Throughout this year-long journey, I am happy that I was able to express my passion for modern history through a legal scope, with a research question narrowed enough for me to explore key aspects of modernisation.
I noticed my achievements when I was redrafting accordingly to the feedback, because I realised how thorough my research and draft essay were. Although I changed the headings and tweaked the flow of the argument, the underlying research and evaluations allowed me to refine and produce a piece which I am proud of.
Furthermore, I gained further understanding of what ‘modernisation’ is. My supervisor raised an interesting question in our final meeting that whether modernisation is only deemed possible under democracy. I believe sustainable modernisation can only occur from a grassroots level, similar to how Japan was modernised socially and ideologically via education. Moreover, I started questioning why SCAP had supported Japan’s modernisation despite the strong anti-Japanese sentiment within the Allies. I mentioned this while talking to my grandfather, leading to the conclusion that educational levels and self-sufficiency in Japan in 1945 were crucial in leading the Allies to recognise Japan’s capability to modernise. I think these conservations indicated the success of my EE because they demonstrated how my understanding expanded beyond the statistics or arguments that I have analysed.
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