Meiji Restoration timeline
Meiji restoration timeline dates back to the 19th century when Japan was ruled by a Shogunate. This was a weak and medieval empire that lacked the ability to control all its domains as well as defend itself from the threats and influence of western nations. Meiji restoration can be defined as a political revolution that took place in Japan in 1868 bringing the Tokugawa shogunate or military government to an end. This revolution ended the Edo or Tokugawa period and nominally returned the country’s control to the imperial rule directly under emperor Meiji. Contextually, Meiji restoration was identified with a subsequent era of political, social and economic change that led to the westernization and modernization of the nation.
Detailed Meiji restoration timeline
To understand this political revolution better, it is important to know the events that led to the restoration. The restoration itself mainly had a coup d’état that resulted from the peasant uprising due to famine. The shogunate was toppled by the combined forces of anti-Tokugawa clans, the Satsuma and Choshu.
Here is a detailed timeline of the Meiji restoration:
1603: Beginning of the Edo period.
1635: The issuance of Sakoku Edict or a foreign policy of isolation occurs.
1846: Emperor Komei, Meiji Emperor’s father assumes the country’s throne.
1852: Sachinomiya or Prince Sachi, who became Meiji Emperor later, is born.
1853: The arrival of Commodore Matthew Perry in Edo Bay or modern Tokyo.
1854: Signing of the Kanagawa Convention.
1863: The “Order to Expel Barbarians” is issued by Emporer Komei. This results in the attacks of foreign ships and foreigners ending in retaliation from the foreign forces.
1866: Tokugawa Yoshinobu or the last shogun takes the role of a shogun.
1853 – 1867: Japan ends the Sakoku polices moving from a military, feudal shogunate rule into a Meiji government.
1867: Resignation of Tokugawa Yoshinobu from his shogun role.
1867: Sachinomiya takes over the throne becoming Meiji Emperor following his father’s death.
1868: Restoration of the power of the Emperor as the sole ruler of Japan.
1868: Issuance of the Meiji Restoration Charter Oath happens.
1868: Japan capital moves to Edo from Kyoto. Endo was renamed Tokyo, meaning East Capital.
1872: Creation of the National Army and a conscription requiring men of every social standing to serve for a minimum of three years.
1876: The government bans wearing samurai sword.
1877: Japan holds a National Industrial Exhibition for the first time.
1877: Satsuma Rebellion occurs. This was an armed uprising that involved a fight between dissented samurai and the Meiji government. Victory went to the forces that were trained by the new government using western tactics and technology. The rebellion ended within a year.
1879: Meiji’s son who became the heir, Prince Yoshihito, is born.
1889: The Meiji constitution became effective.
1890: A parliament is elected.
1894-1895: Sino-Japanese War is fought. Japanese won over china because of the use of superior technology and tactics that were acquired from the Western countries and the formation of a national military.
1904-1905: The Russo-Japanese War is fought and Japan defeats a western power.
1925: All men in Japan are allowed to vote.
Between 1890 and 1930, the Meiji restoration was accompanied by expansion and industrialization, also called the Imperial Japan. This was an era of great economic and social change.
Why it is important to know the Meiji restoration timeline
It is only when one knows the time when the events of this restoration or political revolution occurred that one can understand their impact on Japan as a country. It is apparent that Meiji restoration had political, economic and social effects on Japan. Some of these effects influence even the modern Japan. Understanding these effects and their influence on Japan requires understanding of the timeline of this restoration because it is what caused them.
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