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Effects Of World War Ii On Jap

Essay, Research Paper

Effects of World War II on Japan

World War II drastically affected the Japanese culture, economics, and


Japan is considered one of the most important and powerful

countries in the modern world but this accomplishment has been reached by a

lot of work and changes made in the Japanese society. During World War II

the destruction of Japanese cities and the death of a lot of Japanese

people caused them to change their in their system of politics and foreign

policy. The changes made in Japan were not only in the politics but also

in the culture in general because of the entrance of western ideas into

Japan after World War II made the Japanese adapt their ancient culture to

some of the western culture.

These changes in their culture made the Japanese a whole new

country and made it more open to foreign ideas and costumes. The efforts

to recover from the was led the Japanese to have a strict and competitive

view in technological and scientific advances. Now the Japanese people are

considered as one of the most working and intelligent human beings, because

of their brightness in the technology and scientific advances. The

Japanese had a really difficult path to go through after World War II, but

the people adapted to the new Japan and tried to make it a better place by

being very strict and competitive. After the changes in Japan the Japanese

people have shown that they are capable of a lot of things specially having

an enormous change in their life such as culture, economics, technology and

politics. This kind of change in any society is a very difficult task to

undertake and not too many countries are able to do it. The effects of

World War II, including the destruction of Japan, was the task for the

Japanese and they were very strong and worked themselves out of the

problems and succeeded in the modern world and now Japan is considered the

fragile superpower in the top world.

The destruction of Japanese cities and the death of a lot of

Japanese people caused them to change in their system of politics and

foreign policy. Before World War II Japan was very closed minded in their

way of thinking and the people were not important in the political and

economic decisions of the country and that was because there was a decline

of the political parties because of corruption and with that decline the

military leaders caused struggles to the country. Also the Japanese

foreign policy was very independent and only gave priority to its expansion

to the south. This situation totally changed after World War II, Japan

changed totally its politics and established a different government, ran by

the different points of view of the people, that sought more freedom in

their society. “The Japanese Constitution of 1946, pledge to uphold the

high ideals of peace and democratic order with the international society

and also the banishment of tyranny and slavery, oppression and intolerance

for all” (The Japan of Today, 15). This citation shows the change in the

Japanese after World War II. In this constitution the Japanese created a

more democratic country and also a very opened minded constitution because

before World War II, the Japanese were very close minded and that led them

to have problems with other countries that had different views of things

that the Japanese. . There are other aspects that changed after World War

II and on of those are the return of Parliamentary government to Japan.

(Japan:The Fragile Superpower, 268) After the War Japan regained its

independence but it gave up Korea, Taiwan, South Jakhalin, and the Kurils.

This situation meant that Japan reduced its lands after the war. In

foreign policy, Japan became a peaceful country that obviously helped it to

be now a successful country without many foreign problems. World War II

opened the eyes of the Japanese people to a more open world, with

democratic ideas, that everyday sought for more freedom and rights for the

citizens. After World War II the Japan-US relation has strengthened, they

work together to solve their problems, but at the same time they recognize

that the economic issues must not be allowed to damage their good relations.

Japan faced a different perspective of life after the war and that was

also because “Japan was placed, for a time, under the indirect rule of the

US which implemented democratic reforms, the dissolution of the family-

based industrial and financial conglomerates, and educational reforms”

(Japan in Modern History, 385). The good relationship with the US after

the war was a big change that ended up in benefit to the Japanese people,

because if they didn’t have a good relationship with the US, it would be

bad because the US is the most powerful country in this modern world. In

Japan’s politics a huge change because of World War II and that was the

creation of the Liberal Democratic party. (The Japan of Today, 20)

Because of World War II, Japan changed their politics system to democracy

which led the people to have more rights and freedom in the country and in

the society as a whole.

The entrance of the western ideas into Japan after World War II

made the Japanese adapt to their ancient culture some of the western

culture. Japan’s culture before the war was very special and unique but

after the war a lot of western ideas entered this culture and influenced it

in several ways such as literature, architecture, religion and others.

“Japan’s literature got influenced by Russian, Western European, and

American literature characteristics” (Grolier, Japanese Literature) . For

example, some modern authors wrote romantic novels based on their

experiences in Germany. These novels were written after World War II.

Newspapers and magazines started to carry cartoons, which led to the

creation of comic books. This is a big change in the Japanese society, the

creation of comic books. Comic books now are read by a lot of children and

teenagers in order to entertain themselves.

