The reign-period from 1868-1912 during which the Meiji emperor (Meiji tenno) was enthroned. It marked Japan's transformation from the feudal society of the Tokugawa period to a modern industrial state. It was a new era of direct imperial rule, portrayed by its advocates as a 'restoration' of ancient practice (see Fukko-Shinto) which started with the collapse of the last Tokugawa shogun's government in 1867 and included brief civil wars (see Yasukuni Jinja). The first years of Meiji were marked by nationalist and anti-feudal sentiments roused against Buddhism which was officially characterised as a 'foreign' religion and disestablished (see Shinbutsu bunri). The Charter Oath of April 1868 promulgated by the young emperor Meiji, whose court was moved to Tokyo, set out a broadly modernising framework of government which was gradually elaborated through constitutional reforms and imperial rescripts though the Meiji government remained essentially an oligarchy. The primary aim of the enterprising Meiji regime was to transform Japan as rapidly as possible into a rich and strong country, indeed empire, in conformity with the Western model of the industrialised nation-state. To this end, while elements of Tokugawa Confucian thought such as loyalty and filial piety were re-emphasised for the ordinary people, and many useful aspects of the Tokugawa administrative structure were preserved, archaic elements of the ritsuryo system such as the idea of saisei itchi and (briefly) the jingikan were revived at least in name to enhance the sacred and inviolable status of the emperor and provide an ultimate focus for national loyalty. From 1868 onwards a central-ised imperial religious cult focusing on the divinity of the emperor was gradually developed which incorporated shrines as well as schools and other civil and military organs of the state. This came to be identified as 'Shinto' and was from the 1890's declared 'non-religious' (i.e. supra-religious) to differentiate Japan's supposedly indigenous sacred heritage from 'foreign' faiths such as Buddhism and Christianity. It should be noted that the term 'Meiji' is often used in a very broad sense to refer to the whole Meiji, Taisho and part-Showa reign-periods from 1868 right up to 1945 when the system of government next underwent radical change. Shinto-related events and personalities in the Meiji period are too numerous to list here and can be found throughout the dictionary. Most of the salient features of modern Shinto were established as a result of government legislation in the Meiji period.

A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. .

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  • Meiji — (Japanese: 明 bright, brilliant 治 reign, government ) may refer to: Meiji Restoration, the revolution that ushered in the Meiji period Meiji period the period in Japanese history when the Meiji Emperor reigned Emperor Meiji of Japan Mutsuhito, the …   Wikipedia

  • Meiji — tennō, 1873 Meiji (jap. 明治天皇 Meiji tennō; * 3. November 1852 in Kyōto; † 30. Juli 1912 in Tokio), mit Eigennamen Mutsuhito (睦仁) war der 122. Tennō …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Meiji — es un término japonés que puede referirse a: Restauración Meiji, revolución ocurrida en Japón entre 1866 y 1869; Era Meiji, período en la historia de Japón durante el cual reinó el Emperador Meiji; Emperador Meiji, Mutsuhito, emperador de Japón.… …   Wikipedia Español

  • meïji — Meiji (ère), au Japon, ère du gouvernement éclairé ou ère des Lumières (1867 1912): l empereur Meiji tennô, reprenant le pouvoir aux shoguns, accomplit des réformes profondes, inspirées par l Europe occidentale. meïji [mɛjʒi] adj. ÉTYM. V. 1900,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Meiji — (»erleuchtete Regierung«), Name der Regierungsperiode des jetzigen Kaisers von Japan. Man zählt die Jahre von seinem Regierungsantritt (1868) an als 1., 2. etc. Jahr Meiji. Das Jahr 1905 ist also das 38. Jahr Meiji …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Meiji —   [meɪdʒi; japanisch »Erleuchtete Regierung«], Regierungs Devise des japanischen Kaisers Mutsuhito …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Meiji — period of rule of emperor Mutsuhito (1868 1912), which was marked by modernization and Westernization, 1873, from Japanese, lit. enlightened government …   Etymology dictionary

  • Meiji — [mā′jē′] [Jpn, lit., enlightened peace] name adopted by the emperor Mutsuhito of Japan …   English World dictionary

  • Meiji — /may jee /, n. Japanese Hist. the designation of the period of the reign of Emperor Mutsuhito from 1868 to 1912. [1870 75; < Japn meiji, earlier meidi enlightened peace < MChin, equiv. to Chin míng bright + zhì pacify] * * * (as used in… …   Universalium

  • Meiji — En Japón Meiji se refiere a: 1. Restauración Meiji, la revolución ocurrida entre 1866 y 1869. 2. Era Meiji el período en la Historia de Japón durante el cual reinó el Emperador Meiji. 3. Emperador Meiji Mutsuhito, reinó durante la Era Meiji. * *… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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