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LIST  July 2018

LIST July 2018

Subject:

Re: Why no celebration of Meiji Restoration 150th anniversary?

From:

Lance Gatling <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

NBR's Japan Forum <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 1 Jul 2018 17:16:13 +0900

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (84 lines)

Interesting question. But perhaps one that only interests foreigners.

Was the Meiji Restoration _ever_ celebrated in Japan, even in the 1930s?

I think that one would find much greater interest and national pride
in the Meiji Constitution, or the National Foundation Day. The 1940
Tokyo Olympic Games were to coincide with the planned massive 2600th
founding celebration since the mythical founding of Japan in 660BC;
that was an explicit part of Tokyo's appeal for the Games.

I don't recall ever seeing any nostalgia, in fact any writing for the
specific date of the Restoration from any of the 1920-1930s
ultranationalists; part of that of course could be that the folks that
suffered under then finally broke the power of the Chôsatsu clique
were not in any mood to celebrate their success. But they had tons for
the Emperor Jimmu and his founding of the Empire.

Lance Gatling



On Sun, Jul 1, 2018 at 4:28 AM, Berger, Thomas <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Richard Katz raises an excellent point, one that astonishes me when he
> points it out.
>
> I think that it really goes to what I see as being the great disjuncture in
> Japanese national identity. The Meiji restoration is indelibly and
> inextricably linked to the creation of the imperial system, Tennosei, which
> in turn is tied to the disaster our collapse of democracy and the
> catastrophe of the Second World War.
>
> The people who would be most inclined to celebrate the restoration are also
> the ones who want to reinsert elements of the Imperial System into
> contemporary Japan - like reading the Imperial Rescript
> On education in the schools, making singing Kimigayo compulsory at
> graduation and sports ceremonies and having the PM and the emperor regularly
> visit Yasukuni. As result I imagine many Japanese, even while they might
> recognize the important role the restoration played in creating modern
> Japan, must feel uncomfortable celebrating the restoration.
>
> In Germany there is a similar lack of interest in celebrating the creation
> of modern Germany in 1872.
>
> Thomas Berger
> Boston University
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Jun 30, 2018, at 10:00 AM, Richard Katz <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> One day, a few  months back, I suddenly realized it was the 150th
> anniversary of the Meiji Restoration and yet I had heard nothing of any kind
> of commemoration or celebration in Japan. To me, it seems the founding of
> modern Japan, on a par with, say, the French Revolution for France. I’ve
> asked a few friends and they tell me that there are different views about
> its merits and demerits, that it just one of a number of milestones in
> Japanese history, etc They did not exhibit any of the emotional attachment
> that attaches to me that the American or French Revolutions have for their
> citizens—despite all the legitimate controversies that apply to these
> events, particularly the reign of terror. I don’t know enough about the UK
> or Italy or Germany to compare.
>
>
>
> I’d love to hear from experts about why this is the case, about how it is
> taught in the schools, etc.
>
>
>
> Richard Katz
>
>
>
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>
>
>
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