With MEJI PERIOD OF JAPAN started , what is generally called , an age of Industrial Revolution and the JAPANESE society was on the way of modernization . Western technology and knowledge now being adopted by both— the JAPANESE government and the private enterpreneurs to build factories of different types capable of producing a wide range of goods as such . And by the end of MEJI PERIOD manufactured goods dominated the JAPANESE exports . As a result , various corporate houses like ZAIBATSU , MITSUBISHI and SUMITOMO emerged and flourished providing affluency to the JAPANESE society . The growth of Industrialization paved the way for Urbanization of the JAPANESE society which resulted in the shrinking of people working in the field of agriculture in 1872 from 72% to 50% in the year 1920 . The zenith of such industrial developments came with the construction of the TOKYO METRO GINZA LINE in 1927 . It was ASIA’S oldest subway line .

With affluency and development , the period experienced three major developments : 1. The growth of IMPERIALISM ; 2. The growth of MILITARISM and 3. The LABOUR UNREST . A RYUKYUN ship was wrecked on the sea shore of TAIWAN and members of the crew were brutally massacred in 1871 caused a military expedition to TAIWAN in 1874 using the incidence as a pretext by asserting their (JAPANESE) claims to the RYUKYU Island . This expedition featured the first instance of the growing MILITARISM ignoring the order of the civilian government . And contribution of YAMAGATA , a SAMURAI from the CHOSHU domain , in the modernisation of the Imperial JAPANESE Army was total . The new army was tested very much in 1877 when it crushed the SATSUMA Rebellion organized by a dissident SAMURAI in Southern JAPAN called SAIGO TAKAMORI .

Thus , the emergence of JAPAN as a military power played a key role in the growth of JAPANESE IMPERIALISM/expansion abroad . After consolidating it’s control over HOKKAIDO and RYUKYU KINGDOM , JAPAN turned its attention towards CHINA and KOREAN . In 1894 , the JAPANESE troops clashed with that’s of the CHINESE causing the first SINO-JAPANESE war which started on 25 July 1894 and continued till 17th April 1895 for assertion of their influences on the KOREAN Islands . The QING DYNASTY OF CHINA fought the Empire of JAPAN causing a decisive defeat of the QING DYNASTY OF CHINA . With this for the first time the regional dominance in East ASIA shifted from CHINA to JAPAN . And the prestige of the QING DYNASTY OF CHINA suffered a major blow . Implications of this war within CHINA was that a series of political upheavals erupted in CHINA led by SUN YAT-SEN and KANG YOUWEI culminating to XINHAI revolution in 1911 .

JAPAN now clashed with RUSSIA over the issue of MANCHURIA and the KOREAN Empire which expanded its power in ASIA . The RUSSIAN-JAPANESE War of 1904-05 wich ended with the victory of JAPAN in the battle of TSUSHIMA . The major JAPANESE military operations were located in the LIAODONG Peninsula and MUKDEN in southern MANCHURIA , the sea around KOREA and JAPAN and , of course , the YELLOW sea . It was the first time that in the world history any ASIAN power had defeated a western power as such .

The JAPANESE society saw solid economic growth and affluency during the MEIJI PERIOD . The population of JAPAN rose from 34 million in 1872 to 52 million in 1915. But all the miracle of heavy Industrialization of JAPAN dither away with the labour unrest in the factories as the working conditions there were not well conducive at all . Moreover , many workers and intellectuals embraced socialist ideas which radicalized the people working in the factories . The situation became more complex when radical socialists plotted to assassinate the JAPANESE Emperor MEIJI in the high treason incident of 1910 known as the KOTOKU incident leading to mass unrest of the leftists and the execution of twelve alleged conspirators as such . On 20 May 1910 , the JAPANESE police searched through the room of MIYASHITA TAKICHI , a young lumbermill employee of the NAGANO PREFECTURE where materials for making explosive was found . Moreover , police arrested NITTA TORU , NIIMURA TADAO , FURUKAWA RIKISAKU , KOTUKU SHUSUI and his author wife KANNO SUGA and found a nationwide conspiracy against the JAPANESE MONARCHY . Now the TOKKO secret police force was established to root out left-wing agitators . And the government on the other hand introduced social legislation in 1911 fixing maximum working hours and a minimum age for employment as such . All these measures tried to curb the ongoing labour untest in the factories of JAPAN to a considerable extent .


