Katō Hiroyuki: Turning Nature into Time

Julia Adeney Thomas

in Reconfiguring Modernity

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2002 | ISBN: 9780520228542
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520926844 | DOI:
Katō Hiroyuki: Turning Nature into Time

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This chapter examines the views of Japanese politician Katō Hiroyuki about nature. It explains that in 1881 Hiroyuki turned decidedly in favor of autocratic control, relying in large part on Social Darwinism, and that he claimed that oligarchic rule was the correct form of government for Meiji Japan according to the dictates of natural evolution. The chapter discusses the opposition of Baba Tatsui, Ueki Emori, and others who found in nature a tool against Hiroyuki and against oligarchic power, and suggests that the 1881–1883 debate was a contest over definitions of nature, with all sides seeking to assert nature as they defined it.

Keywords: Katō Hiroyuki; nature; autocratic control; Social Darwinism; oligarchic rule; Meiji Japan; natural evolution; Baba Tatsui; Ueki Emori

Chapter.  11972 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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