an itself, the danger of foreign military intervention, a crisis in its traditional feudal society, the rise of commerce, and a disaffected peasantry led to an intense internal power struggle and finally to a revolutionary change in the country's society and a thoroughgoing modernization program, one that brought Japan the economic and military strength to resist foreign nations.
The opposing forces in Japan's civil war were lined up between the supporters of the ruling Tokugawa family, which headed a rigid hierarchical feudal society, and the supporters of the emperor Meiji, whose court had been isolated from any significant government role. The civil war culminated in 1868 in the overthrow of the Tokugawa government and the restoration of the rule of the Emperor. The Meiji Restoration also brought new interest groups to the centre of political power and instigated a radical redirection of Japan's economic development. The nub of the changeover was the destruction of the traditional feudal social system and the building of a political, social, and economic framework conducive to capitalist industrialization. The new state actively participated in the turnabout by various forms of grants and guarantees to enterprising industrialists and by direct investment in basic industries such as railways, shipbuilding, communications, and machinery. The concentration of resources in the industrial sector was matched by social reforms that eliminated feudal restrictions, accelerated mass education, and encouraged acquisition of skills in the use of Western technology. The ensuing industrialized economy provided the means for Japan to hold its own in modern warfare and to withstand foreign economic competition.
The leaders of the new government considered national security and...
The war demonstrated the defensive strength of entrenched automatic weapons and the offensive power of indirect artillery fire. Russia, in losing every battle on land and sea, betrayed ominous military deficiencies; Japan, displaying the professionalism of its armed services, vaulted to great power status and destroyed forever the myth of Western invincibility.A victorious Japan forced Russia to abandon its expansionist policy in the Far East, becoming the first Asian power in modern times to defeat a European power. The defeat of Russia was met with shock both in the West and especially across Asia. That a non-Western country could defeat an established power in such a large military conflict was particularly inspiring to various anti-colonial independence movements around the world.
Japanese historians think this war was a turning point of Japan and a key to understanding why Japan failed militarily and politically later. The acrimony that occurred in Japan's society went to every class and level, and shortly became the consensus within Japan that they had been treated as the defeated power during the peace conference. The world’s major powers, nevertheless, failed to heed the lesson of how modern technol-ogy had transformed land warfare into a deadly morass. Assimilating these lessons would be bought with blood and treasure only nine years later on the fields of World War I