The Info List - Meiji Period

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The Meiji period
Meiji period
(明治時代, Meiji-jidai), also known as the Meiji era, is a Japanese era which extended from October 23, 1868, to July 30, 1912.[1] This period represents the first half of the Empire of Japan
during which Japanese society moved from being an isolated feudal society to its modern form. Fundamental changes affected its social structure, internal politics, economy, military, and foreign relations. The period corresponded to the reign of Emperor Meiji
Emperor Meiji
after 1868, and lasted until his death in 1912. It was succeeded by the Taishō period
Taishō period
upon the accession of Emperor Taishō
Emperor Taishō
to the throne.


1 Meiji Restoration 2 Politics 3 Society 4 Economy 5 Military

5.1 Overview 5.2 Early Meiji period
Meiji period

6 Foreign relations 7 Contemporary observers and historians 8 See also 9 Notes 10 References 11 External links

11.1 Archives

Meiji Restoration[edit] Main article: Meiji Restoration See also: Abolition of the han system On February 3, 1867, the 14-year-old Prince Mutsuhito succeeded his father, Emperor Kōmei, to the Chrysanthemum Throne
Chrysanthemum Throne
as the 122nd emperor. On November 9, 1867, then-shōgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu
Tokugawa Yoshinobu
tendered his resignation to the Emperor, and formally stepped down ten days later.[2] Imperial restoration occurred the next year on January 3, 1868, with the formation of the new government. The fall of Edo
in the summer of 1868 marked the end of the Tokugawa shogunate, and a new era, Meiji, was proclaimed. The first reform was the promulgation of the Five Charter Oath
Five Charter Oath
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:

Establishment of deliberative assemblies; Involvement of all classes in carrying out state affairs; Revocation of sumptuary laws and class restrictions on employment; Replacement of "evil customs" with the "just laws of nature"; and An international search for knowledge to strengthen the foundations of imperial rule.

Implicit in the Charter Oath
Charter Oath
was an end to exclusive political rule by the bakufu (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, 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, where it had been situated since 794, to Tokyo
(Eastern Capital), the new name for Edo. In a move critical for the consolidation of the new regime, most daimyōs voluntarily surrendered their land and census records to the Emperor in the abolition of the Han system, symbolizing that the land and people were under the Emperor's jurisdiction.

The fifteen-year-old Meiji Emperor, moving from Kyoto
to Tokyo
at the end of 1868, after the fall of Edo

Meiji Constitution
Meiji Constitution
promulgation (1889)

Confirmed in their hereditary positions, the daimyo became governors, and the central government assumed their administrative expenses and paid samurai stipends. The han were replaced with 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
staffed the new ministries. Formerly old court nobles, and lower-ranking but more radical samurai, replaced bakufu appointees and daimyo as a new ruling class appeared.

Emperor Meiji
Emperor Meiji
in his fifties.

In as much as the Meiji Restoration
Meiji Restoration
had sought to return the Emperor to a preeminent position, efforts were made to establish a 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) and the associated destruction of various Buddhist temples and related violence (haibutsu kishaku). Furthermore, a new State Shinto
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 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 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[edit] Main articles: Meiji oligarchy, Government of Meiji Japan, and Meiji Constitution

Interior of National Diet, showing Minister speaking at the tribune from which members address the House.

A major proponent of representative government was 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 and a legislative assembly. 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 (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
Ōkuma Shigenobu
established the Rikken Kaishintō (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 should someday be established. The Chōshū leader Kido Takayoshi
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 (League for the Establishment of a National Assembly). 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 and other conservatives borrowed heavily from the Prussian constitutional system. One of the Meiji oligarchy, Itō Hirobumi
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 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, and minister of the right, which had existed since the seventh century as advisory positions to the Emperor, were all abolished. In their place, the Privy Council 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 (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. The Supreme War Council 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. When finally granted by the Emperor as a sign of his sharing his authority and giving rights and liberties to his subjects, the 1889 Constitution of the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
(or Meiji Constitution) provided for the Imperial Diet (Teikoku Gikai), composed of a popularly elected House of Representatives with a very limited franchise of male citizens who were over twenty-five years of age and paid fifteen yen in national taxes, about one percent of the population, and the House of Peers, composed of nobility and imperial appointees; and a cabinet 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. Nevertheless, in spite of these institutional changes, sovereignty still resided in the Emperor on the basis of his divine ancestry. The new constitution specified a form of government that still was authoritarian in character, with the Emperor holding the ultimate power and only minimal concessions made to popular rights and parliamentary mechanisms. Party participation was recognized as part of the political process. The Meiji Constitution
Meiji Constitution
was to last as the fundamental law until 1947. In the early years of constitutional government, the strengths and weaknesses of the Meiji Constitution
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[edit]

