Japan modernization vs tradition

Japan invited the West to it and not the other way around. Western curiosity led it to Japan to try and peel layer after layer to get at the truth. Modernism seems to have reached Japan quite late but Japan absorbed Western influence in its own way – yet the trappings of modernity which other countries of Asia were eager to flaunt, were not visible to outsiders – a predilection for technology, scientific institutions and American education. Japan exists in its paradoxes. Japan has no technological institution worth the name yet produces some of the world’s best known and loved electronic goods and automobiles. Until a couple of decades back Japanese employees remained deeply loyal to the organizations they worked in and were similarly rewarded by their employers.
The paradox can only be explained by a deep reverence for the Samurai ideals of dignity, honesty, tradition and loyalty- and this might perhaps explain the attitude of the Japanese – their ability to absorb other influences. Make Japan a world power and yet remain true to their inner life endowed with a certain stoicism which they bear the intrusion of modernity in Japan and its constant threat to traditional Japanese values as reflected in the Samurai.2
Mishima was a writer, essayist poet and writer. …
is grandmother Natsu Hiroaka till the age of twelve, Mishima’s first short story ‘The Forest in Full Bloom’ has the protagonist describing how his ancestors lived in him – possibly laying the seeds for his philosophy and violent death . He rose to write several full length novels and plays. Yukio Mishima believed in the power of Japan and was devoted to his Emperor – a metaphor for Japan and not the ruler. Dismayed by the invasion of modernity on traditional Japanese values, he felt that modernity brought with it certain barrenness. He later went on to join the tatenokai, a radical martial army. From here, he preached that Japanese should take to the Samurai tradition. He practiced sword fighting and martial arts and the group swore to protect the ‘Emperor’.3
On that fateful day in 1970, before Mishima committed hara kiri or ritual suicide, he stood in public view and delivered a speech on the need to protect Japanese traditions.
Mishima was the one who brought this devotion to tradition before the whole world, because he was a very well known figure. But what he lived and died for might not be seen as very relevant to contemporary Japanese m specially the young. Japan still remains true to tradition overall but is faces the inevitable globalization and therefore its concerns are primarily economic. The emperor still remains a loved symbol but Japanese are too bothered coping with rising , inflation , recessionary figures and concerns about competitiveness to ever brood .4
The more philosophical concerns are probably discussed by Japanese as much as in any other country and m in the final analysis there is only so much we can learn about a country’s traditions. Japan has a lot to offer and from this young vibrant country, come the drivers of the next generation of