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WORK IN PROGRESS The Japanese Empire is a large super power and kingdom, known for stretching the distance of East Asia all the way to the North America and the west. It is one of the largest Empires in existence and in history, surpassing that of even the ones located in Europe. It remained in place until the year 1976 when its last controlled regions gained independence.
Despite its status as a former Empire, Japan is still a powerful nation and industrial superpower, influencing a large portion of the world's countries.
Japan had for thousands of years remained a kingdom archipelago made of four different islands in the East Sea (or Sea of Japan). The Kingdom had a very isolationist policy called "Sakoku", enforced by the local landlords and Government. After European influence in East Asia began to grow in the 1700s the British, French and Dutch sought trade with Japan.
After the Emperor Nakamikado refused to lift the seclusion policies in Japan the Europeans started to distrust them. Eventually, the more prominent empires from Europe became more persistent with Japan, demanding a sphere of influence there.
Convention of Kanagawa
The British & Dutch officials signed a treaty with the Japan, after Emperor finally gave into the demands of the Europeans, knowing that anymore denying of even some influence on their soil would only lead to international disputes. Anglo-Dutch embassies were built made in Tokyo while Japanese embassies showed in London and Amsterdam.
With more interaction with the outside world Japanese culture started to change considerably, with more western works and philosophies going into the nation. In all of this, technology and ideas for industrialization were invesitgated by the Government. The knowledge that industrialized European countries were becoming the new powers around the globe, both economically and land-wise, the Emperor knew Japan would have to adapt in order to ever resist the control of these powerful empires. He took inspiration from England's innovative machines and production methods via their island landmass to start an industrial age in Japan.
Growth of Industry and Democratic Ideas
Japan started to create textiles, foods and technology to sell around the globe while keeping some economic independence, they also traded with local Shoguns strengthening domestic relationships in the land. It created a large job market in the country and caused the people to have higher living standards, which in turn gave them more leisure time. Japan was able to create a well-funded education system with the number of peasants that could actually have the time to learn, this caused the litiracy rate to increase considerably but it also caused the Japanese to learn how the rest of the industrialized world were living. They learned Athens' Democracy, and the Roman Republic. They also learned how most western european powers had some type of democracy while there nation was ruled by multiple Shogun aristocrats answering to a single Emperor.
Despite the higher living standards this caused a lot of outrage in the nation to arise, with people demanding more representation in their own government. They went on strikes and sometimes violent revults for this goal. The Emperor Momozono was a wise-man who was also educated in the works of western philosophers, and seeing what had happened in the british revolution, agreed to give in to the protestors demands. He formed a Constitutional Monarchy style democracy with an elected Parliament and gave in a large amount of his power. This caused a lot of the people's anger to settle, even causing better living standards and overall industrial production in the country.
With the rise of industry the government soon realized.