The Arrival of Black Ships and Japan's Diplomacy 黒船来航と日本の外交 (4 - 10)

by Masaki

The Arrival of Black Ships and Japan's Diplomacy 黒船来航と日本の外交 (4 - 10)  

The Treaty of Amity and Commerce struck the lives of common people.


Japan had no customs autonomy.


Japan couldn't protect its domestic market against imported products.


In Britain, the Industrial Revolution had led to mass production.


Large quantities of cheap products especially in textile industries entered the market.


There were no experts who specialized in economic matters in the shogunate. They didn't know how to deal with the difficult situations.



Meanwhile,  a lot of raw silk which had traditionally consumed in the domestic market began to be exported. As the result, the price of raw silk roared.


Textile companies went to bankruptcy one after another.


The market was in the state of confusion.

The Arrival of Black Ships and Japan's Diplomacy 黒船来航と日本の外交 (4 - 10)


In those days farmers accounted for 70 percent of the population. They supported samurai, 10 percent of the population. Samurai didn't engage in production activities.



Rich harvest means a lot of rice is supplied in the market, which resulted in price reduciton of rice.


Of course, poor harvest  struck farmers directly.

The tax system at that time was based on not the harvest of the year but the size of land. Farmers had to pay a fixed tax. 


Farmers who couldn't pay taxes were forced to give up their lands and became tenant farmers.


Riots by farmers took place across the country in the end of the Edo shougunate.


The Arrival of Black Ships and Japan's Diplomacy 黒船来航と日本の外交 (4 - 10)

Since the black ships entered Uraga port, people's lives became worse.


The lives of samurai warriors were also affected.


As is shown in the list of the leaders of the Meiji Restoration, many of them were lower rank warriors.


To be sure, samurai had a privilege over common people, but that was only in name. In reality they couldn't maintain their daily lives without asking for a debt. 


Since the arrival of the black ships, they feared that they might lose their privileged positions and worried about their future.


They came to direct hate and anger toward foreigners.


Thus, anti-foreigner feelings gradually turned into anti-government feelings.


The Arrival of Black Ships and Japan's Diplomacy 黒船来航と日本の外交 (4 - 10)

Foreign residents were sometimes attacked by samurai.




24 Jun 2017


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