[MUNUC 36] JCC Bakumatsu Japan, 1860: The Bakuhan Government SHOGUN

GROUP: Hybrid



  • Sarah Kress (she/her)
  • Sameer Nasir (he/him)
  • Akshay Joglekar (he/him)
Email Committee Chair

An increasing presence of Western powers reaches a breaking point for Japan with the incursion of Commodore Matthew Perry’s ships in Japanese waters in 1853. After roughly two and a half centuries of relative isolation under the Tokugawa shogunate, it has become increasingly obvious that Japan can no longer remain isolated. With these monumental developments and the increasing pressure to open itself to trade, the question now becomes this: how will Japan enter the world stage? Old powers are challenged by new ideas, and with compounding threats from foreign influence, increasing civil unrest, a disruption of the balance between shoguns and feudal lords, and the collapse of Japan’s monetary system, the nation is thrown into chaos.

As Japan enters one of its most tumultuous eras, this committee finds itself in a precarious position. Whispers of rebel forces seeking to overthrow the Bakuhan Government have reached the palace. Civil unrest is picking up in the feudal state of Japan—citizens are worried about agricultural disruptions, troubled by the instability of the monetary system, and concerned about the ability to modernize the country so it can effectively compete with newly risen foreign powers. As if domestic upheavals weren’t enough, there have been reports of threats to sovereignty from various Western nations who come armed with immense military and economic power. As delegates representing members of the Bakuhan Government, there are many questions to ponder. How will this government work to preserve Japan’s sovereignty on the global stage while simultaneously addressing the issues it encounters in the homeland? Will it stand against the might of the rebellious Daijō-kan Government that seeks to modernize and Westernize the great nation of Japan? Or will the Bakuhan Government be lost to history–a victim of changing times? The first four sessions of this committee will consist of crisis-style debate, while the final session will consist of writing a treaty between the two sides of the JCC in General Assembly format.