chapter  53
Elites, Governments and Citizens: Some British Perceptions of Japan, 1850–2000
Pages 13

IN THE NINETEENTH and twentieth centuries British perceptions of Japan have been moulded and remoulded by complex and rapidly changing circumstances. The transformation of Japan and the transformation of Britain have shaped both realities and perceptions, while government cultural policies, developments in communications, and the spread of popular education have all been potent influences on British ideas. This essay will outline some major shifts in British perceptions of nineteenth-and twentieth-century Japan, and suggest the many forces which have created and modified elite and popular attitudes.