This section needs expansion with: an overview of art and design style changes in the Meiji period, and their indelible influence on (and later recursively by) European Art Nouveau. You can help by adding to it. (October 2012)

in 1880s.

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, consisting of five ranks: prince, marquis, count, viscount, and baron. In the transition between the Edo
and Meiji periods, 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
and China. This essay certainly encouraged the economic and technological rise of Japan
in the Meiji period, but it also may have laid the intellectual foundations for later Japanese colonialism in the region. The Meiji period
Meiji period
saw a flowering of public discourse on the direction of Japan. Works like Nakae Chōmin's A Discourse by Three Drunkards on Government[3] 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 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.[4] The elite class of the Meiji period
Meiji period
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.[5] Economy[edit] Main article: Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
§ Japan The Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
in Japan
occurred during the Meiji period. The industrial revolution began about 1870 as Meiji period
Meiji period
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 USA to learn western ways. The result was a deliberate state led industrialisation 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.[6] 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.[7] The first railway was opened between Tokyo
and Yokohama in 1872; and railway was rapidly developed throughout Japan
well into the twentieth century.[8] The introduction of railway transportation led to more efficient production due to the decline in transport costs; allowing for manufacturing firms to move into more populated interior regions of Japan
in search for labour input. The railway also enabled a new-found access to raw materials that had previously been too difficult or costly to transport.[9] 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
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 mercantilistic, importing raw materials and exporting finished products—a reflection of Japan's relative poverty in raw materials. Japan
emerged from the Tokugawa–Tennō (Keiō–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
period, but the modernized Meiji period
Meiji period
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.

1907 Tokyo
Industrial Exhibition

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
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 period. After the first twenty years of the Meiji period, 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[edit] Main articles: Modernization of Japanese Military 1868–1931, Imperial Japanese Army, and Imperial Japanese Navy Overview[edit] 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
Meiji period
(1868–77)[edit] In 1854, after Admiral 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.[10] The Tokugawa shogunate
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.[11] It wasn't until the beginning of the Meiji Era in 1868 that the Japanese government began taking military modernization seriously. In 1868, the Japanese government established the Tokyo
Arsenal. This arsenal was responsible for the development and manufacture of small arms and associated ammunition.[11] 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,[clarification needed] not happy with Ōmura's views on conscription, assassinated him the following year.[12] 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.[13] Also, four gunpowder facilities also were opened at this site. Japan's production capacity gradually expanded. In 1872, Yamagata Aritomo
Yamagata Aritomo
and Saigō Tsugumichi, 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.[11] 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.[11] 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.[14] The samurai were generally resentful of the new, western-style military and at first, refused to stand in formation with the peasant class.[11]

Emperor Meiji
Emperor Meiji
receives the second French Military Mission to Japan (1872).

