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Meiji Restoration
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  • 1. Authoritarian Regimes: Japan
    From Samurai to Steamships
  • 2. Japan: Some key facts
    Known as Nippon (Land of the Rising Sun)
    4 Major islands (Honshu, Kyushu, Hokkaido & Shikoku)
    Shinto Religion: Emperor divine, descendant of Sun Goddess
    Majority of population peasants
  • 3. Tokugawa Shogunate (1603-1868)
    Japan ruled by Emperor (religious) & Shogun (military)
    Samurai as lords & nobles
    Hermit kingdom – closed its doors to the world
    Homogeneous language & culture
    The Samurai were not as chivalrous as popular culture today depicts them to be.
  • 4. East Meets West
    1853 – Arrival of Commodore Perry
    Japan thrown into turmoil
    Shogunate discredited – signed unfavourable treaties
    Dissidents wanted to topple the Shogun and restore power to Emperor
    In 1868, the Meiji Emperor ascended the throne of Japan, & a new era of modernisation began.
    Japanese depiction of Perry’s arrival. The Japanese had no answer to the American cannons.
  • 5. Meiji Restoration
    Meiji leaders understood that in order to save Japan from being colonised & to be accepted by the west, they had to modernise.
    Leaders were all young, western educated & idealistic
    Impressed by the power of the west & felt Japan could follow suit
    “Rich Country, Strong Military”
    The Meiji emperor reigned from 1868-1912. He was 15 when he ascended the throne.
  • 6. “Knowledge shall be sought throughout the world so as to strengthen the foundations of imperial rule. . . Evil customs of the past shall be broken off and everything based on the just laws of nature.”
    Meiji Charter Oath – 1868
  • 7. Meiji Reforms - Political
    Constitution based on German model
    Constitutional monarchy – cult of Emperor established
    Parliament or Diet established
    Power centralised – no more domains
    The Meiji Oligarchy or Genro
  • 8. Meiji Reforms - Military
    Abolition of Samurai class
    Introduction of conscript army – Blood tax
    New army put down Satsuma Rebellion
    Disgruntled Samurai rose up against the new conscript army: Swords vs. Guns, the outcome was predictable…
  • 9. Meiji Reforms - Economic
    Massive industrialisation – Textiles as Japan’s no.1 export.
    Rise of Zaibatsu
    Land reforms to help peasants grow more crops
    Mitsubishi didn’t just manufacture cars and fridges in those days
  • 10. Meiji Reforms - Social
    Education encouraged – pple taught to embrace modernity & revere Emperor.
    Foreign talent – about 5000 by 1880
    The Japanese people were encouraged to embrace modern changes.
  • 11. A Meiji era factory – women were encouraged to work as well.
  • 12. Meiji Reforms – Report Card
    Victories in Sino-Japanese War, 1894, Russo-Japanese War, 1905 & WW I, 1918
    Strong industrial base
    Modern infrastructure, economy and army
    By Meiji Emperor’s death in 1912, Japan was considered the major power in the Far East
    The world sat up and took notice as Japan became the first Asian nation to defeat a European nation in war.
  • 13. In 20 years, Japan went from…
    To this!