Jackson School Journal
of International Studies

Posts Tagged ‘Postwar Japan’

Volume 1 Number 2 – Spring 2011


Matias Villaseca


Bonsai Democracy

Looking Into the Evolution of Japan’s Government


After Japan’s defeat in WWII, American authorities under General MacArthur introduced a new constitution and governmental institutions they hoped would swiftly change Japan into an American-style democracy. This paper argues that as Japanese culture inherently conflicts with egalitarianism, Japan could not fully adopt American notions of democracy. The author characterizes Japanese democracy as dominated by the bureaucracy and one-party rule, and explores the Japanese ideas of groupism, hierarchy, and consensual decision-making that changed democracy to fit Japan.