By Urs Matthias Zachmann
The first battle among China and Japan in 1894/95 was once the most fateful occasions, not just in glossy eastern and chinese language historical past, yet in foreign historical past in addition. The struggle and next occasions catapulted Japan on its trajectory towards transitority hegemony in East Asia, while China entered an extended interval of household unrest and overseas intervention. Repercussions of those advancements might be nonetheless felt, specially within the mutual perceptions of chinese language and jap buyers. even if, regardless of huge scholarship on Sino-Japanese kinfolk, the difficult query is still how the japanese angle precisely replaced after the victorious victory in 1895 over its former function version and competitor.
This booklet examines the transformation of Japan’s angle towards China as much as the time of the Russo-Japanese conflict (1904/5), while the mental framework in which destiny Chinese-Japanese kin labored reached its erstwhile finishing touch. It exhibits the transformation strategy via a detailed studying of assets, quite a few that's brought to the scholarly dialogue for the 1st time. Zachmann demonstrates how glossy Sino-Japanese attitudes have been formed through a mess of things, family and overseas, and, in flip, trained Japan’s path in overseas politics.
Winner of the JaDe Prize 2010 presented by way of the German origin for the advertising of Japanese-German tradition and technological know-how Relations
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Additional info for China and Japan in the Late Meiji Period: China Policy and the Japanese Discourse on National Identity, 1895-1904 (Routledge Leiden Series in Modern East Asian Politics and History)
Since we cannot rely on it not to come, we must deal with it. 93 However, although competition was the key concept in the political discourse of early Meiji Japan (as much as cooperation gradually came to be emphasized in the ‘postwar’ period, as we shall see), there were considerable diﬀerences in opinion about which position Japan should take in the competition. The ‘realists,’ the most outspoken representative of whom was Fukuzawa Yukichi, frequently quoted the phrase that the ‘strong eat the weak’ (jakuniku kyo-shoku) as a simple fact that had to be accepted, and demanded that Japan necessarily must be on the side of the strong.
106 Thus neither hardliners nor ‘Asian-minded men’ considered China a likely alliance partner as long as the race was still on. Competition, it was said, reached its temporary climax in 1884 85, when China fought a war with France over suzerainty in Vietnam on the one hand, and a Japanophile faction used the opportunity to stage a coup d’état in Korea, only to be ousted by Chinese soldiers a few days later. Japanese public agitation at the time likewise reached its maximum and seethed with ill-will against China.
133 On the other hand, they were very well aware of being ridiculed by Westerners for copying the West. 134 Consequently, Japanese observers until the Sino Japanese War felt themselves sandwiched between the Western powers and China, the latter being Japan’s direct rival in East Asia, and both of which bathed Japan in the same condescension of cultural superiority. The early Meiji period saw a continuation of the solitary ‘game of one-upmanship’ which Japan had pursued in the Tokugawa period. With respect to China, however, this would change profoundly in the Sino Japanese War.