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

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

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

CHUSHICHI TSUZUKI

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205890.003.0005

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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