During the Tokugawa Shogunate in the Edo Period, the foreign policy also remained the same for over 220 years in isolation from the rest of the world under the rule of third shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu.
The foreign policy in the Tokugawa Shogunate remained the same for over 220 years under the rule of Tokugawa Iemitsu. Tokugawa Iemitsu born 1604 and died 1651 was the third shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate (Wikipedia n.d.). Tokugawa Iemitsu ruled from the year 1623 to the year 1651 and during the time that he was in power, he did all that he could to prevent Japan from being influenced by foreigners and their beliefs. Tokugawa Iemitsu executed all that did not believe in the same religion, banished all foreigners from the country and put the dynasty and country in isolation by closing the borders to the outside world. The reason that he decided to isolate Japan was that he believed that the foreigners would influence Japan, therefore posing as a threat to him, his power and his rule over the country.
The foreign policy changed dramatically under the Tokugawa Shogunate. The foreign policy during this period was that foreigners were not allowed to enter the country and citizens were not allowed to leave due to the shogun at that time, Tokugawa Iemitsu.
The foreign policy under the Tokugawa Shogunate meant that Japan was essentially closed off from trading with other countries. Many foreigners were not allowed to enter Japan and Japanese citizens were not allowed to leave Japan as the shogun of that time; Tokugawa Iemitsu wanted to decrease the interactions between Japan and other countries because he thought that foreign influences would threaten his rule over Japan. Some of the rules that he put in place to isolate the country were that Japanese ships were not allowed to leave for foreign countries and all incoming ships had to be carefully searched for the followers of the priests (Sara Watts n.d.). This took place over a period of 220 years and ended entirely when an American fleet of ships captained by Commodore Matthew Perry demanded that Japan start to trade with the West. The foreign policy in Shogunate Japan during the Edo Period changed because of Commodore Matthew Perry. He pushed the trade further and out of the country which helped Japan’s economy and, therefore, the foreign policies changed tremendously.
Evaluate the extent to which foreign policy changed under the Tokugawa Shogunate?
Based on all of the evidence provided on this website, it is true that the foreign policies changed significantly during the Tokugawa Shogunate, the influence of a foreigner opened up the trade in Japan to other countries around the world. However, it is evident that the foreign policies also remained the same during the Tokugawa Period as the ‘isolation policy’ endured for over 220 years.
After an analysis of the evidence, it is visible that the foreign policies did change under the Tokugawa Shogunate. The influence of a foreigner expanded the trade in Japan which lifted the barrier of the isolation policy. When Commodore Mattew Perry arrived in Japan in the year 1853, he posed as a threat to Tokugawa Iemitsu, influencing Japan and forcing them to open up trade to other countries like America, and the rest of the world.
However, it is also apparent that while the foreign policies did change under the Tokugawa Shogunate, it was very clear that they remained the same. This is because long before Commodore Matthew Perry and his fleet of ships arrived, Japan was being isolated to the outside world. This policy was fully implemented by Tokugawa Iemitsu, the grandson of Ievasu and shogun from 1623 to 1641. He issued edicts that essentially closed Japan to all foreigners and prevented Japanese from leaving (Sara Watts n.d.). This policy remained for over 220 years with foreigners not allowed to enter the country and local citizens not allowed to leave the country.
In conclusion, both sides of the inquiry question are valid, but it is evident that the foreign policy in Japan under the Tokugawa Shogunate did eventually change as the influence of a foreigner opened up the trading and economy and forced the foreign policy to collapse.