In the aspect of religion, Shinto was promoted during World War II,

and now is the most important religion in Japan but after World War II

“freedom of religion was established with Japan” (The Japan of Today, 13)

World War II made the Japanese change their way of thinking and made them

have a common idea, in this case religion, in order to have a more united

society and that led to have a more solid and strong society. This

affected the Japanese people because after the war new religious movements

were created in Japan, and these “religious movements created various

social and cultural activities, some also come to engage in substantial

political activities” (The Japan of Today, 116). The appearance of new

movements in Japan because of World War II was beneficial to the Japanese

because it enlarged the activities that could be made in the society.

The effects of the war were not only in religion but also in arts

and specially in architecture. An important advance was made in Japanese

architecture, after World War II. This advance is that Japanese people

started using steel and concrete in their buildings. Japan now is a

country with a lot of huge buildings and this buildings are offices most of

them so the use of concrete and steel affected in the architecture and in

the daily way of living of the Japanese people. The advances in the

Japanese culture were because of the influence of the western people that

used steel and concrete in their buildings long before World War II. The

use of concrete led the Japanese to the emerging of Ultra-high-rise

architectural engineering like said in the book, “Ultra-high-rise

architectural engineering has notable progress to meet the demand for

office space” ( The Japan of Today, 137). The increase of business in

Japan after the war created a new, different style in Japan architecture.

Now Japan has a very modern architectural city. All these changes because

of World War II join and make a whole new different Japan, that was

seriously affected by the harshness of the war.

Technology and science accomplishments characterize the Japanese.

This is because of the contributions they have made to the society in those

areas, this has been accomplished by hard work and studies of the Japanese

people. “In the late 1940s the emphasis of the Japanese was to rebuild the

war-ravaged structure by scientific endeavor and acquiring technology from

abroad.” (The Japan of Today, 68) Japan was destroyed during World War II.

It wasn’t easy for the Japanese to recover from the war. The countries

that have faced a war end in economic, social, political, and cultural

crisis. The Japanese looked for a very efficient way for their recovery

and that was by focusing on making technological and scientific advances.

Japanese people are known for their hard work, but their system for

improvement and high quality was created because the Japanese traveled to

advanced and powerful countries to gather ideas and then improve them.

That’s why “Japanese people wish to visit the US and Switzerland to gather

ideas in order to improve their work” (Japan: The Fragile Superpower, 27)

The Japanese became competitor after World War II, therefore when they went

to gather the ideas of another country, the Japanese always wanted to make

better things that the ones already made by others. “The US is an example

for Japan in technology and science but at the same time is a competitor

and oppressor” (Japan: The Fragile Superpower, 28). In this quote we can

see that the US is an oppressor to Japan and an oppressor is an strict

authority to someone, so that pushed the Japanese to have the US as an

example. This shows that Japan has a very competitive point of view

towards technology and science. The effects of the war made the Japanese

to have the most powerful country of the world as an example. The whole

attitude of the Japanese changed because of World War II and made the

Japanese to have high expectations towards their future, they became very

positive and strict after the war. “Now Japan is known by their almost

exclusive orientation toward civilian use and by the fact that they are

funded largely by the private sector”. (The Japan of Today, 68) After

World War Ii and its effects, the Japanese gave the private sector priority

in the growth society because it gives jobs to the Japanese and leads the

country to have a more solid economics system which leads Japan to be a

successful country as a whole. Because of World War II the private sector

created large projects to improve and consolidate Japan’s structure and

also to move towards independent research. With the technological changes

made in Japan after the war, computers are used widely in the country, and

its use has been rewarded by efficiency. Japanese people had become more

organized and practical after the war, and I think that organization is

very important for the improvement of a society. The creation of the

private sector in Japan led the the Japanese to have a sense of

individuality and politic freedom in the society. This freedom allowed

large companies to succeed nationally and internationally.

For conclusion, Japan is now a world power country that even after

facing destruction it has come out of it by hard work and changing in a way,

their way of living and thinking. The recovery of the war in several

aspects, mostly economic and political are the thing that affected the most

to the Japanese society. The politics after the war became more democratic

and gave more rights to the people, and that is a very important effect on

the society. The change in the foreign policy was very important for the

country in general because it brought the country peace and a good

relationship with the most powerful country of the world, the US. This new

society brought the Japanese people a large period of adaptation to their

new country. This adaptation enclosed the things such as the entrance of

new ideas to the people, therefore to the culture in general. The Japanese

were able to adapt to the changes after the war and now we have a whole new

recovered Japan, that has been drastically affected by the war but anyway

its now a superpower in the world.


Gibney, Frank. Japan: The Fragile Superpower. W.W Norton & Company, New

York, 1979.

Japan in Modern History. The International Society for Educational

Information; Tokyo, 1996.

The Japan of Today. The International Society for Educational Information;


The New Grolier Electronic Encyclopedia. Computer Software. Grolier Inc.