In the nineteenth century, a time of political modernization, Japan took Prussia as a model in various realms inviting Prussian specialists from several fields to Japan as advisors. Because they were so successful, the Japanese were soon labelled the "Prussians of East Asia". The aim ot this collection is to trace the long-lasting influence of the Prussian model on Japan, while at the same time tracing the image of Japan in Germany.
The Prussian model becomes particularly visible in the creation of the state and the establishment of a modern army in Japan. In both these areas, step by step, Prussia took over France's role extant since the 1870s. Especially important was the decision to render the general staff completely independent from the government making it possible for the military to intervene in politics. The German authoritarian form of state was also considered worth imitating while the Anglo-Saxon countries served as models in marine, technology, and economy. As a counterpart to Japan's interest in Prussia, Germany also developed an interest in the Far Eastern country, visible for example in the development of Japanese Studies, first and foremost in Berlin.