Meiji period

Perry came to Japan in in large warships with armament and technology that far outclassed those of Japan with the intent to conclude a treaty that would open up Japanese ports to trade. The word "Meiji" means "enlightened rule" and the goal was to combine "modern advances" with traditional "eastern" values. This period also saw Japan change from being a feudal society to having a market economy and left the Japanese with a lingering influence of Modernity.

Meiji period

The link between Shinto and nationalism Shinto legend tells that the emperors of Japan are descended in an unbroken line from the first Emperor, Jimmu Tenno, Amaterasu-Omikami's great-grandson. The native Japanese people themselves are descended from the kami who were present at the founding of Japan.

A Chronology of Japanese History

This story contains a very clear message that Japan is an old country, whose people are descended from the founding kami, and an Imperial family with an unbroken line of descent from Amaterasu herself. The Imperial family is older than the people of Japan, and descended from a kami of higher rank.

The political message of the story is that Japan is the way it should be, that its survival depends on maintaining the relationship between the Emperor Meiji period his people, and that the Emperor rules Japan because the gods want him to. Before the Meiji Restoration and the creation of State Shinto, this story was just one myth among many, and not something crucial to Japanese self-image.


Religion and politics In the 6th century Buddhism was imported into Japanese religious life and Buddhism and Shinto together began Meiji period play a part in Japanese government. The Emperor and court had to perform religious ceremonies to make sure that the kami looked after Japan and its people.

A court liturgical calendar was developed. Over the next few centuries Buddhist influence in government grew stronger.

Meiji period

The 17th century was dominated by state-imposed Buddhism with many Shinto elements as a reaction against an outside threat posed by Christian missionaries. Japanese civic religion in the 17th century still included elements of Confucianism, while popular religion consisted mainly of Buddhism and Shinto.

There was a movement towards a purer Shinto during the next two centuries, culminating in the Meiji Restoration towards the end of the 19th century, when Shinto became the established religion of Japan for a time.

See the general history article for a more detailed look at Shinto's coexistence with Buddhism. State Shinto State Shinto When Shinto was reconstructed in the Imperial legend was moved centre stage, and Amaterasu - who until then was only revered in parts of Japan - was promoted to be the most important of the gods, given a national role in the new system of state Shinto, and because of her new status, used to validate the role of the Emperor, not only as ruler, but as the high priest of Shinto.

Furthermore, it became official doctrine that since the Japanese were descended from the gods, they were superior to all other races. The political status of the Emperor changed and he became a powerful figure. Although he was required to respect the law of the land, he was in fact above it.

Just how powerful the Emperor had become by the time of the mid 20th century is still a matter of great controversy, as it is crucial to determining the Emperor's personal responsibility for the Japanese military actions during the period. Although the Meiji Constitution stated that: Japanese subjects shall, within limits not prejudicial to peace and order, and not antagonistic to their duties as subjects, enjoy freedom of religious belief Meiji Constitution, article 28 this promise of religious freedom did not do anything to reduce the dominance of State Shinto.

From then on, Japanese political, social, military and religious institutions centred themselves on the figure of the Emperor, who had now become an icon of everything good and pure and holy; the very essence and spirit of Japan.

These ideas were also heavily promoted in Japanese schools. These beliefs set the political and military course of Japan until The Directive for the Disestablishment of State Shinto The Imperial Rescript renouncing Divinity The post-war Constitution The three documents parallel Shinto purification rituals, since their purpose is to restore purity and cleanliness to a once good religion that had been polluted by political action.With Emperor Meiji’s ascension to the throne in , Japan theoretically restored power to the emperor, but because he was only 15 years old he had little governing power.

Instead, the power rested with the new government consisting of a small, close-knit cabinet of advisers.

Meiji period

This new cabinet. Sep 13,  · In which John Green teaches you about Nationalism. Nationalism was everywhere in the 19th century, as people all over the world carved new nation-states out of old empires. The Meiji period that followed the Restoration was an era of major political, economic, and social change in Japan.

The reforms enacted during the Meiji emperor’s rule brought about the modernization and Westernization of the country and paved the way for Japan to become a major international power.

Emperor Meiji (明治天皇, Meiji-tennō, 3 November –30 July ) was the nd emperor of Japan according to the traditional order of succession. His reign lasted from until his death. The Meiji Restoration (明治維新, Meiji Ishin), also known as the Meiji Renovation, Revolution, Reform, or Renewal, was an event that restored practical imperial rule to the Empire of Japan in under Emperor regardbouddhiste.comgh there were ruling Emperors before the Meiji Restoration, the events restored practical abilities and consolidated the political system under the Emperor of Japan.

The period from until in Japan is called the Meiji era - after the name chosen by the young prince Mutsuhito, when he followed his father to the throne. Meiji means in Japanese 'the enlightened rule'.

During the Meiji period Japan underwent a stunning development from a medieval society to a leading economic and military power in Asia.

Meiji period - Wikipedia