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THE TOKYO TIMES

OCTOBER 23, 1868 - JULY 30, 1912

The Tokyo Times Japan’s New Era By Gregory Chang The beginning of a modern Japan In April 1868, Emperor Meiji, the 122nd emperor of Japan, at the age of 16 ,made clear to the world of his intentions to modernize Japan when he issued the Imperial Oath of Five Articles, also known as the Charter Oath. This marked the beginning of an era called the Meiji Restoration, a time of of

great economical, social, and political change. The five articles of the Charter Oath are: Article I

Knowledge shall be sought throughout the world so as to strengthen the foundations of imperial rule.

Article II All classes high and low, shall unite in vigorously carrying out the administration of affairs of state. Article III The common people, no less than the civil and military officials, shall each be allowed to pursue his own calling so that there be no discontent. Article IV Evil customs of the past shall be broken off and everything based upon the just laws of nature. A samurai in feudal Japan

become stronger, and modernize along Western lines. From that point onwards, Japan’s old cry of sonno joi, which means “Revere the Emperor, Expel the Barbarians”, was replaced with the new motto of fukoku kyohei, or “rich country; strong military”.

“As long as we do not modernize, we wi$ remain weak and powerless against the foreigners.” - Emperor Meiji

The fifth article of the Charter Oath is regarded as the most important of the five as it shows that Japan is willing to become more open,

Japan’s New Era.........1 A Giant is Crushed....2 Editorial.....................2 Interview.....................3 Comics........................3

Deliberative Assemblies shall be widely established and all matters decided by public discussion.

Emperor Meiji

Article V

Contents

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THE TOKYO TIMES

OCTOBER 23, 1868 - JULY 30, 1912

A GIANT IS CRUSHED By Gregory Chang The Russo-Japanese War lasted from February 8, 1904 to September 5, 1905, almost two years, started with a Japanese surprise attack on Russia, and ended with Russian soundly defeated in the war.

Japanese. On the 27th and 28th of May in 1905 the Russian naval fleet was destroyed by the Japanese fleet in the battle of Tsushima. Japan won victory after victory, and Russia faced defeat after defeat. The Russo-Japanese war ended with the Treaty

“Nobody could have predicted that Japan would defeat Russia” - Foreign Diplomat of Portsmouth, with Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States as peacemaker on September 5, 1905. The main provisions of the treat were

Map of conflict area The conflict was born when Russia would not agree to fully recognize Japanese interests in Korea as it thought it would threaten its railway from Dairen and Port Arthur to Vladivostok. Therefore Japan also felt threatened and so launched a crippling attack on the Russian naval fleet anchored at Port Arthur, declaring war two days later. Within three months all Russian troops had been driven out of Korea. After a five-month siege, Port Arthur itself, considered one of the strongest fortifications in all of Asia fell to the

• Russia recognized Japan’s interests in Korea • the lease of the Liaotung Peninsula was transferred to Japan • Russia surrendered control of the South Manchurian Railway • Japan was given the southern half of the island Sakhalin • both countries would not interfere in any of China’s plans for the future of Manchuria. Japan’s victory in the war against Russia was an important milestone in its development as this was the first time any Asian power had defeated an established European nation.

THE EDITOR’S VIEW ON THE MEIJI RESTORATION Even though some think that the Meiji Restoration was a bad idea, I agree with the majority that it was necessary to get rid of old customs and traditions to make way for the new power of industrial might. Getting rid of the samurai the shogun may have broken many hearts, but it allowed the Meiji Restoration to begin, changing Japan into a world military power to be reckoned with. During this era, Japan also won wars with China and Russia, though in the latter war they suffered great losses. Though I think that Japan was a bit too rigger-happy to pick so many fights, if they didn’t attack China and Russia, they would not have been able to take control of Manchuria, and the Western nations would also not be recognize Japan as a country to be taken seriously.

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THE TOKYO TIMES

Comics

OCTOBER 23, 1868 - JULY 30, 1912

Interview with a Japanese citizen Q: Do you think it was a good idea for Japan to attack China? A: Of course it was! If we didn’t attack them they would’ve probably taken over Korea! Better to have it for ourselves. Q: Do you think it was a good idea for Japan to attack Russia? A: Personally, I think that it was quite unnecessary, especially against a strong nation like Russia. We may have won, but we suffered terrible losses. I feel quite sad and depressed whenever I start thinking about all the young Japanese slain on the battlefield.

Lifestyle Westernization

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Are we getting too obsessed with all things Western? Everywhere I go, I see people throw down their traditional dress and don the western suit and dress. Are we forgetting our culture and dressing like westerners so we can be as powerful as the western nations? Whatever the answer may be, becoming obsessed with all things western and wearing western clothing will not make us any better, in fact we may forget our own culture if we continue on like this.

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Gregory 4B Japan Newspaper  

Gregory Chang's Japan Newspaper