TAISHO PERIOD OF JAPAN
Emperor TAISHO was the 123rd Emperor of JAPAN . His period was comparatively short ranging from 1912 to 1926 but very important as JAPAN developed very strong democratic institutions during the period . It also developed itself as a major international power . However , the period shaw mass protests and riots organized by the JAPANESE political parties as such which forced KATSURA TARO to regime as the Prime Minister of JAPAN . At the same time in 1918 KOMO SODO ( THE RICE RIOTS ) spread in all over JAPAN . There were series of popular disturbances that erupted through out the country from July to September 1918 . As continuous rise of price of rice caused extreme economic hardship specially in rural areas of JAPAN where rice was the staple food of the people . Rising inflation at the same time affected most consumer goods and rents which also had a sizable impact on the urban population in JAPAN as such . The SIBERIAN intervention further aggravated the situation . During the RUSSIAN CIVIL WAR from 1918-1922 , the Imperial JAPANESE Army was deployed in SIBERIA ( RUSSIA ) to support white RUSSIAN forces against SOVIET RUSSIA as part of the larger effort by the western powers , JAPAN and CHINA . This caused buying up existing rice stocks to support the overseas troops of JAPAN which further drove the rice price even higher . Moreover, the government intervention in economic affairs caused rural protests which in no time spread to towns and cities of JAPAN . The rice riots were quite unparallel in the history of modern JAPAN . Initially it started from fishing town of UOZU on 23rd July 1918 . It started with prayer and petition as we see during our GANDHIAN SATYAGRAH MOVEMENT in INDIA but suddenly it escalated to riots , strikes , looting , bombings on police stations and government offices and , of course , armed clashes . More than twenty five thousand people were arrested . Out of which eight thousand two hundred people were convicted with punishment ranging from minor fine to death penalty . Due to collapse of public order , the JAPANESE Prime Minister TERAUCHI and his cabinet reigned on 21st September 1918 .
All these developments increased the power of JAPANESE political parties over the ruling oligarchy to a considerable extent . Two main political parties : 1. SEIYUKAI ; and 2. MINSEITO came to dominate the politics of JAPAN during the end of TAISHO democracy Era . Their political struggle brought about universal male suffrage in 1925 . However , in the same year Peace Preservation Law was also passed by the JAPANESE legislature which prescribed harsh penalties for the political dissidents . The law enacted on 22nd April 1925 allowing the Special Higher Police to supress agitating socialists and communists more effectively . The great KANTO earthquake of September 1923 left over more that Lakhs (100,000 ) of people dead . This was combined with the resultant fire which created more than three million people homeless . However , the decision of the Government of JAPAN to participate in the world War first on the side of Allies gave an unprecedented pace to the economic growth of JAPAN . JAPAN earned the new colonies in the South Pacific seized from JERMANY . Similarly , JAPAN became one of the signee of the Treaty of VERSAILLES which helped it in having good relations with its members in the newly formed the LEAGUE OF NATIONS .
Despite all these odds , literacy rate rose during TAISHO PERIOD OF JAPAN . Popular prose writings continued to grow with writers like RYUNOSUKE AKUTAGAWA ( a short stotry writer ) , HARUO SATO , JUNICHIRO TANIZAKI ( both novelists ) . Similarly , the historian like CONRAD TOTMAN being influenced by the western literature wrote a novel called SOME PREFER NETTLES which reflected deep appreciation for the traditional JAPANESE culture . Moreover , mysteries and crime stories by EDOGAWA RANPO got popular throughout JAPAN during the period of our study .
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