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The is an
era An era is a span of time defined for the purposes of chronology or historiography, as in the regnal eras in the history of a given monarchy, a calendar era used for a given calendar, or the geological eras defined for the history of Earth. Compar ...
of
Japanese history The first human habitation in the Japanese archipelago has been traced to prehistoric times around 30,000 BCE. The Jōmon period The is the time in Japanese prehistory, traditionally dated between  Upper Paleolithic, 14,000–300 BC ...
that extended from October 23, 1868 to July 30, 1912. The Meiji era was the first half of the
Empire of Japan The was a historical and that existed from the in 1868 until the enactment of the post-World War II and subsequent formation of modern . It encompassed the and several , s, , and other . Under the slogans of and Japan underwent ...

Empire of Japan
, when the Japanese people moved from being an isolated
feudal society Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was a combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural customs that flourished in Medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structuring society arou ...
at risk of colonization by
Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western world, countries that ide ...

Western
powers to the new paradigm of a modern, industrialized
nation state A nation state is a political unit where the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newsp ...
and emergent great power, influenced by
Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western world, countries that ide ...

Western
scientific, technological, philosophical, political, legal, and aesthetic ideas. As a result of such wholesale adoption of radically different ideas, the changes to Japan were profound, and affected its social structure, internal politics, economy, military, and foreign relations. The period corresponded to the reign of
Emperor Meiji also called or was the 122nd emperor of Japan The Emperor of Japan is the monarch and the head of the Imperial House of Japan, Imperial Family of Japan. Under the Constitution of Japan, he is defined as the symbol of the Japanese state an ...
. It was preceded by the
Keiō was a after '' Genji'' and before '' Meiji''. The period spanned the years from May 1865 to October 1868. The reigning emperors were and . Change of era * May 1, 1865 (''Genji 2/Keiō 1, 7th day of the 4th month'') : The new era name of ''Kei ...
era and was succeeded by the
Taishō is a period in the history of Japan The first human habitation in the Japanese archipelago has been traced to prehistoric times around 30,000 BCE. The Jōmon period, named after its cord-marked pottery, was followed by the Yayoi period ...

Taishō
era, upon the accession of
Emperor Taishō was the 123rd Emperor of Japan The Emperor of Japan is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foakes, pp. 110–11 " he head of statebeing an ...

Emperor Taishō
.


Meiji Restoration

On February 3, 1867, the 14-year-old Prince Mutsuhito succeeded his father,
Emperor Kōmei was the 121st Emperor of Japan The Emperor of Japan is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foakes, pp. 110–11 " he head of statebeing ...
, to the
Chrysanthemum Throne The is the throne of the Emperor of Japan. The term also can refer to very specific seating, such as the throne in the Shishin-den at Kyoto Imperial Palace. Various other thrones or seats that are used by the Emperor during official functions, ...
as the 122nd emperor. On November 9, 1867, then-''
shōgun , officially , was the title of the military dictatorship, military dictators of Japan during most of the period spanning from 1185 to 1868. Nominally appointed by the Emperor of Japan, Emperor, shoguns were usually the ''de facto'' rulers of the ...
''
Tokugawa Yoshinobu Kazoku, Prince was the 15th and last ''shōgun'' of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan. He was part of a movement which aimed to reform the aging shogunate, but was ultimately unsuccessful. After resigning in late 1867, he went into retirement, and ...

Tokugawa Yoshinobu
tendered his resignation to the Emperor, and formally stepped down ten days later. Imperial restoration occurred the next year on January 3, 1868, with the formation of the new government. The
fall of Edo The , also known as and , took place in May and July 1868, when the Japanese capital of Edo Edo ( ja, , , "bay-entrance" or " estuary"), also romanized as Jedo, Yedo or Yeddo, is the former name of Tokyo Tokyo ( , ; Japanese language, ...
in the summer of 1868 marked the end of the
Tokugawa shogunate The Tokugawa shogunate (, Japanese 徳川幕府 ''Tokugawa bakufu''), also known as the , was the military government {{Systems of government Military dictatorships A military government is generally any government A government is th ...

Tokugawa shogunate
, and a new era, ''Meiji'', was proclaimed. The first reform was the promulgation of the
Five Charter Oath The was promulgated on 6 April 1868 in Kyoto Imperial Palace The is the former ruling palace of the Emperor of Japan. Since the Meiji Restoration in 1869, the Emperors have resided at the Tokyo Imperial Palace, while the preservation of the Kyot ...
in 1868, a general statement of the aims of the Meiji leaders to boost morale and win financial support for the new government. Its five provisions consisted of: # Deliberative assembly shall be widely established and all matters decided by public discussion # All classes, high and low, shall unite in vigorously carrying out the administration of the affairs of state # The common people, no less than the civil and military of officials, shall each be allowed to pursue his own calling so that there may be no discontent. # Evil customs of the past shall be broken off and everything based upon the just laws of nature. # Knowledge shall be sought throughout the world so as to strengthen the foundations of imperial rule. Implicit in the Charter Oath was an end to exclusive political rule by the
bakufu , officially , was the title of the military dictatorship, military dictators of Japan during most of the period spanning from 1185 to 1868. Nominally appointed by the Emperor of Japan, Emperor, shoguns were usually the ''de facto'' rulers of the ...
(a ''shōgun''s direct administration including officers), and a move toward more democratic participation in government. To implement the Charter Oath, a rather short-lived constitution with eleven articles was drawn up in June 1868. Besides providing for a new
Council of State A Council of State is a governmental body in a country, or a subdivision of a country, with a function that varies by jurisdiction. It may be the formal name for the cabinet or it may refer to a non-executive advisory body associated with a head o ...
, legislative bodies, and systems of ranks for nobles and officials, it limited office tenure to four years, allowed public balloting, provided for a new taxation system, and ordered new local administrative rules. The Meiji government assured the foreign powers that it would follow the old treaties negotiated by the bakufu and announced that it would act in accordance with international law. Mutsuhito, who was to reign until 1912, selected a new reign title—''Meiji'', or Enlightened Rule—to mark the beginning of a new era in Japanese history. To further dramatize the new order, the capital was relocated from
Kyoto Kyoto (; : , ''Kyōto'' ), officially , is the capital city of in . Located in the on the island of , Kyoto forms a part of the along with and . As of 2021, the city has a population of 1.45 million, making up 57% of the prefecture's total p ...

Kyoto
, where it had been situated since 794, to
Tokyo Tokyo (: , ''Tōkyō'' ), historically known in the west as Tokio and officially the Tokyo Metropolis (, ''Tōkyō-to''), is and most populous . Located at the head of , the prefecture forms part of the on the central Pacific coast of 's m ...

