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The Pursuit of Power in Modern Japan 1825–1995$
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Chushichi Tsuzuki

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205890

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205890.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 September 2021

The Decade of Democratic Ferment: Liberty and People’s Right

The Decade of Democratic Ferment: Liberty and People’s Right

(p.76) 4 The Decade of Democratic Ferment: Liberty and People’s Right
The Pursuit of Power in Modern Japan 1825–1995


Oxford University Press

The hanbatsu government had to deal with the increasingly vociferous opposition which is known in Japanese history as the movement for Jiyu Minken (Liberty and People's Rights). Its prime aim was to break the autocracy of the hanbatsu government by demanding a national assembly, a constitution, local autonomy, a reduced land tax, and the abolition of unequal treaties, and it could be regarded as the second stage of the Meiji Restoration-Reform, if not ‘a bourgeois, democratic, revolutionary movement’, as has sometimes been claimed. Thus, the 1870s, a period characterized by the discontented former samurai and their direct actions, was also a decade of intellectual ferment for Liberty and People's Right. The chapter also mentions Fukuzawa Yukichi on enlightenment and independence, the 1874 Memorial for a popular assembly, the Meirokusha, Kato Hiroyuki, Mori Arinori, and Nishi Amane, and the progress of the movement for Liberty and People's Rights. It also considers the government plans for constitutional reform. A description on Nakae Chomin, Baba Tatsui, and radicalization of the movement and the Chichibu Peasant War is also given. Furthermore, the aftermath of the Minken movement is illustrated.

Keywords:   hanbatsu, Jiyu Minken, Fukuzawa Yukichi, Kato Hiroyuki, Mori Arinori, Nishi Amane, Nakae Chomin, Baba Tatsui, Chichibu Peasant War

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