International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Foreign Settlements and Modernization: The Cases of Nagasaki and Hakodate
Hideo Watanabe, Ph. D

Meiji Japan was much more diversified than commonly thought and their local areas reflected their distinctive developments. To explore foreign settlements of the five areas designated by the Ansei Five-Power treaties in 1858 is a good approach to exposing the diversity of Japan in the Meiji period. Yokohama and Kobe did not fully explain everything about Meiji Japan. Nagasaki and Hakodate give us different pictures of the country’s past. Both Nagasaki and Hakodate were far from Edo but they were bigger and thriving more than Yokohama and Kobe. The Nagasaki foreign settlement was quite large and a multinational community, having early contact with China, Portugal, and the Netherlands. On the other hand, the Hakodate foreign settlement was small and had contact mainly with Russia. In the postwar, both Nagasaki and Hakodate experienced a drastic loss of population and have since become middle-class cities in their local regions.

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