Tokyo
(Eastern Capital), the new name for
Edo Edo ( ja, , , "bay-entrance" or " estuary"), also romanized as Jedo, Yedo or Yeddo, is the former name of Tokyo Tokyo ( , ; Japanese language, Japanese: 東京, ''Tōkyō'' ), officially the Tokyo Metropolis (Japanese language, Japanese ...

Edo
. In a move critical for the consolidation of the new regime, most ''
daimyō were powerful Japanese magnate A magnate, from the late Latin ''magnas'', a great man, itself from Latin ''magnus'', "great", is a noble or a man in a high social position, by birth, wealth or other qualities. In reference to the Middle Ages, ...
s'' voluntarily surrendered their land and census records to the Emperor in the
abolition of the Han system The in the Empire of Japan The was a historical nation-state that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 until the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of Japan, 1947 constitution and subsequent formation of modern J ...
, symbolizing that the land and people were under the Emperor's jurisdiction. Confirmed in their hereditary positions, the daimyo became governors, and the central government assumed their administrative expenses and paid
samurai were the hereditary military nobility and officer caste Caste is a form of social stratification characterized by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a style of life which often includes an occupation, ritual status in a hierarchy, and ...

samurai
stipends. The han were replaced with
prefectures A prefecture (from the Latin ''Praefectura'') is an administrative jurisdiction traditionally governed by an appointed prefect. This can be a regional or local government subdivision in various countries, or a subdivision in certain international ...

prefectures
in 1871, and authority continued to flow to the national government. Officials from the favored former han, such as Satsuma, Chōshū, Tosa, and
Hizen Image:Provinces of Japan-Hizen.svg, 300px, Map of Japanese provinces (1868) with Hizen Province highlighted was an old provinces of Japan, old province of Japan in the area of the Saga Prefecture, Saga and Nagasaki Prefecture, Nagasaki prefectur ...
staffed the new ministries. Formerly old court nobles, and lower-ranking samurai, replaced bakufu appointees and daimyo as a new ruling class appeared. In as much as the Meiji Restoration had sought to return the Emperor to a preeminent position, efforts were made to establish a
Shinto Shinto () is a religion which originated in Japan. Classified as an East Asian religions, East Asian religion by Religious studies, scholars of religion, its practitioners often regard it as Japan's indigenous religion and as a nature religion. S ...

Shinto
-oriented state much like it was 1,000 years earlier. Since Shinto and Buddhism had molded into a syncretic belief in the prior one-thousand years and Buddhism had been closely connected with the shogunate, this involved the separation of Shinto and Buddhism (
shinbutsu bunri The Japanese term indicates the separation of Shinto from Buddhism, introduced after the Meiji Restoration which separated Shinto ''kami'' from Buddhism, buddhas, and also Buddhist temples in Japan, Buddhist temples from Shinto shrines, which we ...
) and the associated destruction of various Buddhist temples and related violence (
haibutsu kishaku
haibutsu kishaku
). Furthermore, a new
State Shinto was Imperial Japan's ideological use of the Japanese folk traditions of Shinto Shinto (神道 ''Shintō''), also yamatokotoba, termed ''kami-no-michi'', is a religion which originated in Japan. Classified as an East Asian religions, East Asi ...
had to be constructed for the purpose. In 1871, the Office of Shinto Worship ( :ja:神祇省) was established, ranking even above the Council of State in importance. The ''
kokutai is a concept in the Japanese language translatable as "system of government", "sovereignty", "national identity, essence and character", "national polity; body politic; national entity; basis for the Emperor of Japan, Emperor's sovereignty; Jap ...
'' ideas of the Mito school were embraced, and the divine ancestry of the Imperial House was emphasized. The government supported Shinto teachers, a small but important move. Although the Office of Shinto Worship was demoted in 1872, by 1877 the
Home Ministry The was a Cabinet (government), Cabinet-level ministry established under the Meiji Constitution that managed the internal affairs of Empire of Japan from 1873 to 1947. Its duties included local administration, Police services of the Empire ...
controlled all Shinto shrines and certain Shinto sects were given state recognition. Shinto was released from Buddhist administration and its properties restored. Although Buddhism suffered from state sponsorship of Shinto, it had its own resurgence. Christianity also was legalized, and Confucianism remained an important ethical doctrine. Increasingly, however, Japanese thinkers identified with Western ideology and methods.


Politics

A major proponent of representative government was
Itagaki Taisuke:''For information on the warrior woman, see Itagaki'' Count was a Japanese people, Japanese soldier, politician and leader of the , which evolved into Japan's first political party. His image is on Japan's 1953 100-yen banknote. Biography Ea ...

Itagaki Taisuke
(1837–1919), a powerful Tosa leader who had resigned from the Council of State over the Korean affair in 1873. Itagaki sought peaceful, rather than rebellious, means to gain a voice in government. He started a school and a movement aimed at establishing a
constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises his authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in deciding. Constitutional monarchies differ from a ...
and a
legislative assembly Legislative assembly is the name given in some countries to either a legislature A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of ...
. Such movements were called The Freedom and People's Rights Movement. Itagaki and others wrote the Tosa Memorial ( :ja:民撰議院設立建白書) in 1874, criticizing the unbridled power of the oligarchy and calling for the immediate establishment of representative government. Between 1871 and 1873, a series of land and tax laws were enacted as the basis for modern fiscal policy. Private ownership was legalized, deeds were issued, and lands were assessed at fair market value with taxes paid in cash rather than in kind as in pre-Meiji days and at slightly lower rates. Dissatisfied with the pace of reform after having rejoined the Council of State in 1875, Itagaki organized his followers and other democratic proponents into the nationwide
Aikokusha The was a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's elections. It is common for the members of a political party to have similar ideas about politics, and parties may promote ...
(Society of Patriots) to push for representative government in 1878. In 1881, in an action for which he is best known, Itagaki helped found the Jiyūtō (Liberal Party), which favored French political doctrines. In 1882,
Ōkuma Shigenobu Marquess was a Japanese statesman and a prominent member of the Meiji oligarchy. He served as Prime Minister of Japan, Prime Minister of the Empire of Japan in 1898 and from 1914 to 1916. Ōkuma was also an early advocate of Western science an ...

