All I learnt about the Meiji Reform is from the history book in China, there was a Prime Minister’s name is Ito Hirobumi, which gave a lot of influence to Japan and the whole East Asia about modernization, development and Reform. Because of the context limitation on the text book, so I have never gone to detail what this person thought, how different of his thoughts with other reformers/revolutionaries (i.e. in China, Korea, Russia). Last week when I went to library, I found this book in the Chinese translation books shelf, with no doubt I borrowed this book.
There are some points I found which are impressive to me.
- Ito he admitted that in all(most of) industries, Japan was behind western countries.
- So Japan hired a lot of western consultants in different industries to help Japan and getting knowledge and experience from them.
- He believed in incrementalism.
- This was very different with China’s reforming, at the same time, Chinese reformers are more radical.
- He believed in pragmatism in education development, and he encouraged increasing national knowledge.
- He believed in the stronger/wealthier the citizens were, the country were.
- Surely, he believed in constitutionalism, even that time was a bit different with now.
Point 3 and 4, the China reformers at the same time, they had similar opinions as well, just they ware not well implemented to the whole nation well.
His work happened in about 120 years ago, honestly, some of his suggestions/experience are still valuable in modern days for many developing countries.