Duus (1984, 147) points out that business leaders during the period ofJapan's early imperialistic expansion had much more interest in China, with a"vast population, size, and well-developed commercial economy" that"made its market larger, more penetrable, and more easily exploited thanthose of Taiwan or Korea."
Although some authors contend that Japan's imperialistic spirit dated back tobefore the beginning of the start of the Tokugawa Period in 1600, they providelittle evidence as to why such a militaristic attitude would remain entrenchedin a people living in a country where peace reigned for about two and halfcenturies under the Tokugawa Shogunate (1600-1868).Boulding and Gleason (1972, 241-242) argue that Japan's imperialisticexpansion was a continuation from several centuries before: "Even before1600, . . . colonies were established in areas of Southeast Asia, and in 1592Korea was invaded in an extraordinary, but abortive, attempt to conquer China. .. . But the Meiji government, once isolationism had been abandoned, resumed theimperialistic practices of the earlier era."Lockwood (1954, 7) argues that the coming of Westerners inthe last half of the nineteenth century "revived and intensified memoriesof European ambitions and predatory rivalries dating back to the sixteenthcentury."Although someleaders in the Meiji Era tried to revive memories of historical events for theirown propaganda purposes, little evidence exists that such militaristic attitudesand memories of Western aggression continued in the Japanese people during aperiod of peace lasting over 200 years.