Ōkuma Shigenobu
established the
Rikken Kaishintō Image:Shigenobu Okuma kimono.jpg, upŌkuma Shigenobu, founder of the Rikken Kaishintō The was a political party in Empire of Japan. It was also known as simply the Kaishintō. The Kaishintō was founded by Ōkuma Shigenobu on 16 April 1882, wit ...
(Constitutional Progressive Party), which called for a British-style constitutional democracy. In response, government bureaucrats, local government officials, and other conservatives established the Rikken Teiseitō (Imperial Rule Party), a pro-government party, in 1882. Numerous political demonstrations followed, some of them violent, resulting in further government restrictions. The restrictions hindered the political parties and led to divisions within and among them. The Jiyūtō, which had opposed the Kaishinto, was disbanded in 1884 and Ōkuma resigned as Kaishintō president. Government leaders, long preoccupied with violent threats to stability and the serious leadership split over the Korean affair, generally agreed that
constitutional government A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...
should someday be established. The Chōshū leader
Kido Takayoshi (born ; August 11, 1833 – May 26, 1877), also referred to as , was a Japanese people, Japanese statesman of the Meiji Restoration. He was known as during the late Tokugawa period. He is considered as one of the Three Great Nobles of the Res ...

Kido Takayoshi
had favored a constitutional form of government since before 1874, and several proposals for constitutional guarantees had been drafted. While acknowledging the realities of political pressure, however, the oligarchy was determined to keep control. Thus, modest steps were taken. The Osaka Conference in 1875 resulted in the reorganization of government with an independent judiciary and an appointed Chamber of Elders (Genrōin) tasked with reviewing proposals for a legislature. The Emperor declared that "constitutional government shall be established in gradual stages" as he ordered the Council of Elders to draft a constitution. Three years later, the Conference of Prefectural Governors established elected prefectural assemblies. Although limited in their authority, these assemblies represented a move in the direction of representative government at the national level, and by 1880 assemblies also had been formed in villages and towns. In 1880 delegates from twenty-four prefectures held a national convention to establish the Kokkai Kisei Dōmei. Although the government was not opposed to parliamentary rule, confronted with the drive for "people's rights", it continued to try to control the political situation. New laws in 1875 prohibited press criticism of the government or discussion of national laws. The Public Assembly Law (1880) severely limited public gatherings by disallowing attendance by civil servants and requiring police permission for all meetings. Within the ruling circle, however, and despite the conservative approach of the leadership, Okuma continued as a lone advocate of British-style government, a government with political parties and a cabinet organized by the majority party, answerable to the national assembly. He called for elections to be held by 1882 and for a national assembly to be convened by 1883; in doing so, he precipitated a political crisis that ended with an 1881 imperial rescript declaring the establishment of a national assembly in 1890 and dismissing Okuma. Rejecting the British model,
Iwakura
Iwakura
and other conservatives borrowed heavily from the Prussian constitutional system. One of the Meiji oligarchy,
Itō Hirobumi Duke Duke is a male title either of a monarch ruling over a , or of a member of , or . As rulers, dukes are ranked below s, s, s, s, and sovereign s. As royalty or nobility, they are ranked below princes of nobility and grand dukes. The ...

Itō Hirobumi
(1841–1909), a Chōshū native long involved in government affairs, was charged with drafting Japan's constitution. He led a constitutional study mission abroad in 1882, spending most of his time in Germany. He rejected the
United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation An organization, or organ ...

United States Constitution
as "too liberal", and the British system as too unwieldy, and having a parliament with too much control over the monarchy; the French and Spanish models were rejected as tending toward despotism. Ito was put in charge of the new Bureau for Investigation of Constitutional Systems in 1884, and the Council of State was replaced in 1885 with a cabinet headed by Ito as prime minister. The positions of chancellor (or chief-minister),
minister of the left The ''Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary'', Kenkyusha Limited, was a government position in Japan in the late Nara period, Nara and Heian periods. The position was consolidated in the Taihō Code of 702. The Asuka Kiyomihara Code of 689 m ...
, and
minister of the right was a government position in Japan in the late Nara period, Nara and Heian periods. The position was consolidated in the Taihō Code of 702. The Asuka Kiyomihara Code of 689 marks the initial appearance of the ''udaijin'' in the context of a centr ...
, which had existed since the seventh century as advisory positions to the Emperor, were all abolished. In their place, the
Privy Council A privy council is a body that advises the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foakes, pp. 110–11 "he head of state He or HE may refer to: ...
was established in 1888 to evaluate the forthcoming constitution and to advise the Emperor. To further strengthen the authority of the State, the Supreme War Council was established under the leadership of
Yamagata Aritomo '' Gensui'' Prince A prince is a Monarch, male ruler (ranked below a king, grand prince, and grand duke) or a male member of a monarch's or former monarch's family. ''Prince'' is also a title of nobility (often highest), often hereditary t ...

Yamagata Aritomo
(1838–1922), a Chōshū native who has been credited with the founding of the modern Japanese army and was to become the first constitutional
Prime Minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpar ...
. The
Supreme War Council The Supreme War Council was a central command based in Versailles that coordinated the military strategy of the principal Allies of World War I The Allies of World War I or Entente Powers were a coalition The term "coalition" is the denot ...
developed a German-style general staff system with a chief of staff who had direct access to the Emperor and who could operate independently of the army minister and civilian officials. The Constitution of the Empire of Japan was enacted on November 29, 1890. It was a form of mixed
constitutional A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents A precedent is a principle or rule established in a previous legal case A legal case is in a general sense a dispute between opposing parties which may be ...
and
absolute monarchy Absolute monarchy (or absolutism as doctrine) is a form of in which the holds supreme authority, principally not being restricted by written laws, , or customs. These are often . In contrast, in , the 's authority derives from or is legally ...
. The
Emperor of Japan The Emperor of Japan is the monarch and the head of the Imperial House of Japan, Imperial Family of Japan. Under the Constitution of Japan, he is defined as the symbol of the Japanese state and the unity of the Japanese people, and his position ...
was legally the
supreme leader A supreme leader or supreme ruler typically refers to the person among a number of leaders of a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...
, and the Cabinet were his followers. The Prime Minister would be elected by a
Privy Council A privy council is a body that advises the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foakes, pp. 110–11 "he head of state He or HE may refer to: ...
. In reality, the Emperor was
head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role that one adopts, or a fictional cha ...
but the
Prime Minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpar ...
was the actual head of government. Class distinctions were mostly eliminated during modernization to create a
representative democracy Representative democracy, also known as indirect democracy, is a type of democracy where elected persons represent Represent may refer to: * Represent (Compton's Most Wanted album), ''Represent'' (Compton's Most Wanted album) or the title song, ...
. The
samurai were the hereditary military nobility and officer caste Caste is a form of social stratification characterized by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a style of life which often includes an occupation, ritual status in a hierarchy, and ...

samurai
lost their status as the only class with military privileges. However, during the Meiji period, most leaders in Japanese society (politics, business and military) were ex-samurai or descendants of
samurai were the hereditary military nobility and officer caste Caste is a form of social stratification characterized by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a style of life which often includes an occupation, ritual status in a hierarchy, and ...

samurai
. The 1889
Meiji Constitution The Constitution of the Empire of Japan (Kyūjitai are the traditional forms of kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters that are used in the Japanese writing system. They are used alongside the Japanese language, Japanes ...

