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Old February 4th, 2016, 03:53 AM   #11

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I find the Edo period interesting because it is one of economic progress in many ways. In stark contrast to the popular narrative of sakoku, Japan's inter-Asian trade seems to have grown, not declined for at least the first century after the closure for the country.
I read a really great white paper on that about a year or so ago. It was re-published online at Nippon.com. I think I actually posted it here too....

Foreign Relations in Early Modern Japan: Exploding the Myth of National Seclusion | Nippon.com
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Old February 4th, 2016, 04:54 AM   #12
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I read a really great white paper on that about a year or so ago. It was re-published online at Nippon.com. I think I actually posted it here too....

Foreign Relations in Early Modern Japan: Exploding the Myth of National Seclusion | Nippon.com
I've read one of Arano's original papers for a written assignment in a history class and found it quite interesting. He made clear that trade control measures introduced by the bakufu were tools of foreign trade policy, rather than making Japan a "secluded" island out of alleged ideological dispositions. I find Nakamura and Toby's position especially interesting, arguing that the sakoku policies were part of the creation of a kind of "Japanese world order", as opposed to the Chinese word order represented by the tributary system. I've argued elsewhere on historum that one of the reasons for the sakoku myth being so prevalent is that there was indeed a kind of seclusion, but one with regard to Western powers. Since eurocentrism used to be strong in academia, and the European travelers visiting Japan in the 18th and 19th centuries, this myth was reinforced over and over again.
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