What does Yukichi find admirable in Western culture and why? 2. What surprises Yukichi about Western people and culture?  3. What do you think guides Yukichi’s approach to understanding the West and what is his overall impression of the West?

PART 1

Please read the two separate documents with excerpts from the writings of Yukichi Fukuzawa. Answer the following questions in brief (2-3 sentences) paragraphs.

1. What does Yukichi find admirable in Western culture and why?

2. What surprises Yukichi about Western people and culture?

3. What do you think guides Yukichi’s approach to understanding the West and what is his overall impression of the West?

PART 2

· What political, economic, and social crises swept through the world in the 19th century? What impact did they have on different regions of the world?

· How did new cultural forms at the turn of the century (fin-de-siecle) reflect challenges to the world order as it then existed?

· In what ways did race, nation, and religion unify populations but also make societies more difficult to govern and economies more difficult to manage?

Primary Source Document with Questions (DBQs)

E X C E R P T S F R O M T H E A U T O B I O G R A P H Y O F F U K U Z A W A Y U K I C H I Introduction Fukuzawa Yukichi (1834-1901) was Japan’s preeminent interpreter of “civilization and enlightenment” (bunmei kaika) — the lifestyles, institutions, and values of the modern West that Japan strove to understand and embrace in the early decades of the Meiji period. Born into a samurai family of modest means and little influence, Fukuzawa was intelligent, energetic, and ambitious, and as a youth he eagerly studied foreign languages (Dutch and then English) to expand his horizons and improve his prospects in life. In 1860, he was a member of one of the first missions sent to America by the Tokugawa shogunate, and in 1862 he traveled through Europe. Based on these experiences Fukuzawa wrote a series of books that explained the customs and manners of the West in accessible, practical ways and became runaway bestsellers. Fukuzawa was well known as a forceful advocate for the Western way of life, was a teacher and advisor to many of Japan’s most influential national leaders, and founded a successful newspaper as well as a leading private university. Fukuzawa dictated his autobiography, now seen as a classic account of Japan’s transition from a closed, feudal state to a modern world power, in 1898, not long before his death. Document Excerpts with Questions From Sources of Japanese Tradition, edited by Wm. Theodore de Bary, Carol Gluck, and Arthur L. Tiedemann, 2nd ed., vol. 2 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005), 658-660. © 2005 Columbia University Press. Reproduced with the permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Excerpts
from
The
Autobiography
of
Fukuzawa
Yukichi

I
 am
willing
 to
 admit
my
pride
 in
 Japan’s
 accomplishments
 [in
 rapid
modernization].
 The
facts
are
these:
It
was
not
until
the
sixth
year
of
Kaei
(1853)
that
a
steamship
was
seen
for
 the
first
time;
it
was
only
in
the
second
year
of
Ansei
(1855)
that
we
began
to
study
navigation
 from
the
Dutch
in
Nagasaki;
by
1860,
the
science
was
sufficiently
understood
to
enable
us
to
sail
 a
ship
across
the
Pacific.
This
means
that
about
seven
years
after
the
first
sight
of
a
steam
ship,
 after
 only
 about
 five
 years
 of
 practice,
 the
 Japanese
 people
 made
 a
 trans‑Pacific
 crossing
 without
help
from
foreign
experts.
I
think
we
can
without
undue
pride
boast
before
the
world
 of
 this
 courage
and
 skill.
As
 I
have
 shown,
 the
 Japanese
officers
were
 to
 receive
no
aid
 from
 Captain
 Brooke
 throughout
 the
 voyage.
 Even
 in
 taking
 observations,
 our
 officers
 and
 the
 Americans
made
them
independently
of
each
other.
Sometimes
they
compared
their
results,
but
 we
were
never
in
the
least
dependent
on
the
Americans.

As
I
consider
all
the
other
peoples
of
the
Orient
as
they
exist
today,
I
feel
convinced
that
 there
is
no
other
nation
which
has
the
ability
or
the
courage
to
navigate
a
steamship
across
the
 Pacific
after
a
period
of
five
years
of
experience
in
navigation
and
engineering.
Not
only
in
the

Primary Source Document with Questions (DBQs) on E X C E R P T S F R O M THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY O F FUKUZAWA YUKICHI

Asia for Educators l Columbia University l http: //afe.easia.columbia.edu Page 2 of 2

Orient
would
this
feat
stand
as
an
act
of
unprecedented
skill
and
daring.
Even
Peter
the
Great
of
 Russia,
who
went
to
Holland
to
study
navigation,
with
all
his
attainments
in
the
science
could
 not
have
equaled
this
feat
of
the
Japanese.
Without
doubt,
the
famous
Emperor
of
Russia
was
a
 man
of
exceptional
genius,
but
his
people
did
not
respond
to
his
 leadership
 in
 the
practice
of
 Science
as
did
our
Japanese
in
this
great
adventure.
[pp.
118‑119]

Questions:

1. On what basis does Fukuzawa feel pride in Japan? What qualities in the

Japanese does he admire? 2. How does Fukuzawa compare Japan to other nations? How do you think he

compares Japan to nations not mentioned here, like the United States or Great Britain? What does he see as the measure of a great nation?

 

…
A
perplexing
institution
was
representative
government.

When
I
asked
a
gentleman
what
the
“election
law”
was
and
what
kind
of
institution
the
 Parliament
 really
was,
 he
 simply
 replied
with
 a
 smile,
meaning
 I
 suppose
 that
 no
 intelligent
 person
was
expected
to
ask
such
a
question.
But
these
were
the
things
most
difficult
of
all
for
 me
to
understand.
In
this
connection,
I
learned
that
there
were
different
political
parties
—
the
 Liberal
 and
 the
 Conservative
 —
 who
 were
 always
 “fighting”
 against
 each
 other
 in
 the
 government.

For
 some
 time
 it
 was
 beyond
 my
 comprehension
 to
 understand
 what
 they
 were
 “fighting”
for,
and
what
was
meant,
anyway,
by
“fighting”
in
peace
time.
“This
man
and
that
 man
are
‘enemies’
in
the
House,”
they
would
tell
me.
But
these
“enemies”
were
to
be
seen
at
the
 same
table,
eating
and
drinking
with
each
other.
I
felt
as
if
I
could
not
make
much
out
of
this.
It
 took
me
a
long
time,
with
some
tedious
thinking,
before
I
could
gather
a
general
notion
of
these
 separate
 mysterious
 facts.
 In
 some
 of
 the
 more
 complicated
 matters,
 I
 might
 achieve
 an
 Understanding
five
or
ten
days
after
they
were
explained
to
me.
But
all
 in
all,
I
 learned
much
 from
this
initial
tour
of
Europe.
[pp.
142‑144]

[The
Autobiography
of
Fukuzawa
Yukichi,
trans.
Kiyooka]

Questions: 3. Why do you think Fukuzawa had such a hard time understanding the

workings of British democracy? 4. How would you explain a democratic political system to Fukuzawa, in terms

he might have understood in 1862? 5. From these short passages, what insights do you have into Fukuzawa’s

character and his feelings toward the West?