Meiji Constitution
made relatively small concessions to
civil rights Civil and political rights are a class of rights Rights are law, legal, social, or ethics, ethical principles of Liberty, freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to ...
and parliamentary mechanisms. Party participation was recognized as part of the political process. The Emperor shared his authority and give rights and liberties to his subjects. It provided for the Imperial Diet (Teikoku Gikai), composed of a popularly elected
House of Representatives House of Representatives is the name of legislative bodies A legislature is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is ...
with a very limited franchise of male citizens who were over twenty-five years of age and paid fifteen yen in national taxes (approximately 1% of the population). The House of Peers was composed of nobility and imperial appointees. A cabinet was responsible to the Emperor and independent of the legislature. The Diet could approve government legislation and initiate laws, make representations to the government, and submit petitions to the Emperor. The Meiji Constitution lasted as the fundamental law until 1947. In the early years of constitutional government, the strengths and weaknesses of the Meiji Constitution were revealed. A small clique of Satsuma and Chōshū elite continued to rule Japan, becoming institutionalized as an extra-constitutional body of genrō (elder statesmen). Collectively, the genro made decisions reserved for the Emperor, and the genro, not the Emperor, controlled the government politically. Throughout the period, however, political problems usually were solved through compromise, and political parties gradually increased their power over the government and held an ever-larger role in the political process as a result. Between 1891 and 1895, Ito served as Prime Minister with a cabinet composed mostly of genro who wanted to establish a government party to control the House of Representatives. Although not fully realized, the trend toward party politics was well established.


Society

On its return, one of the first acts of the government was to establish new ranks for the nobility. Five hundred people from the old court nobility, former daimyo, and samurai who had provided valuable service to the Emperor were organized into a new peerage, the
Kazoku The was the hereditary peerage A peerage is a legal system historically comprising various hereditary title Hereditary titles, in a general sense, are nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal fami ...
, consisting of five ranks: prince,
marquis A marquess (; french: marquis ), es, marqués, pt, marquês. is a nobleman Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy (class), aristo ...
,
count Count (feminine: countess) is a historical title of nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy (class), aristocracy. Nobility ...

count
,
viscount A viscount ( , for male) or viscountess (, for female) is a Title#Aristocratic titles, title used in certain European countries for a nobility, noble of varying status. In many countries a viscount, and its historical equivalents, was a non-her ...
, and
baron Baron is a rank of nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy (class), aristocracy. Nobility has often been an Estates of the ...

baron
. In the transition between the
Edo period The or is the period between 1603 and 1867 in the of , when Japan was under the rule of the and the country's 300 regional '. Emerging from the chaos of the , the Edo period was characterized by economic growth, strict social order, foreign ...
and the Meiji era, the Ee ja nai ka movement, a spontaneous outbreak of ecstatic behavior, took place. In 1885, noted public intellectual
Yukichi Fukuzawa
Yukichi Fukuzawa
wrote the influential essay " Leaving Asia", arguing that Japan should orient itself at the "civilized countries of the West", leaving behind the "hopelessly backward" Asian neighbors, namely
Korea Korea is a region in East Asia. Since 1945, it has been divided between two countries at or near the 38th parallel north, 38th parallel, North Korea (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea) and South Korea (the Republic of Korea). Korea co ...

Korea
and China. This essay certainly encouraged the economic and technological rise of Japan in the Meiji era, but it also may have laid the intellectual foundations for later Japanese
colonialism Colonialism is a practice or policy of control by one people or power over other people or areas, often by establishing colony, colonies and generally with the aim of economic dominance. In the process of colonisation, colonisers may impose the ...

colonialism
in the region. The Meiji era saw a flowering of public discourse on the direction of Japan. Works like
Nakae Chōmin
Nakae Chōmin
's A Discourse by Three Drunkards on Government debated how best to blend the new influences coming from the West with local Japanese culture. Grassroots movements like the
Freedom and People's Rights Movement The (abbreviated as ) was a Japanese political and social movement for democracy in the 1880s. It pursued the formation of an elected legislature, revision of the Unequal treaty, Unequal Treaties with the United States and European countries, the ...
called for the establishment of a formal legislature, civil rights, and greater pluralism in the Japanese political system. Journalists, politicians, and writers actively participated in the movement, which attracted an array of interest groups, including women's rights activists. The elite class of the Meiji era adapted many aspects of Victorian taste, as seen in the construction of Western-style pavilions and reception rooms called ''yōkan or yōma'' in their homes. These parts of Meiji homes were displayed in popular magazines of the time, such as ''Ladies' Graphic,'' which portrayed the often empty rooms of the homes of the aristocracy of all levels, including the imperial palaces. Integrating Western cultural forms with an assumed, untouched native Japanese spirit was characteristic of Meiji society, especially at the top levels, and represented Japan's search for a place within a new world power system in which European colonial empires dominated.


Fashion

The production of
kimono File:Khalili Collection Kimono 02.jpg, alt=The back view of a long sleeved kimono decorated with a large tree and flowers on a black, yellow and wave-patterned background., Kimono for a young woman, depicting a boat on swirling water, with pi ...

kimono
started to use Western technologies such as
synthetic dye A dye is a color Color (American English) or colour (Commonwealth English) is the visual perception, visual perceptual Physical property, property corresponding in humans to the categories called ''blue'', ''green'', ''red'', etc. Colo ...
, and decoration was sometimes influenced by Western motifs. The textile industry modernized rapidly and silk from Tokyo's factories became Japan's principal export. Cheap synthetic dyes meant that bold purples and reds, previously restricted to the wealthy elite, could be owned by anyone. Faster and cheaper manufacture allowed more people to afford silk kimono, and enabled designers to create new patterns. The Emperor issued a proclamation promoting Western dress over the allegedly effeminate Japanese dress.
Fukuzawa Yukichi was a Japanese author, writer, teacher, translator, entrepreneur Entrepreneurship is the creation or extraction of value. With this definition, entrepreneurship is viewed as change, generally entailing risk beyond what is normally encountered ...

Fukuzawa Yukichi
's descriptions of Western clothing and customs were influential. So Western dress became popular in the public sphere: many men adopted Western dress in the workplace, although kimono were still the norm for men at home and for women. In the 1890s the kimono reasserted itself, with people wearing bolder and brighter styles. A new type called the bridged the gap between formal dress and everyday dress. The technology of the time allowed for subtle color gradients rather than abrupt changes of color. Another trend was for outer and inner garments of the same design. Another trend in the Meiji era was for women's under-kimono made by combining pieces of different fabric, sometimes of radically different colors and designs. For men, the trend was for highly decorative under-kimono that would be covered by outer kimono that were plain or very simply designed. Even the clothing of infants and young children used bold colors, intricate designs, and materials common to adult fashions. Japanese exports led to kimono becoming an object of fascination in the West.