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.[15] 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.[11] 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.[11] 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
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
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 honourably 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[edit] Main article: Foreign relations of Meiji Japan When the United States Navy ended Japan's 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 imperial government of China gave thanks to Japan. Following Japan's victory over China in the 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
Russo-Japanese War
of 1904–1905. Allied with Britain since the Anglo-Japanese Alliance
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 the First World War, 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. Contemporary observers and historians[edit] A key foreign observer of the remarkable and rapid changes in Japanese society during this period was Ernest Mason Satow, resident in Japan from 1862 to 1883 and 1895 to 1900. See also[edit]

portal History portal

Japanese nationalism List of political figures of Meiji Japan Amakusa coalfield


^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Meiji" in Japan
encyclopedia, p. 624, p. 624, at Google Books; n.b., Louis-Frédéric is pseudonym of Louis-Frédéric Nussbaum, see Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Authority File. ^ Takano, p. 256. ^ Nakae, C. and Tsukui, N. and Hammond, J. A Discourse by Three Drunkards on Government. 1984. ^ Hane, M. Reflections on the Way to the Gallows: Rebel Women in Prewar Japan. University of California Press. 1988. ^ Sand, Jordan (2000). "Was Meiji Taste in Interiors "Orientalist?"". positions: east asia cultures critique. Duke University Press. 8 (3): 637–673.  ^ G.C. Allen, Short Economic History of Modern Japan
(1972) ^ Landes, David S. (1999). The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor. New York: Norton. pp. 379–80.  ^ "Rail transport in Japan".. 2018-01-28.  ^ Tang, John P. (September 2014). "Railroad Expansion and Industrialization: Evidence from Meiji Japan". The Journal of Economic History. Volume 74: 863–886 – via CRKN Cambridge University Press Journals.  ^ Gordon (2000). ^ a b c d e f g GlobalSecurity.org (2008). ^ Shinsengumihq.com, n.d. ^ National Diet
National Diet
Library (2008). ^ Kublin (1949) p.32. ^ Kublin (1949) p.31.


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress Country Studies website http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/. GlobalSecurity.org (2008). Meiji military. Retrieved August 5, 2008. Kublin, H. (November 1949). The "modern" army of early meiji Japan. The Far East Quarterly, [9(1)], 20-41. National Diet
National Diet
Library (n.d.). Osaka army arsenal (osaka hohei kosho). Retrieved August 5, 2008. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 58053128 Rickman, J. (2003).Sunset of the samurai. Military History. August, 42-49. Shinsengumihq.com, (n.d.). No sleep, no rest: Meiji law enforcement.[dead link] Retrieved August 5, 2008. Vos, F., et al., Meiji, Japanese Art in Transition, Ceramics, Cloisonné, Lacquer, Prints, Organized by the Society for Japanese Art and Crafts, 's-Gravenhage, the Netherlands, Gemeentemuseum, 1987. ISBN 90-70216-03-5

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Meiji era.

Meiji Taisho 1868-1926 National Diet
National Diet
Library, "The Japanese Calendar" -- historical overview plus illustrative images from library's collection "Encouragement for Learning" 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. (in Italian)


Lt. John T. Alderson collection of Japan
photographs. circa 1890s. 40 photographic prints (1 box) : hand colored ; sizes vary. At the University of Washington Libraries, Special

