Meiji Restoration

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The restoration of imperial rule in Japan, often defined as the overthrow of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1868, but sometimes considered to stretch from that date to the formal institution of the new Meiji Constitution in 1889. The Tokugawa shogunate was faced by increasingly severe internal problems in the first half of the 19th century, and its failure to deal effectively with foreign incursions into Japanese territory resulted in the uniting of opposition forces behind a policy of restoring the emperor to full power. Faced by a powerful alliance of regional forces, the last shogun formally surrendered his powers to the Meiji emperor Mutsuhito, who resumed formal imperial rule in January 1868, moving his capital to Tokyo a year later. Thereafter, the feudal daimyo and samurai systems were quickly dismantled, a Western-style constitution introduced, and a policy of government-sponsored industrial development implemented, which would transform Japan into a centralized modern state.

Subjects: Buddhism — World History.

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