Economy

The Industrial Revolution in Japan occurred during the Meiji era. The industrial revolution began about 1870 as Meiji era leaders decided to catch up with the West. The government built railroads, improved roads, and inaugurated a land reform program to prepare the country for further development. It inaugurated a new Western-based education system for all young people, sent thousands of students to the United States and Europe, and hired more than 3,000 Westerners to teach modern science, mathematics, technology, and foreign languages in Japan (O-yatoi gaikokujin). In 1871, a group of Japanese politicians known as the Iwakura Mission toured Europe and the US to learn western ways. The result was a deliberate state led industrialization policy to enable Japan to quickly catch up. The Bank of Japan, founded in 1877, used taxes to fund model steel and textile factories. Modern industry first appeared in textiles, including cotton and especially silk, which was based in home workshops in rural areas. Due to the importing of new textile manufacturing technology from Europe, between 1886 and 1897, Japan's total value of yarn output rose from 12 million to 176 million yen. In 1886, 62% of yarn in Japan was imported; by 1902, most yarn was produced locally. By 1913, Japan was producing 672 million pounds of yarn per year, becoming the fourth largest exporter of cotton yarn. The first railway was opened between Tokyo and Yokohama in 1872; and railway was rapidly developed throughout Japan well into the twentieth century. The introduction of railway transportation led to more efficient production due to the decline in transport costs, allowing manufacturing firms to move into more populated interior regions of Japan in search for labor input. The railway also enabled a new-found access to raw materials that had previously been too difficult or costly to transport. There were at least two reasons for the speed of Japan's modernization: the employment of more than 3,000 foreign experts (called ''o-yatoi gaikokujin'' or 'hired foreigners') in a variety of specialist fields such as teaching English, science, engineering, the army and navy, among others; and the dispatch of many Japanese students overseas to Europe and America, based on the fifth and last article of the Charter Oath of 1868: 'Knowledge shall be sought throughout the world so as to strengthen the foundations of Imperial rule.' This process of modernization was closely monitored and heavily subsidized by the Meiji government, enhancing the power of the great zaibatsu firms such as Mitsui and Mitsubishi. Hand in hand, the zaibatsu and government guided the nation, borrowing technology from the West. Japan gradually took control of much of Asia's market for manufactured goods, beginning with textiles. The economic structure became very mercantilism, mercantilistic, importing raw materials and exporting finished products—a reflection of Japan's relative poverty in raw materials. Japan emerged from the Tokugawa shogunate, Tokugawa–Emperor of Japan, Tennō (
Keiō was a after '' Genji'' and before '' Meiji''. The period spanned the years from May 1865 to October 1868. The reigning emperors were and . Change of era * May 1, 1865 (''Genji 2/Keiō 1, 7th day of the 4th month'') : The new era name of ''Kei ...
–Meiji) transition in 1868 as the first Asian industrialized nation. Domestic commercial activities and limited foreign trade had met the demands for material culture until the Keiō era, but the modernized Meiji era had radically different requirements. From the onset, the Meiji rulers embraced the concept of a market economy and adopted British and North American forms of free enterprise capitalism. The private sector—in a nation with an abundance of aggressive entrepreneurs—welcomed such change. Economic reforms included a unified modern currency based on the yen, banking, commercial and tax laws, stock exchanges, and a communications network. Establishment of a modern institutional framework conducive to an advanced capitalist economy took time, but was completed by the 1890s. By this time, the government had largely relinquished direct control of the modernization process, primarily for budgetary reasons. Many of the former daimyo, whose pensions had been paid in a lump sum, benefited greatly through investments they made in emerging industries. Those who had been informally involved in foreign trade before the Meiji Restoration also flourished. Old bakufu-serving firms that clung to their traditional ways failed in the new business environment. The government initially was involved in economic modernization, providing a number of "model factories" to facilitate the transition to the modern era. After the first twenty years of the Meiji era, the industrial economy expanded rapidly until about 1920 with inputs of advanced Western technology and large private investments. Stimulated by wars and through cautious economic planning, Japan emerged from World War I as a major industrial nation. In 1885, the Meiji government sponsored a telegraph system, throughout Japan, situating the telegraphs in all major Japanese cities at the time.


Military


Overview

Undeterred by opposition, the Meiji leaders continued to modernize the nation through government-sponsored telegraph cable links to all major Japanese cities and the Asian mainland and construction of railroads, shipyards, munitions factories, mines, textile manufacturing facilities, factories, and experimental agriculture stations. Greatly concerned about national security, the leaders made significant efforts at military modernization, which included establishing a small standing army, a large reserve system, and compulsory militia service for all men. Foreign military systems were studied, foreign advisers, especially French ones, were brought in, and Japanese cadets sent abroad to Europe and the United States to attend military and naval schools.


Early Meiji period (1868–77)

