1st Edition

Meiji Japan in Global History

Edited By Catherine L. Phipps Copyright 2022
    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    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 meant people were in motion, as territorial expansion redefined marginalized groups, and as 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 start.

    The chapters in this book were originally published in the journal Japan Forum.

    1. Introduction: Meiji Japan in global history

    Catherine L. Phipps

    2. Recording violence as crime in Karafuto, 1867–1875

    Takahiro Yamamoto

    3. Fukuoka’s Meiji migrants and the making of an imperial region

    Hannah Shepherd

    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

    Hiro Fujimoto

    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

    Ulrich Brandenburg

    8. Japan’s global peace moment

    Simon Partner

    9. Meiji Restoration vacation: heritage tourism in contemporary Kyoto

    Jennifer Prough


    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 (2015).