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Meiji Restoration

Meiji Restoration

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Meiji Restoration

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  1. Meiji Restoration Factors leading to the Restoration Changes during the Restoration Achievements of the Restoration

  2. Problems of the Bakufu prior to 1853 • Financial distress • Agriculture • Taxation by the Shogun • Drought and epidemics • Natural disasters..Tenpo famine • Discontentment of the Samurai class who resented the growing power of the merchants • Call for reforms in taxes, social positions • Emerging power of the Choshu, Tosa Hizen and Satsuma the traditionally rebel domains • Attempts by the West: British and Russians to open up Japan to trade

  3. Choshu and Satsuma • Both were rebel domains but were fortunate to have fewer fiscal problems • Development of a class of samurais ( Goshi) who farmed the land and so there were fewer peasant uprisings • Both these domains had a budget surplus, flourishing economy and trade • In both the domains there were reform minded daimyo rulers

  4. Intellectual ferment • Despite the closing off of Japan, the Dutch Learning ( Rangaku) continued • The Bakufu, while it followed a closed door policy to trade, set up a bureau to translate Dutch texts. • Dutch texts were translated and ideas were used • The knowledge in sciences astronomy maths and medicine continued to grow in Japan even though it was closed off. • At the same time in response to the growing tensions the school of Kokugaku ( national revival) emerged • Kokugaku emphasized nationalism, a return to the rule of the Emperor which posed a direct threat to the rule of the Shogun

  5. Intellectuals • Japanese scholars like Sakuma Shozan of Choshu conducted experiments in Chemistry and glass making • He believed in Eastern Ethics and Western Science • His ideas became a slogan for the Meiji Restoration though he was murdered in 1864

  6. Opening of Japan: the cause or the catalyst? • Result of an armed mission by Commodore Perry of the USA in 1853 • Treaty with Perry signed in 1854 • The treaties that resulted undermined the Bakufu but paved the way for the Meiji Restoration • The Bakufu sought the help of the Daimyo but instead of supporting or rallying around the Bakufu it led to calls for its end. • Sonno Joi = revere the Emperor and expel the barbarian

  7. Commodore Perry’s mission • It was designed to intimidate. • To show off to Japan that America could and would use its military capability to force trade with Japan • This caused a huge rift among the daimyos • Shogun aware that he couldn’t win in a fight • Lord Mito wanted to fight • Yoshida Shoin an inellectual, wanted to use this event to dismantle Bakufu and revive monarchy Thus Perry’s actions became the catalyst for change

  8. Shogun’s response to Perry • Commodore Perry’s demands created a crisis /revolution in Japan • Shogun wanted mediation • Elder Daimyo wanted to stall for time and strengthen Japan and then fight to get rid of the Samurai • Younger samurai mostly of the rebel domains called for expulsion of ‘barbarians’ ( Sonno joi= expel the barbarian,revere the Emperor)

  9. Treaty of Kanagawa signed in 1854 Terms • Shimoda and Hakodate two minor ports opened to US ships. This was followed by the opening of other ports • US Consul sent to Japan: Townsend Harris more aggressive terms were demanded • These demands were in the Treaty of Edo 1858 • Similar agreements followed with the Dutch and Russians, and then the British and the French followed • Japan’s situation identical to that of China under the unequal treaty system • The treaties gave the foreigners the right to extra territoriality and also the MFN status

  10. Domestic Politics • Troubled times for the Bakufu • In 1858 a succession dispute broke out • The underage heir had the support of the Daimyo and the rival Tokugawa candidate was the son of the powerful daimyo of Mito • A regency was formed under the leadership of Ii Naosuke the Shogun’s advisor who tried to strengthen the now discredited bakufu and Ii Naosuke was forced to agree to Harris’ terms • To quell opposition to the treaty of Edo, he took action against opposition which made Li Naosuke more unpopular. • In 1860 Ii Naosuke assassinated by the Sonno Joi faction who hated the fact that Ii Naosuke signed the treaty of 1858 which opened up more ports in Japan

  11. The impact in Japan of China’s defeat in the 2nd Opium War • While the debate raged in Japan, the Shogun and the daimyo very aware of the events in China. • Ii Naosuke, the Shogun’s regent wanted to prevent the forced intervention • So in 1858 he chose to accept Townshend Harris’ proposal even though it was turned down by the Emperor • He imprisoned Daimyo who opposed his policy. This added to the unpopularity • The Shogun’s advisors tried to follow a more conciliatory policy by marrying the young Shogun to the Emperor’s sister. • Ii also released the imprisoned daimyo and offer them key positions in his household. Loyal Daimyo were recognized and honoured • However it was perhaps too little too late. In the years just before and after the treaty the Satsuma, Choshu, Tosa and Hizen clans adopted to western technology • The demand was for reform, the Shogun tried to accommodate the ideas but the calls for reform were growing ever louder • Choshu began to attack British vessels and there were calls for the Shogun to stop this outrage

