Japanese History/The Rise of Militarism

The Rise of Militarism in Japan was to have important repercussions in the future history of Japan. It led onto it's involvement in the Second World War.


The root of militarism can be seen in several reasons: Japan's relatively small gains in the Russo-Japanese War and WWI, The seemingly easy wins of the wars of this period and finally of the Wall Street Crash. It is also due to the new government being founded by the militaristic samurai class, with the power given to the emperor by the shogun, during the Meiji Restoration period.

The Great DepressionEdit

The Great Depression affected Japan by a great amount, and led to a rise in militarism. As Japan exported luxury goods, such as silks, to other countries such as America which, because they were now affected by the depression, could not afford them anymore. This led to a feeling in Japan that they should become much more self-sufficient, through gaining more territory. This meant that Japan wanted to expand in order to gain more natural resources and to create its own economic empire in the Pacific. This feeling was also fuelled by the increasing overpopulation of Japan.

The Manchurian IncidentEdit

The Manchurian Incident, or the Mukden Incident, was an incident which led to the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria. They installed 'Henry' Puyi (Last Emperor of China) as their puppet ruler. The Lytton commission declared this to be illegal, so Japan left the League of Nations in protest. Japan was not punished, and other powers such as Germany and Italy took this as an example when they began to expand. This incident impelled the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Opening incidentEdit

Japanese troops destroyed a section of the south Manchurian railway near Mukden where there was a Japanese garrison. The troops blamed the incident on the Chinese and so they captured Mukden. They then went on to capture the rest of Manchuria.

Second Sino-Japanese WarEdit

In 1937, the Japanese attacked Beijing in the Marco Polo Bridge Incident. this date is the start of the Sino-Japanese War, however China and Japan had been fighting an undeclared war since the Mukden Incident, when Japan invaded Manchuria. This war became a part of the greater, Second World War in 1941.

The Mukden IncidentEdit

Japanese Troops stationed on the South Manchurian Railway destroyed a section of the track. They claimed that this is the work of Chinese troops. The Japanese then seized Mukden, then the all the Manchuria. The Japanese then established a puppet state in Manchuria called AMIL .

The Marco Polo Bridge IncidentEdit

Soviet–Japanese Border WarsEdit

These were a series of engagements on the northern border of China and Mongolia, near the river of Khalkhyn Gol. These resulted in a complete victory for the Soviet Union. Such defeats, inflicted on Japan by the USSR, created a sentiment in Japan that Germany and Japan could not link up through the territory of the Soviet Union.

Japanese History

Prehistory through the Jomon Period – The Yayoi Period – The Kofun or Yamato Period – The Asuka Period – The Nara Period – The Spread of Buddhism in Japan – The Early Heian Period – The Middle Heian Period – The Late Heian Period – The Kamakura Period – The Kemmu Restoration – The Nanboku-chō Period – The Muromachi Period (Ashikaga) – The Warring States Period – The Azuchi–Momoyama Period – The Edo Period – The Meiji Restoration – The Meiji Period – The Taisho Period – The Rise of Militarism – World War II – The American Occupation of Japan – Post-War Japan – Japan Today
Further Reading