Objective: In Introduction, the Japanese under Emperor Meiji in the second half of the 19th century were pursuing efforts to modernize. Modernization came with a price, namely, the destruction of the 'old' or traditional way of Japanese living. Students went to European universities, families adopted Western dress and learned to sit in chairs, and some tried to eat beef, although it was forbidden by Buddhism. This lesson will discuss these efforts to modernize and the effects on the Japanese people.
1) Class Discussion: When did modernization begin in Japan? Why?
Small Group Activity: How did modernization affect the Japanese? Why might many have been influenced by Western culture? Do you consider Western culture to be a negative or positive influence? Why?
Class Discussion: Have the students share their responses. How did those that found Western culture to be a negative influence respond to modernization? How does this make...
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