Talk:Meiji Restoration

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    1. Prepare a draft outline
    2. Identify and organize sources
    3. Remove material copied from Introduction to Asia
    4. Separate notes and references from "Further reading"
    5. Add 'In popular culture section' and identify media/entertainment set in this timeframe.
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    Samurai in Hokkaido[edit]

    I am requesting some information. I heard that after the Meiji reformation, the Samurai packed up their stuff and moved to Hokkaido, which is why there is more of an old-fashioned culture there. Does anyone know enough about this to write about it?

    I do (Im an American Student). What happened was that it wasn't the Samurai but former Tokogowa ashigaru who fled to Hokkaido. They continued their revolution there, until it was easily beaten by the armies of Choshu and Satsuma. Those troops were led by Saigo Takamori. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:37, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

    -- There's a short article on this topic under Republic of Ezo --Crunchy Frog 23:17, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)

    Linking to Meiji Restoration[edit]

    There are 35 links to Meiji Restoration, and no redirects! --Uncle Ed 20:39 Mar 28, 2003 (UTC)

    --- On a similar note, could someone redirect Meiji Revolution to Meiji Restoration? Sorry, I don't know how to myself and I have to go soon. Jsan 02:50, 1 Jul 2004 (UTC)

    create an article with #REDIRECT [[Meiji Restoration]] as text. This takes even less time than writing on this discussion page :) Mkill 00:14, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

    Restoration Years[edit]

    I'd like to know where the years for the Restoration (1866-1869) came from because they don't sound valid at all to me. For one thing, Meiji hadn't even become ruler until 1867, and the Charter Oath wasn't written until April 1869. Even then, the first few years of the Restoration was relatively slow b/c the government was acting cautiously, domains weren't abolished until 1869 (I believe) and samurai even later still. The books I've read haven't given any specific year range except one which claimed the Restoration could be thought of as "ended" in 1889 with the promulgation of the Constitution and the Parliament. I would put the range at 1867-1889, or maybe just say "the latter half of the 19th century".

    Yes, Mutsuhito ascended the throne and became the Meiji Emperor in 1867. There was no such thing as the Meiji Restoration until later. Seven 22:29, 24 January 2007 (UTC0
    1868 is the actual year of most conflict. There is an agreement made by 2 houses in 1866 - to restore the emperor, and then by 1869 the emperor is "in his rightful place.""Faith! What a dirty mono-syllable -- Jill, why didn't you mention that one when you were teaching me the short words that musn't be used in polite company?" -Michael Valentine Smith from Stranger in a Strange Land 22:54, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

    The Iwakura Mission[edit]

    Is there anyone knowledgeable enough about the Iwakura Mission to write something about it? (It was a 2-year journey to the USA and Europe headed by Iwakura Tomomi intended to study the West from different perspectives to gather ideas to help modernize Japan).

    Iwakura mission exists. -- Mkill 00:14, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

    There is no article on the Imperialists.

    Japanese militarism and Japanese nationalism exist. -- Mkill 00:14, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

    would like some info[edit]

    hey i need some info on any of the battles fought during the Meiji restoration/revolution any help would be great! email to Try Satsuma rebellion, Boshin war and Naval Battle of Hakodate (PS: I don't think somebody will take the time to email you) -- Mkill 00:14, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

    article Japanese modernization (1868-1930) moved here[edit]

    There is / was an article named Japanese modernization (1868-1930) with exactly the same topic as Meiji Restoration and Meiji period, but in bad English. I moved it here so missing material can be included, but there is no need to have this article twice. -- Mkill 20:07, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

    The modernization of Japan, just as in the case of Russia, is closely tied to its foreign relations. Until the 19th century, Japan was hermetically closed to most outside contacts, but in 1853 a flotilla led by Commodore Matthew Perry visited the islands. From this event began the opening of commerce and the entry of foreign influences.

    The modern history of Japan begins in 1868 when the Shogunate Tokugawa ended and political power returned to the young Meiji Emperor. The "Meiji Restoration" opened with an explicit declaration of receptivity to foreign ideas in "Imperial Rescripts": "knowledge is found in all the foreign world and with this reinforced the basis of Empire policy". Feudalism was abolished in 1877 and many modernization reforms began.

