This book examines Meiji Japan (1868–1912) to demonstrate the complex interplay between Japanese nation-building and the country’s engagement with global processes. "Meiji Japan" refers to an era (1868–1912) that—as experienced from within—had an undetermined duration and extent. The length of the emperor’s reign was not preordained, and the country’s territorial borders were not as well-defined or wide-reaching at the start of the period as at the close. Questions about who was represented by and who identified with the emerging nation-state remained in flux as Japan’s modern political, economic, legal, and sociocultural parameters were being created.
Basing their inquiries on the idea of Meiji Japan in global history, the authors examine Japan’s rise on the modern world stage, focusing on the individuals—whether government leaders, intellectual elites, indigenous communities, or colonial migrants—who both shaped and were shaped by this era of global connectivity. Localized challenges and supranational opportunities alike involved crossing borders, territorial expansion redefined marginalized groups, and diverse populations moved to and from colonized and foreign lands. This volume seeks to excavate how people back then positioned themselves in a specific time and place, just as people in the twenty-first century seek to give Meiji Japan meaning at the sesquicentennial commemoration of its ending.
The chapters in this book were originally published in the journal Japan Forum.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Meiji Japan in global history
Catherine L. Phipps
2. Recording violence as crime in Karafuto, 1867–1875
3. Fukuoka’s Meiji migrants and the making of an imperial region
4. Smithian rhetoric, Listian practice: the Matsukata ‘retrenchment’ and industrial policy, 1881–1885
Steven J. Ericson
5. Women, missionaries, and medical professions: the history of overseas female students in Meiji Japan
6. The nationality law and entry restrictions of 1899: constructing Japanese identity between China and the West
Eric C. Han
7. Imagining an Islamic Japan: pan-Asianism’s encounter with Muslim missionaries
8. Japan’s global peace moment
9. Meiji Restoration vacation: heritage tourism in contemporary Kyoto
Catherine L. Phipps is Associate Professor of History and Director of International and Global Studies at the University of Memphis. She is the author of Empires on the Waterfront: Japan’s Ports and Power, 1858–1899 (Harvard University Asia Center, 2015).