This is a term used by Western scholars to describe what happened to the Japanese populace throughout the Meiji period leading up to the Second World War.

Previous to Admiral Perry's so-called opening of Japan in 1853, the country was a fuedal society ruled by the Shogunate. The peasantry was not bound by the code of honor of the samurai and the ruling classes. Soon after the arrival of the "Black Ships" the Shogunate fell and the emperor was restored to power (theoretically).

The period that followed saw feverish modernization in order to "catch up" with the West. The Japanese instituted universal public education and raised a modern military according to the German model. A cult of the emperor was promoted. Every school had a portrait of him covered by a curtain, as mere students were not permitted to look at his face.

It was at this time that samuraization of ordinary Japanese began. They were instilled with a samurai warrior ethic that allowed the Japanese to enjoy regional military dominance for a time.

After the defeat this national spirit was directed toward economic progress (or so says Patrick Smith author of Japan: a Re-interpretation). The samurai lives on in the corparate sarariman. The current recession has led many in Japan to question their traditional loyalty to their employers as corporations are betraying the once sacred trust of the lifetime employment model.

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