    The basis of reform was the drastic transformation of the Japanese economy. Industrialization, in which the central government had an important part, was concentrated in strategic industries. From the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895 the emphasis was on munitions, weapons, textile and shipyards. Between 1868 and 1897, exports of manufactured articles grew to 20%.

    At the finish of present century, are one raising period of industry and commerce along erupted of World War I, for this motif increased the buying of Japanese articles, for all during 1915-1920 period having other augment in foreign commerce. At continuing during 1900s to 1930s decades this production grew another 12%. In 1936, Japan surpassed England with respect to cotton fabrics exports and were first place in the world, and by the end of the 1930s a very developed Japanese industry and commerce came into existence. How if logic these augment in industrialization conduct to one rapid urbanization. In 1895, only 12% lived in cities. In the middle 1930s, 45% resided in cities. But the Japanese economy had weak points. On the one hand, they still had little and primitive workshops. On the other hand, stay the Japanese equivalent of monopolies the "Zaibatsu" enormous industrial-commercial-economical complexes between theirs during 1920-1930 are the most important the Mitsui and Mitsubishi, probably the two greatest private and familiar economical empires in the world during this times.

    Another consequence of this, if the Japanese Imperialism why are one Asian local reply at foreign imperialism of Western powers, why commenced with the annexation of Ryu-Kyu and the First Chinese-Japanese War of 1894-1895.

    Japanese modernisation is indeed intertwined with the Meiji Restoration but is anything, is a bigger topic spanning several articles. (talk) 11:26, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

    Discussion within article content[edit]

    Here is the text from the article. You can edit it and make the discussion appear.

    The oligarchs also endeavoured to abolish the four divisions of society.

    Together, the samurai accounted for 1.9 million of the population, more than 10 times the size of the French privileged class at the 1789 French Revolution. With each samurai being paid fixed stipends, their upkeep presented a tremendous financial burden. Whatever their true intentions, the oligarchs embarked on a similarly slow and deliberate process to abolish the samurai class. First, in 1873, it was announced that the samurai stipends were to be taxed on a rolling basis. Later, in 1874, the samurai were given the option to convert their stipends into government bonds. Finally, in 1876, this commutation was made compulsory.

    To reform the military, the government instituted nation-wide conscription in 1873, mandating that every 21-yr-old male serve in the armed forces for 3 years. One of the primary difference between the samurai and peasant class was the right to bear arms; this ancient privilege was suddenly extended to every male in the nation. There was a series of riots. The one led by Saigo Takamori, the Satsuma rebellion, even turned in to a civil war. This rebellion was however put down swiftly by the newly formed imperial army, trained in Western tactics and weapons, even though the core of the new army was the Tokyo Police force, which was formed in great parts of former samurai. This sent a strong message to the dissenting samurai that their time was indeed up.


    This is one hell of an introduction -- anybody opposed to shortening it? Dietwald 08:28, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

    Not just the Satsuma and Choshu clans.[edit]

    The Tosa and Hizen clans also wanted to topple the Tokugawa shogunate and give the emperor the power he deserved. And they helped.

    Yes but clans such as the Aizu and Hizen were used by the Satsuma and Choshu clans. Saigo takamori led their troops, for example, when he was made national general in 186...7 i believe? Also, the Tengu clan was used as a catalyst, for the Tokogowa killed many of the ashigaru during their rebellion, despite the fact that in Bushido it says to kill generals only after a battle is won. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:34, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

    Project Assessment[edit]