In 1854, after United States Navy, US Navy Commodore Matthew C. Perry forced the signing of the Treaty of Kanagawa, Japanese elites took the position that they needed to modernize the state's military capacities, or risk further coercion from Western powers. The Tokugawa shogunate did not officially share this point of view, however, as evidenced by the imprisonment of the Governor of Nagasaki, Shanan Takushima for voicing his views of military reform and weapons modernization.GlobalSecurity.org (2008). In 1868, the Japanese government established the Tokyo Arsenal. This arsenal was responsible for the development and manufacture of small arms and associated ammunition. The same year, Ōmura Masujirō established Japan's first military academy in Kyoto. Ōmura further proposed military billets be filled by all classes of people including farmers and merchants. The ''shōgun'' class, not happy with Ōmura's views on conscription, assassinated him the following year. In 1870, Japan expanded its military production base by opening another arsenal in Osaka. The Osaka Arsenal was responsible for the production of machine guns and ammunition. Also, four gunpowder facilities also were opened at this site. Japan's production capacity gradually expanded. In 1872, Yamagata Aritomo and Saigō Jūdō, both new field marshals, founded the Corps of the Imperial Guards. This corps was composed of the warrior classes from the Tosa, Satsuma, and Chōshū clans. Also, in the same year, the hyobusho (war office) was replaced with a War Department and a Naval Department. The samurai class suffered great disappointment the following years, when in January the Conscription Law of 1873 was passed. This law required every able-bodied male Japanese citizen, regardless of class, to serve a mandatory term of three years with the first reserves and two additional years with the second reserves. This monumental law, signifying the beginning of the end for the samurai class, initially met resistance from both the peasant and warrior alike. The peasant class interpreted the term for military service, ketsu-eki (blood tax) literally, and attempted to avoid service by any means necessary. Avoidance methods included maiming, self-mutilation, and local uprisings. The samurai were generally resentful of the new, western-style military and at first, refused to stand in formation with the peasant class. In conjunction with the new conscription law, the Japanese government began modeling their ground forces after the French military. Indeed, the new Japanese army used the same rank structure as the French. The enlisted corps ranks were: private, noncommissioned officers, and officers. The private classes were: jōtō-hei or upper soldier, ittō-sotsu or first-class soldier, and nitō-sotsu or second-class soldier. The noncommissioned officer class ranks were: gochō or corporal, gunsō or sergeant, sōchō or sergeant major, and tokumu-sōchō or special sergeant major. Finally, the officer class is made up of: shōi or second lieutenant, chūi or first lieutenant, tai or captain, shōsa or major, chūsa or lieutenant colonel, taisa or colonel, shōshō or major general, chūjō or lieutenant general, taishō or general, and gensui or field marshal. The French government also contributed greatly to the training of Japanese officers. Many were employed at the military academy in Kyoto, and many more still were feverishly translating French field manuals for use in the Japanese ranks. Despite the Conscription Law of 1873, and all the reforms and progress, the new Japanese army was still untested. That all changed in 1877, when Saigō Takamori led the last rebellion of the samurai in Kyūshū. In February 1877, Saigō left Kagoshima with a small contingent of soldiers on a journey to Tokyo. Kumamoto castle was the site of the first major engagement when garrisoned forces fired on Saigō's army as they attempted to force their way into the castle. Rather than leave an enemy behind him, Saigō laid siege to the castle. Two days later, Saigō's rebels, while attempting to block a mountain pass, encountered advanced elements of the national army en route to reinforce Kumamoto castle. After a short battle, both sides withdrew to reconstitute their forces. A few weeks later the national army engaged Saigō's rebels in a frontal assault at what now is called the Battle of Tabaruzuka. During this eight-day-battle, Saigō's nearly ten thousand strong army battled hand-to-hand the equally matched national army. Both sides suffered nearly four thousand casualties during this engagement. Due to conscription, however, the Japanese army was able to reconstitute its forces, while Saigō's was not. Later, forces loyal to the emperor broke through rebel lines and managed to end the siege on Kumamoto Castle after fifty-four days. Saigō's troops fled north and were pursued by the national army. The national army caught up with Saigō at Mt. Enodake. Saigō's army was outnumbered seven-to-one, prompting a mass surrender of many samurai. The remaining five hundred samurai loyal to Saigō escaped, travelling south to Kagoshima. The rebellion ended on September 24, 1877, following the final engagement with Imperial forces which resulted in the deaths of the remaining forty samurai including Saigō, who, having suffered a fatal bullet wound in the abdomen, was honorably beheaded by his retainer. The national army's victory validated the current course of the modernization of the Japanese army as well as ended the era of the samurai.


Foreign relations

When the United States Navy ended Japan's Sakoku, sakoku policy, and thus its isolation, the latter found itself defenseless against military pressures and economic exploitation by the Western powers. For Japan to emerge from the feudal period, it had to avoid the colonial fate of other Asian countries by establishing genuine national independence and equality. Following the María Luz Incident, Japan released the Chinese coolies from a western ship in 1872, after which the Qing dynasty, Qing imperial government of China gave thanks to Japan. Following Japan's victory over China in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895), Japan broke through as an international power with a victory against Russia in Manchuria (north-eastern China) in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905. Allied with Britain since the Anglo-Japanese Alliance signed in London on January 30, 1902, Japan joined the Allies in World War I, seizing German-held territory in China and the Pacific in the process, but otherwise remained largely out of the conflict. Following World War I, a weakened Europe left a greater share in international markets to the United States and Japan, which emerged greatly strengthened. Japanese competition made great inroads into hitherto-European-dominated markets in Asia, not only in China, but even in European colonies such as India and Indonesia, reflecting the development of the Meiji era. The final years of the Meiji era were also marked by the annexation of
Korea Korea is a region in East Asia. Since 1945, it has been divided between two countries at or near the 38th parallel north, 38th parallel, North Korea (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea) and South Korea (the Republic of Korea). Korea co ...

Korea
in 1910; Japan's Korea under Japanese rule, occupation of the peninsula nation would persist until Japan's loss in World War II in 1945, during the middle of the Shōwa period, and would have lasting negative repercussions on foreign relations between Japan and North Korea, North and South Korea.


Art

The government took an active interest in the art export market, promoting Japanese arts at a succession of world's fairs, beginning with the 1873 Vienna World's Fair. As well as heavily funding the fairs, the government took an active role organizing how Japan's culture was presented to the world. It created a semi-public company — the (First Industrial Manufacturing Company) — to promote and commercialize exports of art and established the (Exhibition Bureau) to maintain quality standards. For the 1876 Centennial International Exhibition in Philadelphia, the Japanese government created a Centennial Office and sent a special envoy to secure space for the 30,000 items that would be displayed. The Imperial Household also took an active interest in arts and crafts, commissioning works ("presentation wares") as gifts for foreign dignitaries. In 1890, the (Imperial Household Artist, Artist to the Imperial Household) system was created to recognize distinguished artists; seventy were appointed from 1890 to 1944. Among these were the painter and lacquer artist Shibata Zeshin, ceramicist Makuzu Kōzan, painter Hashimoto Gahō, and cloisonné enamel artist Namikawa Yasuyuki. Ryūko-zu Byōbu by Hashimoto Gahō(Part of the tiger).jpg, ''Byōbu'' ''Dragon and tiger'' (竜虎図) left side, 1895, by Hashimoto Gahō Ryūko-zu Byōbu by Hashimoto Gahō(Part of the dragon).jpg, ''Byōbu'' ''Dragon and tiger'' right side, 1895, by Hashimoto Gahō As Western imports became popular, demand for Japanese art declined within Japan itself. In Europe and America, the new availability of Japanese art led to a fascination for Japanese culture; a craze known in Europe as Japonisme. Imperial patronage, government sponsorship, promotion to new audiences, and Western technology combined to foster an era of Japanese artistic innovation. In the decorative arts, Japanese artists reached new levels of technical sophistication. Today, Masayuki Murata owns more than 10,000 Meiji art works and is one of the most enthusiastic collectors. From that time, most of the excellent works of Meiji Art were bought by foreign collectors and only a few of them remained in Japan, but because he bought back many works from foreign countries and opened the :ja:清水三年坂美術館, Kiyomizu Sannenzaka Museum, the study and reevaluation of Meiji Art rapidly advanced in Japan after the 21st century. Nasser Khalili is also one of the world's most dedicated collectors of Meiji art, and Khalili Collection of Japanese Art, his collection encompasses many categories of Meiji art. The Imperial House of Japan, Japanese Imperial Family also owns excellent works of Meiji Art, some of which were donated to the state and are now stored in the Museum of the Imperial Collections.