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923–931 Enchō

931–938 Jōhei

938–947 Tengyō

947–957 Tenryaku

957–961 Tentoku

961–964 Ōwa

964–968 Kōhō

968–970 Anna

970–973 Tenroku

973–976 Ten'en

976–978 Jōgen

978–983 Tengen

983–985 Eikan

985–987 Kanna

987–988 Eien

988–990 Eiso

990–995 Shōryaku

995–999 Chōtoku

999–1004 Chōhō

1004–1012 Kankō

1012–1017 Chōwa

1017–1021 Kannin

1021–1024 Jian

1024–1028 Manju

1028–1037 Chōgen

1037–1040 Chōryaku

1040–1044 Chōkyū

1044–1046 Kantoku

1046–1053 Eishō

1053–1058 Tengi

1058–1065 Kōhei

1065–1069 Jiryaku

1069–1074 Enkyū

1074–1077 Jōhō

1077–1081 Jōryaku

1081–1084 Eihō

1084–1087 Ōtoku

1087–1094 Kanji

1094–1096 Kahō

1096–1097 Eichō

1097–1099 Jōtoku

1099–1104 Kōwa

1104–1106 Chōji

1106–1108 Kajō

1108–1110 Tennin

1110–1113 Ten'ei

1113–1118 Eikyū

1118–1120 Gen'ei

1120–1124 Hōan

1124–1126 Tenji

1126–1131 Daiji

1131–1132 Tenshō

1132–1135 Chōshō

1135–1141 Hōen

1141–1142 Eiji

1142–1144 Kōji

1144–1145 Ten'yō

1145–1151 Kyūan

1151–1154 Ninpei

1154–1156 Kyūju

1156–1159 Hōgen

1159–1160 Heiji

1160–1161 Eiryaku

1161–1163 Ōhō

1163–1165 Chōkan

1165–1166 Eiman

1166–1169 Nin'an

1169–1171 Kaō

1171–1175 Jōan

1175–1177 Angen

1177–1181 Jishō

1181–1182 Yōwa

1182–1184 Juei

1184–1185 Genryaku



1185–1190 Bunji

1190–1199 Kenkyū

1199–1201 Shōji

1201–1204 Kennin

1204–1206 Genkyū

1206–1207 Ken'ei

1207–1211 Jōgen

1211–1213 Kenryaku

1213–1219 Kempo

1219–1222 Jōkyū

1222–1224 Jōō

1224–1225 Gennin

1225–1227 Karoku

1227–1229 Antei

1229–1232 Kangi

1232–1233 Jōei

1233–1234 Tenpuku

1234–1235 Bunryaku

1235–1238 Katei

1238–1239 Ryakunin

1239–1240 En'ō

1240–1243 Ninji

1243–1247 Kangen

1247–1249 Hōji

1249–1256 Kenchō

1256–1257 Kōgen

1257–1259 Shōka

1259–1260 Shōgen

1260–1261 Bun'ō

1261–1264 Kōchō


Kamakura (cont'd) Nanboku-chō Nanboku-chō Muromachi (cont'd) Momoyama Edo
(cont'd) Modern Japan

