Reprint Series.

Charles Leavenworth (チャールズ・S.レブンウォース); 山口栄鉄, 新川右好訳 (Translators)、The Loochoo Islands 1905 - 琉球の島々1905年 (Ryuukyuu no shimajima 1905 nen). 那覇: 沖縄タイムス社, 2005.









2-6. Empire-Building and Japan’s Road to World War II

Japan had the advantage of a little distance from these events but knew that the Europeans would come knocking on its door for the same access soon enough. Japan decided to spare itself the warfare and instead end its feudal era and reemerge as a modern nation state along European lines. Its progress in this direction after 1868 was quite remarkable and soon Japan was knocking at China's door and demanding the same kind of unequal treaty as Britain or America. Its transformation into the preeminent power in Asia was complete after the 1894-95 Sino-Japanese War. Thereafter, Japanese empire-building moved forward rapidly. Ryukyu had been the first piece of this empire when incorporated into Japan in 1872 and finally annexed and designated a prefecture in 1879. Several European countries, as well as a US naval expedition, had visited the Ryukyus and had even dropped off missionaries. Japan saw annexation as the best solution to dissuade unwanted interest and potential territorial challenge. Taiwan, Korea, a number of Pacific islands and then Manchuria were added to the empire before the attack on Pearl Harbor and advance into Southeast Asia took it into war with the US, Britain and, eventually, Soviet Russia.

The start of the period saw Okinawa incorporated into Japan and forced to undergo complete assimilation. Such change itself was traumatic enough, but at the same time difficult economic conditions forced Okinawans to emigrate to mainland Japan, to other parts of the expanding colonial empire as well as abroad, principally to Hawaii and South America. The conclusion of this period was the horrific Battle for Okinawa from April to June 1945. This was the only case of land war between US and Japanese forces on homeland Japanese territory. The death toll was high for America (13,000), Japan (90,000) and, particularly, Okinawa, with more than 200,000 civilians killed. It wrought utter devastation on the main island of Okinawa, a fact that would to a good extent determine the subsequent US economic reconstruction strategy.



(PDF document downloadable from the "publications" section of the following link) "Jahana Noboru: Okinawan Activist and Scholar" written by Gregory Smits [external - the personal website of Gregory James Smits - English/Japanese]

比屋根照夫、自由民権思想と沖繩 (Jiyuu minken shisou to Okinawa. The Freedom and Democratic Rights Ideology and Okinawa). 東京:研文出版、1982.

比屋根照夫、 近代日本と伊波普猷 (Kindai nihon to Iha Fuyuu. Modern Japan and Iha Fuyu). 東京:三一書房、1981.

比屋根照夫、 近代沖縄の精神史 (Kindai Okinawa no seishinshi. An Intellectual History of Modern Okinawa). 東京:社会評論社、1996.

太田朝敷、沖縄県政五十年 (Okinawa-kensei gojuunen. 50 Years of Okinawa’s Prefectural Administration) 那覇: リューオン企画, 1976.

大里康永、 謝花昇伝 : 沖縄解放の先駆者 (Jahana Noboruden: Okinawa kaihou no senkusha. Jahana Noboru: A Pioneer in the Emancipation of Okinawa). 東京:太平出版社、1970.

Chinen, Zenei., editor (1983). Shiryo: nogakushi Jahana Noboru. Haebaru: Naha Shuppansha.



The Battle for Okinawa

Appleman, Burns, Gugeler, and Stevens (Ed.), Okinawa: The Last Battle. Washington, D.C.: Historical Division, Department of the Army, 1948. [external - the entire book text online - retrieved 31st January 2008]

Ota, Masahide. (1981). This Was the Battle of Okinawa, Naha: Naha Publishing.



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