First Edition   ©2017

Politics and Society in Japan's Meiji Restoration

A Brief History with Documents

Anne Walthall (University of California, Irvine) , M. William Steele (International Christian University)

  • ISBN-10: 1-4576-8105-6; ISBN-13: 978-1-4576-8105-9; Format: Paper Text, 208 pages

In the history of nineteenth-century imperialism, Japan is unique among non-western countries for its ability to fend off foreign domination. In this volume, Anne Walthall and M. William Steele examine how the tumultuous events happening inside Japan in the early nineteenth century contributed to this resiliency against western supremacy. The Introduction familiarizes students with the political and social conditions that contributed to Japan's development in the 1800s and details the events and causes of the Meiji Restoration, known among historians today as the Meiji revolution. The documents, some translated here for the first time, provide students with a range of perspectives on how Japanese people in the nineteenth century thought and acted in dealing with foreign pressure and domestic discord. Document headnotes, a chronology, questions for consideration, maps, and a bibliography all enrich students' understanding of Japan on the brink of modernity.
“This is a remarkable collection of valuable documents that have hitherto been scattered near and far, now gathered with purpose to enrich and deepen our understanding and enrich our experience looking into the years of turmoil that came afterwards to be known as ‘The Meiji Restoration.’”
--Theodore F. Cook, William Paterson University