Enamels

During the Meiji era, Japanese cloisonné enamel reached a technical peak, producing items more advanced than any that had existed before. The period from 1890 to 1910 was known as the "Golden age" of Japanese enamels. Artists experimented with pastes and with the firing process to produce ever larger blocks of enamel, with less need for ''cloisons'' (enclosing metal strips). During this period, enamels with a design unique to Japan, in which flowers, birds and insects were used as themes, became popular. Designs also increasingly used areas of blank space. The two most famous enamelers of this era were Namikawa Yasuyuki and Namikawa Sōsuke, whose family names sound the same but who were not related. Namikawa Sōsuke promoted his work as technically innovative, and adopted a style resembling fine paintings. Namikawa Yasuyuki was more conservative, opting for geometrical patterns but gradually becoming more pictorial during his career. Along with the two Namikawa, the Ando Cloisonné Company has produced many high-quality cloisonné works.


Lacquerware

Gold- or silver-decorated lacquerwares had been popular in the Edo period, but fell out of favor in the early nineteenth-century due to economic hardship. The Meiji era saw a renewed interest in lacquer as artists developed new designs and experimented with new textures and finishes. Foremost among these was Shibata Zeshin, who has been called "Japan's greatest lacquerer". The appeal of his highly original style was in the choice of motifs and subject matter rather than embedded gold and silver. He placed lacquer panels in frames, imitating Western oil paintings. Other notable lacquer artists of the 19th century include Nakayama Komin and Shirayama Shosai, both of whom, in contrast with Zeshin, maintained a classical style that owed a lot to Japanese and Chinese landscape art. ''Maki-e'', decorating the lacquer in gold or silver dust, was the most common technique for quality lacquerware in this period. Lacquer from Japanese workshops was recognized as technically superior to what could be produced anywhere else in the world.


Metalwork

At the start of the Meiji era, Japanese metalwork was almost totally unknown outside the country, unlike lacquer and porcelain which had previously been exported. Metalwork was connected to Buddhist practice, for example in the use of bronze for temple bells and incense cauldrons, so there were fewer opportunities for metalworkers once Buddhism was displaced as the state religion. International exhibitions brought Japanese cast bronze to a new foreign audience, attracting strong praise. Suzuki Chokichi, a leading producer of cast bronze for international exhibition, became director of the Kiritsu Kosho Kaisha from 1874 to the company's dissolution in 1891. In 1896 he was appointed Artist to the Imperial Household. The works of Chokichi and his contemporaries took inspiration from late Edo period carvings and prints, combining and sometimes exaggerating traditional design elements in new ways to appeal to the export market. The past history of
samurai were the hereditary military nobility and officer caste Caste is a form of social stratification characterized by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a style of life which often includes an occupation, ritual status in a hierarchy, and ...

samurai
weaponry equipped Japanese metalworkers to create metallic finishes in a wide range of colors. By combining and finishing copper, silver and gold in different proportions, they created specialized alloys including shakudō and shibuichi. With this variety of alloys and finishes, an artist could give the impression of full-color decoration. Some of these metalworkers were appointed Artists to the Imperial Household, including Kano Natsuo, Unno Shomin, Namekawa Sadakatsu, and Jomi Eisuke II.


Porcelain

Japan's porcelain industry was well-established at the start of the Meiji era, but the mass-produced wares were not known for their elegance. During this era, technical and artistic innovations turned porcelain into one of the most internationally successful Japanese decorative art forms. The career of porcelain artist Makuzu Kōzan is an archetype for the trajectory of Meiji art. He was passionate about preserving traditional influences, but adopted new technologies from the West. He was an entrepreneur as well as an artist, organizing a workshop with many artisans and actively promoting his work at international exhibitions, travelling extensively in Europe. As his career went on, he adopted more Western influences on his decoration, while his works shaped Western perceptions of Japanese design. Underglaze blue painting on porcelain was well-established in Japan, and the Kozan workshop transformed this practice, combining multiple underglaze colors on a single item and introducing more subtle graduations of color. Satsuma ware was a name originally given to pottery from Satsuma province, elaborately decorated with Gold, gilt and enamel. These wares were highly praised in the West. Seen in the West as distinctively Japanese, this style actually owed a lot to imported pigments and Western influences, and had been created with export in mind. Workshops in many cities raced to produce this style to satisfy demand from Europe and America, often producing quickly and cheaply. So the term "Satsuma ware" came to be associated not with a place of origin but with lower-quality ware created purely for export. Despite this, artists such as Yabu Meizan and Makuzu Kōzan maintained the highest artistic standards while also successfully exporting. From 1876 to 1913, Kōzan won prizes at 51 exhibitions, including the World's fair and the National Industrial Exhibition.受賞経歴
Makuzu ware Museum


Ivory carving

In the Meiji period, Japanese clothes began to be westernized and the number of people who wore
kimono File:Khalili Collection Kimono 02.jpg, alt=The back view of a long sleeved kimono decorated with a large tree and flowers on a black, yellow and wave-patterned background., Kimono for a young woman, depicting a boat on swirling water, with pi ...

kimono
decreased, so the craftsmen who made ''netsuke'' and ''kiseru'' with ivory and wood lost their demand. Therefore, they tried to create a new field, ivory sculptures for interior decoration, and many elaborate works were exported to foreign countries or purchased by the Imperial house of Japan, Imperial Family. In particular, the works of :ja:石川光明, Ishikawa Komei and :ja:旭玉山, Asahi Gyokuzan won praise in Japan.Masayuki Murata. (2017) ''Introduction to Meiji Crafts'' pp. 88–89. Me no Me.


Textiles

The 1902 edition of ''Encyclopædia Britannica'' wrote, "In no branch of applied art does the decorative genius of Japan show more attractive results than that of textile fabrics, and in none has there been more conspicuous progress during recent years. [...] Kawashima of Kyoto [...] inaugurated the departure a few years ago by copying a Gobelins Manufactory, Gobelin, but it may safely be asserted that no Gobelin will bear comparison with the pieces now produced in Japan"."Japan" in :File:1902_Encyclopædia_Britannica_-_Volume_29_-_GLA-JUT.pdf, ''Encyclopædia Britannica'' (1902), Volume 29, pages 724–725. Very large, colorful pictorial works were being produced in Kyoto. Embroidery had become an art form in its own right, adopting a range of pictorial techniques such as chiaroscuro and aerial perspective.


