Engineering and Technical Yatoi in the Public Works Department of Meiji Japan
The Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries spread throughout Europe. Initially impacting on Great Britain, this revolution ushered in an age of steam that revolutionized both land and sea transportation. The development of steamships, resulting in the improvement of transportation services was a particularly powerful spur to industrialization in many parts of the world. Japan, unlike Great Britain, was faced with the problem of consolidating a newly emerging modern society on an already existing technology that was characterized by the steamship. The role of the Japanese government in the development of transportation and communications was vital to the nation's industrialization. The government maintained an aggressive policy in fostering industrial development, and not only carefully promoted each industry but protected it as well. It also worked hard to promote industrial education to provide a skilled workforce.