“Good-Bye Asia” Fukuzawa Article


“Good-ByeAsia” Fukuzawa Article

“Good-ByeAsia” Fukuzawa Article

Japanshould fight against the western influences. This is because thewestern influence affects Japan in all the major aspects of life ofthe Asian country. The west influences Japan in the social, culturaland economic aspects of life, which may eventually influence thecountry’s political direction. The view that Japan’s progress isbased on the western influence is no longer rational as the countryhas shaped its own course towards modernization (Saaler &ampKoschmann, 2007). If the country had not modernized, it would be athird world economy controlled by the west. The western nations wouldbe using the country for economic gains since it would be relying ontheir financial support, just like other third world countries.

Theauthor is critical of the Chinese and Koreans because of theindependent perspective the two nations have taken in protest towestern civilization. In addition, China and Korea are more similarto each other than they relate to Japan (Fukuzawa, 1997). The twonations are also clinging to their ancient practices and politicalopinions, making them typical Asian. For example, China and Korea useancient values and educational perspectives such as Confucianism,which they do not seem to practice. According toFukuzawa (1997), theyperpetrate a lot of cruelty and related unspeakable acts. In theimmorality, they do not self-examine their futility against thewestern civilization.

Accordingto Fukuzawa, Asia is divided. The region is divided because of theirdifferent reaction to western civilization. He states that some Asiannations like Korea and China will be affected by the division as theyface civilization (Fukuzawa,1885).While Korea and China seek independent reaction, Japan has beentaking a pan-Asian view of unified Asia (Saaler &amp Koschmann,2007). In the context of the reading, “datsu-a” means the end ofan era, for Asia through the division of the continent. In reflectionof the Meiji Restoration, the article finds it a case to show theactions some Asians may take due to the cruelty of their governments.


Fukuzawa,Y. (1997). Datsu-a-ron= “Good-Bye Asia” (1885). (Englishtranslation) David Lu, ed., Japan:A Documentary History Armonk,New York: M. E. Sharpe, 1997, pp. 351-353

Saaler,S., &amp Koschmann, V. (2007). Pan-Asianismin Modern Japanese History: Colonialism, Regionalism and Borders. NewYork: Routledge