Chapter

Imperial revolution: embracing modernity

in Modern Japan

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780199235698
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191777127 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/actrade/9780199235698.003.0003

Series: Very Short Introductions

Imperial revolution: embracing modernity

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  • Contemporary History (Post 1945)
  • Asian History
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‘Imperial revolution: embracing modernity’ shows how Japan endeavoured to transform itself into a modern, imperial nation in the second half of the 19th century. Japan needed to modernize in order to renegotiate the Unequal Treaties. This involved the creation of a political constitution and rule of law. The constitution limited suffrage, so as to control the emergence of political consciousness. Samurai privileges were removed, and provinces nationalized. This allowed for national taxation and a national army. Ambassadors were sent out to gather Western knowledge to speed modernization. The Shinto religion and shrines to imperial soldiers, as well as the Bushido code, helped foster nationalism and preserve a Japanese identity.

Keywords: Meiji Restoration; modernity; nationalism; religion; revolution

Chapter.  5844 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945) ; Asian History ; Political Geography

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