Monday, May 25, 2015

The Satsuma Rebellion

A rebellion caused by disillusionment and neglect. The Satsuma Rebellion, led by Saigo Takamori, it synthesized the discontent that the samurais felt under the rapidly changing culture under the new Meiji Era. The rebellion could that could have change the fate of Japan’s transformation.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Yasuda Zenjiro: The Founder of the Fourth Largest Zaibatsu

Yasuda Zenjiro
Founded the Yasuda Zaibatsu, he came from a poor background but rose to prominence in the financial world from his money changing business. He cashed in the development of Japan and made huge fortunes that landed his company as the fourth largest Zaibatsu or conglomerate in country.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Fukoku Kyohei: The Slogan that Defined Meiji Japan

Industrialization allowed Japan to attain modern weapons for its defense and military campaigns
It was a slogan that summed up the ideals of the Meiji Era. Fukoku Kyohei, meaning Enriching the Country, strengthen the army or Rich Country, Strong Army, became the principle that led to the modernization and transformation of Japan.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

4 Builders of Meiji Japan II

Japan emerged as Asia’s representative major power in the end of the 19th century. It achieved in less than five decade the process of transforming from an agricultural and feudal society to a full fledge industrial and constitutional country that protected Japan from the clutches of western imperialism. Much of this drastic changes had been attributed to the following officials.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Iwakura Mission: A Mission for Japan's Future

Iwakura Mission (left) during their audience with French President
Iwakura Mission aimed for a revision of unequal treaties that Japan signed during the latter part of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Although it failed in some aspects it took many lessons during a mission that took the participants across the globe.

Who was Queen Himiko?

Illustration by Newton Graphic Science Magazine “Nihon no ruutsu”
In the era before written accounts of Japan, in particular the Yayoi and Kofun age, various kingdoms emerged and flourished. The Kingdom of Wa was among these kingdoms. The Kingdom of Wa became even more famous for its mysterious and elusive ruler, Queen Himiko.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

4 Builders of Meiji Japan

Japan emerged as Asia’s representative major power in the end of the 19th century. It achieved in less than five decade the process of transforming from an agricultural and feudal society to a full fledge industrial and constitutional country that protected Japan from the clutches of western imperialism. Much of this drastic changes had been attributed to the following officials.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Minomura Rizaemon and the Survival of Mitsui

Suruga Street with Echigoya in the left
(Today: the Right side is occupied by the
Mitsui Main Building)
Japan faced an economic transformation after the 1860’s. She pursed the path of transformation from an agricultural medievalist country to an industrial, modern, and westernize country. Many business had to adopt to the situation or face bankruptcy, which happened to many old enterprises. But some merchant houses succeeded to transform. They did not just survive but they grew to become powerful conglomerates know as Zaibatsu. The biggest of this Zaibatsu was the House of Mitsui that flourished under the management of Minomura Rizaemon. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Matsukata Masayoshi: A Reformer in a Transformation

Matsukata Masayoshi
He was the man that cemented Japan’s transformation. In an era of aggressive foreign expansion in Asia, Japan decided to pursue a course towards modernization and industrialization under the slogan of Fukoku Kyohei – Rich Nation, Strong Army. But in the late in 1870’s Japan’s transformation faced a tough challenges. The Land of the Rising Sun might just set with an economic crisis, which could not afford. But one man had the guts to solve this crisis – Matsukata Masayoshi.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

3 Revolutionaries in Latin America

Besides the most famous revolutionaries, like Bolivar, de San Martin, de Miranda, and Hidalgo, many more joined them in the pantheon of liberators whose aim was to liberated their countries from oppressive and unequal societies of Spain.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Industrial Revolution of Japan

Emperor Meiji
Japan’s independence came under threat from the increasing presence of westerners in Asia. In 1858, the ships of American Commodore Mathew Perry opened Japan’s doors to the world. With opening came a change in leadership, from the Tokugawa Shogunate, power returned to the Emperor. Under the Meiji Emperor and the spirit of Fukoku Kyohei or rich country, Strong army, Japan underwent an industrial revolution that made it into the economic powerhouse of Asia.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Funan: The Earliest Maritime Kingdom of Southeast Asia

A kingdom with an impressive wealth and an extraordinary network, the Funan Kingdom stood as one of the earliest most powerful kingdoms in Southeast Asia. With the capital in Vyadapura or the City of Hunters in Khmer language, it dominated the area that composed Cambodia, Vietnam, and parts of the Malaya Peninsula and Thailand. It ruled the area from the 3rd and up to the 7th century. But with the changing in the maritime trade of Asia, Funan felt the effects catastrophically, leading eventually into its assimilation with its neighboring kingdom.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Dangerous Dictators: Mobutu Sese Seko

Mobutu Sese Seko
If someone made a list of worst dictators in history, Mobutu Sese Seko would always be a part of the list. A man who ruined his country, Mobutu ruled with brutality, corruption, and extreme case of narcissism. Served initially as a soldier in the Belgian colonial army, he became journalist and an active participant in politics. When he returned to the military, he became widely involve in the politics of the newly independent Democratic Republic of Congo. So much his involvement, he launched a coup that marked the start of his 32 year reign of terror.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Cry of Dolores: Cry for Change and Independence

Hidalgo in the center with the banner depicting the Virgin of Guadalupe
From a sleepy town, the Cry of Dolores marked the end of Spanish rule in Mexico. A cry made by a group of men and women dedicated to the ideas of Enlightenment led by man from the least suspected sector of colonial Mexican society. It signaled an uprising that later inspired Mexico’s fight for independence.