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HIST 3760- Party Rule in the Taisho Era.doc

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HIST 3760
Joshua Fogel

1thMonday February 27 2012HIST 3760APARTY RULE IN THE TAISHO ERAIntroductionTaisho demokurashii Taisho is the era of 19121926 This was not a fully meaningful unit of time The problem was that historians of those centuries liked to name periods after the reigns of the monarchThis era of Taisho demokurashii does not correspond exactly with the years of the reign of the Taisho emperor somewhat close thoughProblem of historiography large difference in opinion in national lines In general Western history the modernization school of historians looked at Taisho democracy and claimed it was great They arguedoThere was genuine movement to Western style in parliament They could point to signs of liberal democracyoTaishos developments were outgrowths of earlier periodsoThe main course of Japanese history was the Meiji period followed by the colossal defeat of Japan The main track will lead to liberal democratic governmentoProponents of this view modernization school look at postwar Japan and say it is a functioning democracy It is the oldest in Asia and it is because Japan built it on a solid foundationOpponents of the above view would be persons like Herbert Norman They would take a negative view of Taisho era constitutionism and parliament They argueoNot a democratic movement The Taisho era was not a foundation laid for democracy but rather militarism aggression and foreign expansion at expense of Japans neighbours oModern Japan has been authoritarian undemocratic More focused ongaining power Some democratic efforts made but the government crushed these mercilesslyoModern Japan has been by nature militaristic and expansionist WWII was called the 15year war because they count differently What they see in the Taisho period with parliament parties etc is the aberrationoPostwar Japan was at best a pseudodemocracy or quasidemocracy not genuine It claimed that postwar democracy developed from prewar rootsGeneral Nogi Maresuke 18491912July 1912 the Meiji emperor died he was emperor for 4445 years He had come to symbolize an era He personified Japans transformation from feudal economy to a modern estate Unequal treaties had been rewritten and so on Right after his death General Nogi and his wife committed suicide by seppuku the honour suicide after leader diesDuring the Japanese war Nogi was under intense criticism because of his
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