Freedom and People's Rights Movement

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Abbreviated as the Freedom Party (自由動 Jiyūdō[1]), the Freedom and People's Rights Movement, Liberty and Civil Right Movement, or Free Civil Right Movement (自由民権運動 Jiyū Minken Undō?) was a Japanese political and social movement for democracy in 1880s.

It pursued the formation of an elected legislature, revision of the Unequal Treaties with America and European countries, the institution of civil rights and the reduction of centralized taxation.[2] The Movement prompted the Meiji government to establish a constitution in 1889 and a diet in 1890; on the other hand, it failed to loosen the control of the central government and its demand for true democracy remained unfulfilled, with ultimate power continuing to reside in the Meiji (Chōshū-Satsuma) oligarchy because, among other limitations, the Meiji Constitution enfranchised only men who paid a substantial amount in property taxes, as a result of the Land Tax Reform in 1873.

Political Refugees from the Movement in Early 1900s America[edit]

The West Coast of America, which had a large Japanese population, was a haven for Japanese political dissidents in the early 1900s, free from persecution from the government of their homeland. Many of them were refugees from the "Freedom and People's Rights Movement.". San Francisco, and Oakland in particular was teeming with such people.

In 1907, an open letter addressed to "Mutsuhito (Matsuhito was the personal name of Emperor Meiji, and it was considered rude to call the Emperor by his personal name.) Emperor of Japan from Anarchists-Terrorists" was posted at the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco. It began with, "We demand the implementation of the principle of assassination." It also claimed that the emperor was not a god. The letter concluded with, "Hey you, miserable Mutsuhito. Bombs are all around you, about to explode. Farewell to you." The Incident changed the Japanese government's attitude of leftist movements. [3]

Related people[edit]

  1. ^ Buruma, Ian (2003). Inventing Japan, 1853-1964. Modern Library. ISBN 0-679-64085-1.
  2. ^ Quickening of the people's right movement, MATSUOKA Kiichi (Japanese)
  3. ^ The Japanese Conspiracy: The Oahu Sugar Strike of 1920 Page 22 Suspicious Japanese in America

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References[edit]