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Taisho period - Essay Example

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Historians are ambivalent as to put the exact borders of the Taisho period. Some of them mention 1905 - 1932 as the Taisho period, the others make this period narrower - from 1912 up to 1926. However, the majority agree to extend the period, regarding the Hibiya Riots in 1905 as the beginning, and the year 1932 as the end of Taisho democracy with the assassination of Prime Minister Inukai Tsuoshi…
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Download file to see previous pages (Minichiello S. (1998) Japan's Competing Modernities: Issues In Culture and Democracy, 1900-1930, p.3) It is also marked by serious pollution problems, resulting from Meiji industrial policy. Except for these tendencies, the health of a new emperor was weak and this fact led to the shift in political power from oligarchic clique to the parliament and democratic parties. It is customary to call this shift and the related events the Taisho democracy. (Minichiello S. (1998))
Large, Stephen S. (1983) states that at the beginning of the century a growing mass consciousness represented a main tendency in social life. Due to increasing taxation, people wished to play more significant role in social life, thus increasing a number of voting people. One of the most remarkable demonstrations of popular unrest was Hibiya Riot that occurred because oligarchs didn't inform people about the events of war.
In the period between 1905 and 1918 economy of Japan changed from agricultural to industrial, while Japan was looking for export market for the new commodities. One of the most remarkable facts of social life during Taisho period was the growth of the population. The agricultural pattern remained the same, but industrial cities grew. This growth may be either a result of the migration from countryside to the cities or a natural growth of the urban population.( Minichiello S. (1998) Japan's Competing Modernities: Issues In Culture and Democracy, 1900-1930, p.7)
The researches distinguish between agricultural and non-agricultural economy in prewar Japan. They point out the following reasons for this differentiation: the agriculture reached the top of its output, for greater income it should have changed to larger-scale agriculture but this process could conflict with the social structure; the economic consequences of imperialism, when colonies produced food, depressing agricultural prices in Japan; the power of landlords remained the same so the tenancy problem wasn't resolved. (Minichiello S. (1998) Japan's Competing Modernities: Issues In Culture and Democracy, 1900-1930, p.7)
Large, Stephen S. (1983) writes that after the 1st World War the exports failed, and inflation grew. These circumstances aroused economic opposition to governing classes; a number of mass demonstrations grew, as well as the popular demand for participating in social life. In December 1912 collapse in the Cabinet of Saionji Kimmochi seemed to become a factor promoting the ideas of democracy, bringing broad political rights through universal suffrage and true parliamentarism. Yoshino Sakuzo was one of the representative thinkers (1878-1933), who invented the notion of minponshugi (people-centrism). Yoshino's idea of minponshugi enjoyed great publicity from 1916, and still is regarded as the ultimate liberal idea of prewar Japan. Yoshino's notion of minponshugi called for the redistribution of power and wealth in Japanese society by institutionalizing the political system of popular representation; and, by employing various social programs to protect the weak and poor.
A new society - Shinjinkai appeared in December 1918. It based upon the dual platform - liberation of mankind and rationalistic reform of present day Japan. This organization was influenced firstly by English social democracy, and then it experienced the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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