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Problem Question The problem question being dealt with is To what extent was Tokugawa Japans policy of isolation a benefit or drawback when examined in terms of social stability treatment of foreign influences and standard of living The benefits of isolation when looked at by the subject of social stability are numerous The social stability of Japan during isolation was something to be looked at upon with great respect Isolation gave Japan stability and internal solidarity at a time when these factors were urgently needed Under the new system of Tokugawa merchants were at the bottom however encouraged by the availability of money they bought sold traded and developed a new system of credit and became wealthy Also during this time of isolation businesses created new farms and mines that strengthened the growing national economy Finally enterprising farmers who produced a surplus could sell their excess for coin invest in more land and grow cash crops like cotton and tobacco There were some drawbacks of the isolation on the social stability of Japan Ironically as Japan became increasingly sealed off the rest of the world was being opened up to an unprecedented interchange of goods and ideas on comprehensive scale The rate of social and technological change and development in the West grew dramatically in the two centuries after 1640 In Japan the rate of change the rate of change was deliberately slowed down by the Tokugawa policy When Japan reopened its doors after 1853 there was much ground to make up but the skilled hard working population was in a strong position to close the gap rapidly The second criteria for the isolation of Japan are the treatment of foreign influences Japan was not open to any foreign influences during their period isolation except for the Netherlands Some benefits did arise from this one of the most noted is the perfection of the sword in Japan The Japanese samurai voluntarily
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