• James Evangelista

Why Isolation Is Dangerous


On the third day of the Sixth Month of the sixth year of Kaei (also known as an Era of Long Happiness)-July 8, 1853, a squadron of four warships under Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in Edo (Tokyo) Bay. The Japanese were astounded by the size of these ships. They also called it a “black ship.”


A warship so powerful that can’t even match their firepower. Matthew Perry changed the direction of the Japanese government system and lifestyle. This divided Japan into two factions: “Expel the barbarians” and “Open the country” movement. A country divided can never have peaceful times. This lead hundreds of dead samurais and innocent people to fight for what they believe is correct.


The Japan we know today wouldn’t be like that if the Bafuku kept their isolationism policy. Bafuku is the military government of Japan (1192-1868) headed by the shoguns. The only people the Japanese traded during their isolation generation was the Dutch. They rejected Russia and other European countries.


I chose the story of the Japanese about Isolationism because it is a perfect example when we build a fortress of our own and shut down the outside world (real world not digital world). When we isolate ourselves, we think we are correct. Sometimes, we even feel that our life principles are always true when we isolate ourselves.


People are complex creatures. Our environment programs our mind and way of living. To improve our lives, we must open ourselves to other ideas. Once we stop isolating ourselves, we can find our true selves and purpose.


Each person in this world has their own truth and ideas. For example, in politics, people lean left or right. In religion people have their own set of beliefs and sometimes argue their religion is always correct.


Once we open ourselves, we must accept other ideas, but we must learn to question these ideologies and principles. We must always question ourselves on how this “view” can improve our lives. Once we question ourselves and find answers, we must never stick to these ideas, always stay in the “middle” and use what benefits us.


Japan is a perfect example, of breaking the fortress they built and combined world ideas while maintaining their spirit. They are a “Western technology and Eastern Spirit” country. Each one of us can apply different ideas in our lives while maintaining our true spirit.

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