Unit 4: Nationalism, Industrialism, and Imperialism
Lesson E: Modern Japan in a Western World
Activity 6: Japan Struggles to Find Its Identity
As Japan became a central power in the world, Japan’s traditional values and attitudes were challenged by Western ideas and culture. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the art produced by Japanese artists began to change to reflect Western ideas of art and culture.
Directions: In this activity you will examine different images from the Meiji Era. As you analyze each image you will be asked to determine what element in the image reflects traditional Japanese values and culture and/or what in the image reflects the impact of Western ideas and culture. Select the Play button when you are ready to begin.
Written Activity - Notebook
In your notebook, respond to the following questions using the information that you have gathered from the images:
- How were traditional Japanese values demonstrated in the Japanese artwork produced during this time period?
- How were Western ideas demonstrated in the Japanese artwork produced during this time period?
- Why do you think some of this artwork incorporated Western ideas? What does this say about how Japan and the Japanese saw themselves?