Published on March 4, 2014
+ The Genro and the Meiji Constitution notes from Beasley, Borthwick, Gluck, Najita, Tinios
+ The Meiji Emperor (1852 – 1912) Mutsuhito 16 years old in 1868 Meiji is the title of the reign, it means “enlightened rule”
+ Growing up in Public 1872, 1873, 1888 Idea Taken from Andrew Gordon, A Modern History of Japan
+ Fukuzawa Yukichi (1835 – 1901) „The Teacher‟ Learned Dutch, then English Travelled to Europe and the USA Helped to set up Tokyo University (1877) Wrote „Conditions in the West‟ and „An Encouragement of Learning‟ Fukuzawa Yukichi with Theodora Alice in San Francisco, 1860 (wikimedia commons)
Kido Takayoshi aka Kido Koin (1840 – 1900) “The Pen” In charge of government structures, reforms, and replacing the daimyo with prefectures and governors
+ Okubo Toshimichi (1830 – 1878) “The Despot” In charge of finance, and confiscating the assets of the old ruling class He is known as “Japan‟s Bismarck” Okubo Toshimichi (wikimedia commons)
+ Saigo Takamori (1828 – 1877) “The Sword” In charge of the reorganization of the armed forces. Conscripts were to replace the samurai Eventually Saigo disowned the reforms and led the Satsuma rebellion, 1877 Featured loosely, in “The Last Samurai”
+ Yamagata Aritomo (1838 – 1922) He was impressed with the strength of the conscript armies in France and Germany (wikimedia commons) Organized a volunteer army in war against the shogun Introduced the Conscription Ordinance, 1873, which replaced the samurai with a modern army
A masterpiece classical Japanese garden. Designed by Yamagata Aritomo
+ Matsukata Masayoshi (1835 – 1924) Designed the land reforms of 1871 As finance minister 1881-1885 he implemented Matsukata Economics Slashed government spending, increased taxes and sold government enterprises Promoted private enterprise – helped founding of zaibatsu
+ Zaibatsu Japanese business conglomerate Characterised by family ownership, high degree of diversification „political merchants‟ like Iwasaki Yataro (Mitsubishi) grew powerful businesses as a result of ties to the Meiji government. Artist Yoko Ono (wikimedia commons)
+ Ito Hirobumi (1841 – 1909) Ito toured Europe in search of a suitable constitution for Japan In 1889 the new constitution was announced – “Constitution Ito” Ito was the first prime minister (1885 – 1888) and on three further occasions (between 1892 and 1901) Ito was assassinated by a Korean nationalist in Harbin, China (1909)
Stepping Stones* to the Constitution + Gradual elevation of the emperor to „above the clouds‟ Consultative assemblies of governors in Tokyo (1875) Prefectural Assemblies (1878) The Imperial Promise(1881) The creation of a cabinet system (1885) Meiji Constitution (1889) * A key feature of Japanese garden design
+ Responses to the Meiji Constitution Your thoughts, please
+ Responses to the Meiji Constitution Frank Gibney (quoted in Pacific Century) Constitution represents a forward step Male suffrage based on property rights Basic individual freedoms Bicameral legislature Many prerogatives left to Emperor Military control in hands of Emperor Amazon.ca
+ Responses to the Meiji Constitution Tetsuo Najita Japan: The Intellectual Foundations of Modern Japanese Politics (pp 82 – 86) The political settlement following the restoration was characterised by great tension and turmoil, resulting from a struggle between rival forces strongly committed to different modes of achieving national greatness Meiji Constitution not aimed at a democratic ethic „but was an embodiment of the restorationist aspiration for a comprehensive and predictable legal system that would provide a final justification for the dissolution of the old order and the ushering in of a new and strong Japan‟ Picture: University of Chicago
+ Responses to the Meiji Constitution Tetsuo Najita Japan: The Intellectual Foundations of Modern Japanese Politics (pp 82 – 86) Violence against the „new order‟ was unconstitutional Loyalism now an unassailable virtue „The privileges just mentioned…were not aimed at supporting the ideal of human liberty…but the prerogative of all to participate in the creation of a strong society‟ http://www.bibliovault.org/thumbs/978-0-226-56803-4frontcover.jpg
+ Responses to the Meiji Constitution Walter Beasley Cambridge History of Japan (pp 664 – 665) Constitution contains no „social contract‟ Role of the Emperor formulated in terms of „mystical absolutism‟ and no constitutional procedure by which the Emperor could „act‟
+ Responses to the Meiji Constitution Carol Gluck Japan's Modern Myths: Ideology in the Late Meiji Period http://ajw.asahi.com „…what is now called the Emperor system did not emerge in earnest until around 1890‟ The Oligarchs promised a constitution in 1881…then „spent much of the next nine years making…provisions to ensure that the beginning of parliamentary government would not mean the end of their bureaucratic dominance.‟
+ Responses to the Meiji Constitution Carol Gluck Japan's Modern Myths: Ideology in the Late Meiji Period The Constitution only provided the legal framework… ‟It was the first general election and opening of the Diet in 1890 that marked political change‟ Ito: assert the authority of the sovereign against political parties. The Imperial House as the „axis of the nation‟ (1888) Emperor‟s role „strictly ceremonial‟ Amazon.co.uk
+ Responses to the Meiji Constitution Andrew Gordon A Modern History of Japan (p.70) Obligations: military service, school attendance, payment of taxes Rights: suffrage for the few Constitution would contain the opposition but an elected national assembly now existed…and may be a source of future change
+ Yamagata Aritomo, 1880 “It is true that the Meiji Restoration‟s achievements are outstanding…[but these gains] are nothing compared to the question of Japan‟s relationship with other countries, which in turn is tied to Japan‟s rise and fall”
The Government of Meiji Japan ... the 1889 Constitution of the Empire of Japan (the Meiji Constitution) provided for the Imperial Diet (Teikoku Gikai), ...
video of Meiji Japan . Emperor ... made the oligarchs who really ruled Japan act with ... the Empire of Japan (the Meiji Constitution) ...
Suitable for IB DP History higher level, East Asia. Overview of the main personalities of the Meiji Restoration, and historiography on the Meiji Constitution
Meiji Oligarchy and Industrialism of Japan. ... The oligarchs realized that only through a ... The Constitution of Meiji Japan Centuries of feudalism ...
The Meiji oligarchy was the name used to describe the new ruling class of Meiji period Japan. In Japanese, the Meiji oligarchy ... Government of Meiji Japan;
... people's constitution" written by farmers.) In early Meiji, people all over Japan are thinking ... Segment 5: Constitutional Government and ...
EXCERPTS FROM THE MEIJI CONSTITUTION OF 1889 ... In the Meiji Constitution, the people of Japan are referred to as “subjects,” not as citizens.
The Meiji constitution was flexible enough to permit considerable change; ... having decided that the German situation best paralleled Japan’s.