    I was amazed to find how short and uninformative this article is. I don't mean that as a harsh criticism of anyone in particular; it is a constructive criticism to all those who conribute to Japanese history on Wikipedia, including myself. There is more literature on Meiji than on any other topic in Japanese history, excepting perhaps WWII. And yet, so much is absent from this article. (1) Causes, direct and indirect both. This being largely undiscussed on either Bakumatsu or Tokugawa shogunate, it must be placed here. The weakening of the shogunate, the bureaucratization of the samurai class, the rise of the merchant class throwing traditional Confucian conceptions of society out of whack, foreign threats, etc etc (2) The actual events of the Restoration. Everywhere I turn, I find articles discussing the causes and effects of the Ishin without discussing the actual hard-and-fast events. Did the shogun just abdicate out of the blue? The Boshin War is strangely ignored in most treatments of this period - I think we should absolutely include a larger section on the events of that war, not only in the north, against the Republic of Ezo, but in Edo. Events in Edo in 1867 are comparable to events such as the Boston Tea Party, Battles of Lexington and Concord, storming of the Bastille, the rise of Oliver Cromwell, or his fall, and yet for some reason these events seem shrouded in mystery. We should do what we can to present a historical narrative here. (3) Effects, not just in the immediate historical sense, but in the wider ranging sense of representing the volumes and volumes and volumes of literature that have been produced regarding questions of Japanese modernity and nationhood, the formation of a state, connections to the rise of militarism, etc etc. Or, at least, link to an article that discusses all of these things - the Meiji Constitution, the abolition of the han and the class structure, not in separate links, but in a single treatment here or elsewhere. (4) Scholarly discussion of the terminology of the event and its significance. This is one of the most crucial events in all of Japanese history, and as I have said, the scholarship on it is deep. We ought to include a section, if somewhat brief, describing the questions posed by scholars over the event. Is "Restoration" a fair term? Was this or was this not a "revolution" to be compared to those of England, France, and Russia? I hope that, working together, we can make this article Featured. It deserves at least the kind of lengthy, detailed treatment seen in English Civil War and French Revolution; and those aren't even featured articles. LordAmeth 19:55, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

    Well the Japanese themselves in documentaries and movies translate the event as a Restoration.
    Yes I accept your criticisms.I think Meiji Restoration is more important in Japanese history but I think Meiji Restoration is not educated enough in Japan.and I called some Japanese wikipedian to English wikipedia.but they refused my call because They don't write English.I don't think so :(.They may be think Japanese Wikipedia is not enough and They only that it gives priority to a Japanese Wikipedia.additionally,Nobody translates by the article of the history because there are a lot of technical terms.The number of men is insufficient though everyone thinks the enhancement of Meiji Restoration is important.--Forestfarmer 07:56, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
    It is indeed usually called "Restoration". Does anyone know why? The Japanese term 維新 as such means "reform", why do they want to call it something else in English? 14:44, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
    I discussed why it was called a Restoration... This material came from a lecture by Professor Noriko Aso at University of California at Santa Cruz in her History 150C - History of Modern Japan class. I hope this clarifies the use of the term. I will be adding more according to the outline below as I have the time to. Diadian 16:01, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

    Draft outline[edit]

    With a view to getting this featured by the end of the year, consider the proposed outline. Some identified topics warrant subsections, soe others might better belong in Meiji era, and others merely need to be touched upon.

    • Origins, emphasizing the collapse of central control over
      • Foreign encroachment
      • Dissatisfaction with the Shogunate (particularly succession and competence)
      • Disaffection of young samurai
      • Rise of han armies
      • Reassertion of imperial authority
      • "Ee janaika" movement and new religions (?)
    • Fall of the Tokugawa
      • Political maneuvering
        • Court
        • Shogunate
        • Foreigners
      • Boshin War
    • Organizing a new government
      • Institutions of state
        • Councils and constitutions
        • Haihan-chiken
      • Finance
      • Military
      • Foreign relations
    • Remaking Japanese society
      • Abolition of the samurai class
      • Education
      • Commerce and industry
      • Religion
    • Aftermath
      • Designs on Korea
      • Samurai rebellion
    • Contemporary and later views
      • Restoration or revolution
      • Popular culture

    Thoughts welcome.--Monocrat 18:54, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

    Historical Timeline[edit]

    According to this article, the Meiji restoration was on November 19, 1867, but according to October 14, it took place on October 14, 1867. They both cite this as the time that the "15th Tokugawa Shogun" resigned. Which is correct because one of them must be. Thanks Isaiah (talk) 18:50, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

    I think that technically, both are correct, but November 19 is more so. Japan did not follow the Gregorian calendar before the restoration. The Japanese wikipedia page for October 14 (old calendar) ja:10月14日 (旧暦) says that Tokugawa Yoshinobu relinquished power on that day (which was November 19 in the Gregorian calendar). Neier (talk) 06:15, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

    some of the links are the first one... the Japan one i didn't bother or know how to fix it (talk) 05:11, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