1264–1275 Bun'ei

1275–1278 Kenji

1278–1288 Kōan

1288–1293 Shōō

1293–1299 Einin

1299–1302 Shōan

1302–1303 Kengen

1303–1306 Kagen

1306–1308 Tokuji

1308–1311 Enkyō

1311–1312 Ōchō

1312–1317 Shōwa

1317–1319 Bunpō

1319–1321 Gen'ō

1321–1324 Genkō

1324–1326 Shōchū

1326–1329 Karyaku

1329–1331 Gentoku

1331–1334 Genkōa

1332–1333 Shōkyōb

Northern Court

1334–1338 Kenmu

1338–1342 Ryakuō

1342–1345 Kōei

1345–1350 Jōwa

1350–1352 Kannō

1352–1356 Bunna

1356–1361 Enbun

1361–1362 Kōan

1362–1368 Jōji

1368–1375 Ōan

1375–1379 Eiwa

1379–1381 Kōryaku

1381–1384 Eitoku

1384–1387 Shitoku

1387–1389 Kakei

1389–1390 Kōō

1390–1394 Meitokuc

Southern Court

1334–1336 Kenmu

1336–1340 Engen

1340–1346 Kōkoku

1346–1370 Shōhei

1370–1372 Kentoku

1372–1375 Bunchū

1375–1381 Tenju

1381–1384 Kōwa

1384–1392 Genchūc



1394–1428 Ōei

1428–1429 Shōchō

1429–1441 Eikyō

1441–1444 Kakitsu

1444–1449 Bun'an

1449–1452 Hōtoku

1452–1455 Kyōtoku

1455–1457 Kōshō

1457–1460 Chōroku

1460–1466 Kanshō

1466–1467 Bunshō

1467–1469 Ōnin

1469–1487 Bunmei

1487–1489 Chōkyō

1489–1492 Entoku

1492–1501 Meiō

1501–1521 Bunki

1504–1521 Eishō

1521–1528 Daiei

1528–1532 Kyōroku

1532–1555 Tenbun

1555–1558 Kōji

1558–1570 Eiroku

1570–1573 Genki

1573–1592 Tenshō

1592–1596 Bunroku

1596–1615 Keichō



1615–1624 Genna

1624–1644 Kan'ei

1644–1648 Shōhō

1648–1652 Keian

1652–1655 Jōō

1655–1658 Meireki

1658–1661 Manji

1661–1673 Kanbun

1673–1681 Enpō

1681–1684 Tenna

1684–1688 Jōkyō

1688–1704 Genroku

1704–1711 Hōei

1711–1716 Shōtoku

1716–1736 Kyōhō

1736–1741 Genbun

1741–1744 Kanpō

1744–1748 Enkyō

1748–1751 Kan'en

1751–1764 Hōreki

1764–1772 Meiwa

1772–1781 An'ei

1781–1789 Tenmei

1789–1801 Kansei

1801–1804 Kyōwa

1804–1818 Bunka

1818–1830 Bunsei

1830–1844 Tenpō

1844–1848 Kōka

1848–1854 Kaei

1854–1860 Ansei

1860–1861 Man'en

1861–1864 Bunkyū

1864–1865 Genji

1865–1868 Keiō

1868–1912 Meiji

1912–1926 Taishō

1926–1989 Shōwa

1989–2019 Heisei d

2019– Untitled era

a Not recognized by the Northern Court, which retained Gentoku
until 1332. b Not recognized by the Southern Court. c Genchū
discontinued upon reunification of the Northern and Southern Courts in 1392 and Meitoku
retained until 1394.

d The Heisei era will officially conclude on 30 April 2019 when Akihito intends to abdicate, as which his son Naruhito intends to become the new Emperor and a new era begins.

v t e

Empire of Japan


Agriculture Censorship Demographics Economy Economic history Education Eugenics Foreign commerce and shipping Industrial production Militarism Nationalism Statism Internal politics State Shinto Kazoku


Meiji (Mutsuhito) Taishō (Yoshihito) Shōwa (Hirohito)


Flag of Japan Rising Sun Flag Imperial Seal of Japan Government Seal of Japan State Seal of Japan Privy Seal of Japan Kimigayo


Constitution Charter Oath Foreign relations Imperial Rescript on Education Kokutai National Spiritual Mobilization Movement Peace Preservation Law Political parties Supreme Court of Judicature Taisei Yokusankai Tokkō Tonarigumi Greater East Asia Conference


Administration (Ministries)

Imperial Household Home Ministry War Army Navy Treasury Foreign Affairs Agriculture and Commerce Commerce and Industry Munitions Colonial Affairs Greater East Asia East Asia Development Board (Kōain)

Legislative & Deliberative Bodies

Daijō-kan Privy Council Gozen Kaigi Imperial Diet

Peers Representatives


Armed Forces

Imperial General Headquarters Imperial Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors

Senjinkun military code

Nuclear weapons program Kamikaze War crimes Supreme War Council

Imperial Japanese Army

General Staff Air Service Railways and Shipping Imperial Guard Imperial Way Faction (Kōdōha) Japanese holdout Tōseiha

Imperial Japanese Navy

General Staff Air Service Land Forces Fleet Faction Treaty Faction


Meiji period

Meiji Restoration Boshin War Satsuma Rebellion First Sino-Japanese War Triple Intervention Boxer Rebellion Anglo-Japanese Alliance Russo-Japanese War

Taishō period

World War I Siberian Intervention General Election Law Washington Naval Treaty

Shōwa period

Shōwa financial crisis Pacification of Manchukuo Anti-Comintern Pact Second Sino-Japanese War Soviet–Japanese border conflicts Tripartite Pact Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact Pacific War Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Soviet–Japanese War Surrender (Potsdam Declaration, Gyokuon-hōsō) Occupation


Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere

Karafuto Korea Kwantung Manchukuo South Pacific Taiwan

Occupied territories

Borneo Burma Hong Kong Dutch East Indies Malaya Philippines Singapore Thailand Vietnam

Other topics

Sonnō jōi Fukoku kyōhei Hakkō ichiu Internment camps German pre– World War II
World War II
industrial co-operation Racial Equality Proposal Shinmin no Michi Shōwa Modan Socialist thought Yasukuni Shrine International Military Tribunal for the Far East Japanese dissidence during the Shōwa period

Authority control