Which was more powerful at their peak: the Tokugawa Shogunate (Japan) or the Qing Dynasty (China)?

More powerful at their peak?

  • Peak Qing

    Votes: 16 94.1%
  • Peak Tokugawa Shogunate

    Votes: 1 5.9%

  • Total voters
    17
Oct 2014
38
Toronto
#1
I'm making this comparison because they were both relatively reclused Asian entities, ruling at roughly the same time period (17th century-19th/early 20th century), and both had to be gradually opened up by western powers (the British/opium wars in the case of China and Matthew Perry/US in the case of Japan).

Which country was more powerful and influential globally at their peak?
 
Jan 2016
571
United States, MO
#3
The Qing were not reclusive at all. They exerted tons of effort into expanding and increasing trade with all of their neighbors russia included. They were wary of western merchants and rightfully so, but there was no period of isolationism. Also comparing Japan to China is roughly equivalent to comparing the UK to the rest of Europe put together. The difference in size is simply too overwhelming to make any kind of meaningful comparison.
 
Likes: macon
Mar 2016
948
Australia
#5
The Qing were not reclusive at all. They exerted tons of effort into expanding and increasing trade with all of their neighbors russia included. They were wary of western merchants and rightfully so, but there was no period of isolationism.
Yeah, I believe people sometimes conflate the isolationism of the later-Ming era and the Qing era. No time in history until the 1970s was China so interconnected with the rest of the world than during the height of the Qing Empire.
 
Likes: macon
Apr 2018
29
Los Angeles
#6
The Qing at their peak was during the first half of the dynasty (Kangxi, Yongzheng, and Qianlong Emperors). I would argue it was more powerful than Tokugawa Japan for sure. After that period was when everything started to unravel.
 
Oct 2014
77
Osaka
#7
I voted for the Tokugawa Shogunate. Although I really meant its early years, as later on the Shogunate stagnated and Japan had to go through the Meiji era, which was disruptive and led to further problems later.

From 1603 onward, Japan started to participate actively in foreign trade. In 1615, an embassy and trade mission under Hasekura Tsunenaga was sent across the Pacific to Nueva EspaƱa (New Spain) on the Japanese-built galleon San Juan Bautista. Until 1635, the Shogun issued numerous permits for the so-called "red seal ships" destined for the Asian trade. In this era, foreign affairs and trade were monopolized by the shogunate, yielding a huge profit. Foreign trade was also permitted to the Satsuma and the Tsushima domains.

The potential of a united Japan was amazing at the end of the Sengoku period. Although I can't say the Tokugawa period led to the realisation of that potential in the long run.
 
Apr 2014
44
new york
#8
Ming cavalry gave the Japanese trouble, and Qing cavalry is superior. Qing cavalry can also dash into the formations of gunpowder units, units which were raised after experience in the Ming Japan war. The Japanese will favor cold steel, but they already could not handle the Ming cavalry, and Qing metallurgy is excellent.

Perhaps, given time, the Japanese can develop a sort of Tang Song Ming like anti cavalry melee infantry, with the giant swords, but even Zheng Chenggong could not retake the mainland with such forces and superior archery