    "Changes made" section[edit]

    The "Changes made" section is a mess--should that have been a chart? It makes no sense. Kit1066 (talk) 16:25, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

    Potential Copyright Violation in section The Restoration (copied from textbook Introduction to Asia)[edit]

    The section The Restoration has been copied directly from page 114 of Introduction to Asia, By Angelina Chavez Irapta, Irapta, Et Al, Cecilio Dioneda Duka, Published by Rex Bookstore, Inc., 2005 with ISBN 9789712339875. See's+disposal&source=bl&ots=alxTwqmCOa&sig=24973p-XhI4hzNW-MlYPutVdER0&hl=en&ei=bOVqSo2FA4HWsQOMsriWBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7 for the relevant page of the book.

    The section should be rewritten by a wikipedia editor and released as free content. Other sections may also be impacted.

    twilsonb (talk) 11:11, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

    American influence[edit]

    When doing an overview of Japanese history to better understand Yagyu Munenori's Life-giving Sword, I got the distinct impression that this "restoration" occurred in the wake of the Perry's opening of Japan with a demonstration of industrial-level violence by his warships.

    While Perry's display is not mentioned, Westernization is confirmed by the article as part of the change. Previously Japan preferred the peace of isolation, as did China, and as does modern Bhutan. "Opening," which might be thought liberalization, caused economic changes that brought an entirely different type of player to the top, who was definitely conservative! I seem to recall that there was a shift from Buddhism to Confucianism, and from relative pacifism to military dictatorship. This made me feel that the shift ultimately led to Japan's invasion of China, and the Asian part of the Second World War.

    I also recall a phrase from the period: "Learn the ways of the barbarians." That would be us. --John Bessa (talk) 21:08, 4 May 2010 (UTC)


    I would like to have a discussion regarding the name of this event in Japanese history. Whether it should be called the Meiji "coup", "revolution", "restoration" or something else altogether. What is the best name for it? --RisingSunWiki 17:32, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

    I think "Restoration" is the most commonly used term, by far. --gribeco (talk) 22:37, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

    the first time since the Mongol invasion of Europe that an Asian nation had obtained a major victory against a European power[edit]

    The Ottomans were regarded as oriental (Asian), and they inflicted numerous defeats on European powers in the 15th to 17th centuries. Qemist (talk) 01:28, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

    The END of the Meiji Restoration ?[edit]

    Dear Editors, This article leaves it unclear as to why the MR ended in 1912. --Smilo Don (talk) 23:23, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

    Controversy in semantics[edit]

    Moved to talk

    {{Multiple issues|section=y|refimprove=August 2007|cleanup=November 2007}}

    Ongoing debate continues between historians as to the historical legitimacy of the name "restoration", as opposed to a "coup" or "revolution". There are reasons to call it all three. (see --> De Bary, William Theodore; Donald Keene; George Tanabe; Paul Varley (2001). Sources of Japanese Tradition. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-12984-X )

    Advocates of the term "coup" would point out the fact that there was a change in only the regime, with the fighting confined to the elite, which managed to avoid being spread to the rest of society and that there was a shared sense of national mission and class values. However, this term only refers to the political leaders—not commoners. More importantly, it also does not represent the wider historical context of the period, and the various ideological struggles of the time in addition to the subsequent radical changes of society.

    The direct challenge to the legitimacy of the Tokugawa Regime in 1868 identifies this event as a revolution. This term also implies an anticipation of subsequent radical changes and indicates that the regime was toppled through the combination of concerns and actions of different groups. This term is problematic because it gives the false impression that rebels had unified or coherent plans for the future and it does not account for the relatively peaceful transition or how much actually stayed the same within the country.

    The events of 1868 can be viewed in terms of a restoration because the opposition made claims that the Tokugawa Shogunate had usurped the power to govern from the Emperor. This claim as well as the strictly isolationist sentiments of the times is an accurate representation of the event, in some ways. The word restoration implies a focus on the elite ideological debates but does not address the regional and religious tensions of the period. It also undervalues the strategic nature of restorationist claims and gives a false impression of unity among the rebelling houses. The most detrimental implication of this term is that it offers no concrete explanation of how ordinary people came to accept the legitimacy of direct imperial rule.