  12. Sonno Joi • Lord Mito one of the most influential daimyo was strongly anti western • Advocated a military policy to expel the barbarians • One of the strongest spokesman was a young Choshu Samurai, Yoshida Shoin • He attracted a number of young men of the Choshu Tosa and Satsuma domains who would later become the leaders of the Meiji Restoration • Kido Koin, Ito Hirobumi, Saigo Takamori and Yamagata Aritomo • Yoshida blamed the Bakufu for its inability to reject the unequal treaties • He was convinced that the Bakufu must be overthrown • Plotted against the Bakufu, was arrested and beheaded in 1859. • Despite his death the idea he suggested was acted upon by his proteges

  13. Domestic tensions grow…………….. • The Shishi was class of young discontented Samurai. Served under the Tozama daimyo and therefore were unable to secure high offices • Shishi were men of talent but failed to secure high offices because of hereditary privileges of the Fudai Daimyo. Shinpan daimyo were not allowed to hold office either. • This was the young idealistic reform minded group • They saw the signing of the treaties as a betrayal and gravitated towards Kyoto and Edo seeking reform • The Shishi were brave to the point of being reckless, yet their intentions were honourable • They were determined to save Japan’s cultural integrity • They were supported by the court faction in Kyoto. The shishi were seen as an alternative to the Shogun

  14. Shishi actions from 1860 onwards • In order to bring about change they embarked on a series of assassinations ……about 70 • Became a threat to the Shogun as it predicated a crisis between the Shogun and the British and Americans • Attacks by Satsuma and Choshu samurai on foreign warships • Attacked Sakuma Shozan • Attacked Ashikaga statues and decapitated them • Their intention was to make it clear to the Shogun that he had failed to rule and so had to go • In 1863 this group plotted a palace coup. They were discovered and fled to Choshu • Choshu was asked to hand them over and Choshu refused • This precipitated an attack on Choshu which went in favour of the Choshu. • This was the first time a domain had successfully resisted the Shogun

  15. Kaikoku Joi • While there was one group that objected to western ideas or anything western there was another group that was determined to learn from the west and then use that knowledge to defeat the foreigner. • Their slogan was kaikoku joi= open the country to drive out the barbarians • Even in the Bakufu there was a willingness to learn western ideas • Daimyo had sent their men abroad ( often illegally) to study • The intention was to hold on to the Bakufu and support it to create a more modern state but this failed. • Largely led by the senior reform minded daimyo but clashed with the Shishi who favoured Sonno Joi • In the meantime the western ultimatum was to take action against the Choshu. The Shogun agrees • Fear of attack makes them support Shogun and Choshu backs down

  16. Last years of the Shogunate • 1863 coup to oust the Shogun failed and the Choshu refusal to hand over the culprits led to bombardment of Choshu and Satsuma domains. Kagoshima bombed • In 1865 British warships bombed Choshu. Choshu on the brink of invasion, chose to capitulate and accept humiliating terms • 1866 the Shishi disbanded and scattered but the ideas remained dormant. • The Shishi widened and politicised the growing rift between the Shogun and Emperor • 1866 Shogun tries to attack Choshu a second time. Satsuma support Choshu • Satsuma which had so far supported the Shogun now chose to switch sides. • Many daimyo were also unwilling to see civil war break out in Japan This largely conributed to the end of the Shogunate

  17. The end game • Shogun once again tried to make more concession with the intention of consolidating his position and control over Kyoto • Shogun took the help of the French to train his troops and provide guns • The intention was to eliminate Choshu rebels who were now in positions of importance: Yamagata Aritomo and Ito Hirobumi • Secretly joined by Satsuma who followed advice of former Shishi Saigo Takamori and Okubo Toshimichi. • Secretly both groups armed themselves, the confrontation with the Choshu a second time • Simultaneously economic hardships led to riots in many of the cities • Shogun found his plans to attack Choshu not supported by other daimyo. Satsuma in keeping with its alliance failed to support the Shogun • Similar actions by other daimyo and more riots followed • Death of the young Shogun in 1867. • New Shogun Keiki was very unpopular for he planned to raise more taxes

  18. Role of the Kyoto faction? • Meantime in Kyoto the anti shogun faction managed a palace coup • Emperor Komei had died( poisoned?) and he was succeeded by 15 year old. • 1868 The anti shogun faction were led by Iwakura Tomomi entered the palace and vested him with the powers to rule • An imperial rescript demanded the dissolution of the Shogunate and the resignation of the Shogun • In this venture the four rebel clans ( Choshu Satsuma Hizen and Tosa) joined forces • Brief fighting but the Shogun’s navy surrendered in 1869 • The Revolution was complete

  19. Meiji restoration in 1868 • Office of Shogun discontinued • Shogun resigned rather than cause bloodshed and accepted a pension • Some elements who supported the Shogun fought on but surrendered by 1869. • The Shogunate ended after after being in existence for almost 800 years