VI. The World Wars and the Interwar Period, 1914–1945 > H. East Asia, 1902–1945 > 5. Japan, 1914–1945
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See Aug. 23)
5. Japan, 1914–1945
During the years of World War I, the Japanese manufactured and sent to Europe large quantities of munitions (especially to Russia). At the same time, Japanese merchants took advantage of the conflict to supplant German commerce in East Asia. Heavy industry in particular grew in the postwar years, with considerable investment from the zaibatsu conglomerates, which increasingly dominated the economy. In the 1920s they set the stage through planning with greater efficiency for the rapid expansion of the 1930s, following the government's shift in financial policy.  1
Domestically, the Taish period (1912–26) is usually considered an era of opening to liberal and Western trends in many areas of society and the arts, the so-called Taish democracy. This is usually to distinguish it from the political authoritarianism of the preceding Meiji era and from the militarism and the crackdown on domestic liberalism of the subsequent Shwa era. Western influence was felt in the visual and literary arts, both in theme and technique.  2
1914, Aug
Japan declared war on Germany. Within a three-month period, German possessions in Shandong and the Pacific were in Japanese hands.  3
Nov. 7
Jiaozhou surrendered to the Japanese after a two-month siege.  4
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.