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Japanese Militarism

            Today we are going to be talking about the rise of militarism in 20th century Japan and also the Koda-ha and the Tosei-ha. Being the two rival factions of the military who fought for power of Japan during the 1920's and 30's. Well we are going to start with the rise of militarism. Japan over a period of time changed from a quasi-democratic government into a militaristic type dictatorship. The forces that aided in this transformation were the failed promises of the Meiji Restoration that were represented in the stagnation of the Japanese economy, the perceived capitulation of the Japanese parliamentary leaders to the western powers, a compliant public, and an independent military. Beginning in the 1890's the public education system indoctrinated students in the ideas of nationalism, loyalty to the emperor and traditionalist ideas of self-sacrifice and obedience. These values taught obedience not to a democratic but to the emperor; so the fact that the militaristic government of the 1930's ruled under the emperor meant that the Japanese were loyal to this government just as they had been to the government of the 1920's. (Do little play/script thingy) Shintoism provided a religious justification for nationalism and support for the militaristic government. During the 1930's it became an ideological weapon teaching Japanese that they were a superior country that had a right to expand and that its government was divinely lead by a descendent of the sun god. The independence and decentralization of the military allowed it to act largely on its own will as characterized in the Manchurian incident in 1931 and the Marco Polo bridge explosion in Shanghai. Because these incidents went unpunished and the Japanese public rallied around them the military was able to push for greater militarism and an increasingly active role in government till the entire government was run by the military. The London Treaty and Japan's rejection by large European powers at the Versailles conference angered many in the military who felt that Japan was being denied its place at the table with the great powers.

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