TO BE CONTINUED …………………………



With the MEIJI PERIOD started the emergence of modern JAPAN . It ranged from 1868 AD to 1912 AD . Now the Emperor was a nominal Supreme power . And the Imperial family moved in 1869 AD from KYOTO to EDO , which was renamed as TOKYO . The former SAMURAI of CHOSHU and SATSUMA were the real power holders in the new establishment as the Emperor was only of fifteen years of age in 1868 AD . Leaders like OKUBO TOSHIMICHI and SAIGO TAKAMORI from SATSUMA and KIDO TAKAYOSHI , ITO HIROBUMI and YAMAGATA ARITOMO from CHOSHU wanted to make JAPAN a modern nation state like that of the Western Imperial Powers . For that a lot of political and social changes were required to be taken in the JAPANESE political and social systems as such . So , the MEIJI government abolished the EDO class structure and replaced the powerful feudal domains with PREFECTURES . As a result JAPAN was divided into 47 PREFECTURES which ranked immediately below the national government . They included 43 PREFECTURES proper , 2 urban PREFECTURES , one circuit and one metropolis . In 1868 AD itself the MEIJI government created the first PREFECTURES to replace the urban and the rural administrators . The urban PREFECTURES were called FU and the rural PREFECTURES were called KEN . In 1871 AD , all the remaining feudal domains were also transformed into PREFECTURES , so that the PREFECTURES could subdivide the entire JAPAN as such .

The MEIJI government promoted westernization in large scale . As a result hundreds of advisors having expertise in the field of education , mining , banking , law , military affairs and transportation were hired from the western countries to remodel the JAPANESE governmental institutions . Aim was to modernize Railways , Telegraph lines , Universal education system etc . It instituted comprehensive tax reforms and the ban on Christianity was lifted . Apart from that JAPAN adopted the Gregorian Calander for the first time . Now the JAPANESE people preferred western clothing and western hairstyles . A JAPANESE popular writer FUKUZAWA YUKICHI openly advocated westernization . Moreover , western science , especially the western medical science , were being promoted during the MEIJI period . KITASATO SHIBASABURO established the world famous Institute of Infectious Diseases in 1893 AD . Similarly , writers like NATSUME SOSEKI , FUTABATEI SHIMEI and MORI OGAI who tried to introduce EUROPEAN literary stiles in the JAPANESE prose fictions . NATSUME SOSEKI was the most famous writer of the MEIJI period who wrote satirical , autobiographical and psychological novels combining both the newer and older JAPANESE styles . Women in this field were not left behind as ICHIYO HIGUCHI ( 1872 to1896 ) wrote mostly short stories and poetries during the MEIJI PERIOD . She was the first professional female writer of the modern JAPANESE literature . She was also an extensive diarist .

In 1889 the MEIJI Constitution was promulgated under the leadership of the first Prime Minister of JAPAN , ITO HIROBUMI . The new constitution established an elected lower house called the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES and upper house called the HOUSE OF PEERS . But the power of the lower house was restricted as only two percent of the people were eligible for vote and the legislation proposed in the house was required to be passed in the unelected upper house as such . And both — the cabinet and the military were directly responsible to the Emperor and not to the elected legislature . Though the JAPANESE government promoted a form of JAPANESE nationalism under which SHINTO became the state religion and the Emperor was declared as a living God , yet the government institutions developed rapidly during the period . The Freedom and People’s Rights Movement led by ITAGAKI TAISUKE and OKUMA SHIGENOBU demanded for the greater popular participation in politics . Thus , the MEIJI PERIOD OF JAPAN saw how the democratic set up in the JAPANESE society and politics had started taking shape as such .



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