Music

The interaction of Western and Japanese music in Meiji era is foremost linked to the military, religious and educational fields. The Japanese have assimilated Western culture and its music with the same surprising speed. Music panorama in Japan gradually became lively and prolific where the Western-inspired style music was flourishing.), publisher=«Музична Україна», location=Kyiv, year= 2019, pages= 272


Military music

The very first stage of Western adaptation in the Meiji period is associated with the military field. A little before the reopening Japan the first military academy based on Dutch model was founded in Nagasaki where, alongside with the military training, the military music was taught, since it was acknowledged to be an important component of the martial arts. The first military band called kotekitai, consisted of woodwind instruments and drums, was organized there. Gradually, Western music became an integral part of the Japanese culture where the importance of Western music was undertaken as a part of a social project. The military bands played prominent role in the society. That included public concerts of Western music, which were held in a famous Rokumeikan, Rokumeikan Hall and Hibiya Open-Air Concert Hall, Hibiya Open-Air stage in
Tokyo Tokyo (: , ''Tōkyō'' ), historically known in the west as Tokio and officially the Tokyo Metropolis (, ''Tōkyō-to''), is and most populous . Located at the head of , the prefecture forms part of the on the central Pacific coast of 's m ...

Tokyo
, performing marches, patriotic music and European composers’ works (Richard Wagner, Charles Gounod, Peter Tchaikovsky). With the contribution of foreign and Japanese authors, the first military music score collections were completed and published. In the military field, the Japanese conducting school was formed, the founders of which were English, French and German cultural figures such as John William Fenton, Charles Leroux, Franz Eckert. Under their leadership, the first Japanese military conductors were raised: Suketsune Nakamura and Yoshitoyo Yotsumoto.


Christian Music

Christian missions also became an important way for spreading Western-style music in Meiji era. Yet, in the sixteenth century, the Portuguese missionaries introduced the first Western-style music to Japan: sacred choral music, music for organ, flute, harp, trumpet, violin, alto, double bass. However, soon the Christianity with its institutions was banned. In Meiji era the ban of Christianity was lifted, thus Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant missionaries started actively preaching, and the introduction of the sacred music became the integral part of their activities. Thus, the Orthodox mission introduced the traditional choral music in Japan. The great impact in the choral music development was made by Ukrainian musicians: conductors Yakov Tikhai (served in the Orthodox mission from 1874 to 1886) and Dmytro Livovsky (served in the Orthodox mission from 1880 to 1921). They organized the first traditional choirs in Holy Resurrection Cathedral in
Tokyo Tokyo (: , ''Tōkyō'' ), historically known in the west as Tokio and officially the Tokyo Metropolis (, ''Tōkyō-to''), is and most populous . Located at the head of , the prefecture forms part of the on the central Pacific coast of 's m ...

Tokyo
(known as Nikolai-do), taught music in Tokyo Union Theological Seminary, Tokyo Theological Seminary, completed and published the first musical score collections, educated the first Japanese choir conductors and music teachers. Among them are Roman Chiba, Alexey Obara, Innokentiy Kisu, Yakov Maedako, Petr Tokairin, Ioan Nakashima, Moisei Kawamura, Ioan Owata, Pavel Isiya, Vasiliy Takeda, Andrey Abe, Alexandr Komagai, Fedor Minato, Alexey Sawabe, Luka Orit. All of them became Orthodox Christians and adopted Christian names.


Education

The educational field also was a major way for adopting Western-style music. The educational reforms were led by Isawa Shūji (1851-1917) and Luther Whiting Mason (1828-1896). In 1880, the Music Research Institute in Tokyo (Ongaku Torishirabe Gakari), headed by Izawa Shuji, was founded. The Institute had three main tasks: 1) to introduce compulsory music teaching in schools, to introduce Western-style songs; 2) to train music teachers for the further development of professional musical activities; 3) to create music score collections for children, in which Japanese and Western style music elements could be combined. Thus, the first music scores “The First Collection for Primary School” was published in 1881. The newly educated music teachers organized lessons in singing, music theory, playing musical instruments (Koto (instrument), koto, kokyū, piano, Organ (music), organ and violin). In 1887, the Music Research Institute was reformed into Tokyo Academy of Music, which gave the Institution a new status and contributed to its further development. Western music was regarded as an essential contributory factor for modernization. The new curriculum was improved and the number and quality of the musical events increased. Tokyo Academy of Music became the first Western-style music educational establishment in Japan. This was the nascence of schools teaching composition in the Western style in Japan, the genesis of an opera tradition in Japan, and laid the foundations for the Japanese formal tradition of familiarization with Western music.


Conversion table

To convert any Gregorian calendar year between 1868 and 1912 to Japanese calendar year in Meiji era, 1867 needs to be subtracted from the year in question.


See also

* Japanese nationalism * List of political figures of Meiji Japan * Amakusa coalfield


Notes


References

* * * * GlobalSecurity.org (2008).
Meiji military
'. Retrieved August 5, 2008. * * * * * National Diet Library (n.d.).

'. Retrieved August 5, 2008. * Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005)
''Japan encyclopedia.''
Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
OCLC 58053128
* Rickman, J. (2003). Sunset of the samurai. ''Military History''. August, 42–49. * Shinsengumihq.com, (n.d.).

'. Retrieved August 5, 2008. * Vos, F., et al., ''Meiji, Japanese Art in Transition, Ceramics, Cloisonné, Lacquer, Prints, Organized by the Society for Japanese Arts, Society for Japanese Art and Crafts'', 's-Gravenhage, the Netherlands, Gemeentemuseum, 1987.


External links


(In Japanese) Meiji Taisho 1868–1926
*National Diet Library, "The Japanese Calendar
– historical overview plus illustrative images from library's collection
by Fukuzawa Yukichi, a best-selling book of Meiji Japan (English Translation) *Milasi, Luca.
“Tra realtà e finzione: la rivalutazione della narrativa premoderna nella critica letteraria Meiji
(" (). XXXIV CONVEGNO DI STUDI SUL GIAPPONE AISTUGIA (16-17-18 settembre 2010) Università degli studi di Napoli "L'Orientale"(Rettorato dell'Università "L'Orientale", Palazzo Du Mesnil, in via Partenope 10/A.
Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan
by M.C. Perry, at archive.org
Kitahara, Michio. Commodore Perry and the Japanese: A Study in the Dramaturgy of Power, 1986



Archives

*[http://digital.lib.washington.edu/findingaids/view?docId=AldersonJohnTPHColl1101.xml Lt. John T. Alderson collection of Japan photographs]. circa 1890s. 40 photographic prints (1 box) : hand colored ; sizes vary. At th
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
{{DEFAULTSORT:Meiji Period Meiji period, Emperor Meiji Empire of Japan Japanese eras 1868 establishments in Japan 1912 disestablishments in Japan 1868 introductions