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Japan's Government: Through time and today
Transcript of Japan's Government: Through time and today
PAAC 2012 Japan Summer Study Tour
Individual Project - June 8th, 2012 Thesis: According to Shintoism legend, the Japanese islands were created circa 600 BCE by the sun goddess whose descendant, Emperor Jimmu, established dominion over the region. Overtime, progression during the Edo period was marred as a result of political conflicts amongst shoguns, daimyos, and the imperial family in strife of dominance and control. This system of government was proved dysfunctional when the Tokugawa Shogunate failed to protect the region from invading colonial forces, which led to the Meiji restoration in hopes of unifying and strengthening the country once again. The Meiji restoration marked the end of Japan’s feudal era resulting in its government known today. Established by a newly drafted constitution, Japan’s government exists as a constitutional monarchy with a bicameral parliamentary legislature, with the emperor symbolizing head of state. Today, the system of government keeps with tradition while conforming to modern practices of sovereignty. PART #1 : GOVERNMENTAL HISTORY A. Legendary Origins of the Japanese Empire 600 BCE Present 2002 March (cc) image by jantik on Flickr PRESENTATION TIMELINE Body Body Body Body Body Body Body Body Body Reflection and Interaction Activity Shintoism - Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters) 660 BCE 1. Broken into four main parts: Kamitsumaki Nakatsumaki Shimotsumaki Emperor Jimmu (660 BCE) 1. Descendant of Ameratsu (Sun Goddess)
2. Legend or Myth?
3. Conquering villages as he traveled East
4. Founded the Imperial Dynasty B. Edo Period (1603- 1867 CE) Tokugawa Ieyasu 1. Early Childhood
2.Rise to Power A period of military dictatorship and rule lasting over 250 years by the Tokugawa family; time where progression and power were of concerns Progression Growth was prevalent throughout all aspects in society, major emphasis is placed on agricultural production affecting social and political structure as a whole. - Social Order 1. Strict Laws that Governed peoples lives including nobility
2. 4 Social Classes
- warriors, farmers, artisans, merchants Political Structure 1. Ieyasu was conferred the title by the Imperial Family
- Keeps order and General for the head of state
2.Daimyo (Territorial Lord) subordinate to Feudal ruler/military dictator
1. Elimination of threats to authority
2. Influence by foreign missionaries and merchants C. A Dissolving Nation and the Meiji Restoration The Meiji Restoration was a moment in Japanese history leading up to a climactic point in 1868 where political power was rightfully returned from the Tokugawa family to the Imperial family, while establishing a new structure of government modeling western parliaments. During this time span Japan endured extensive political, social, and economic growth and reform which were fundamental changes to how this country is today; marking the end of its feudal era. Emperor Meiji: November 3 1852 - July 30, 1912 CE 1. Matured in a politically unstable environment
2. Political Struggles
3. Symbolizes the transformation of old and new Japan Key Notes and Factors 1. American Commodore Matthew C. Perry (US NAVY - Open Ports)
2.1866: Satsuma Choshu Alliance and Saigo Takamori and Emperor Komei
3. November 9 1867: End of the Tokugawa Shogunate (Yoshinobu #15)
4. Emperor Meiji (Enlightened Rule) - January 3, 1868 Proclomation
5. Societal Change Meiji Ishin - Revolution - Renewal "The contrast between that which preceded the funeral car and that which followed it was striking indeed. Before it went old Japan; after it came new Japan." – New York Times D. Drafted Constitutions Prior to the Meiji Restoration, Japan had no official document outlining the principles and roles of the government and rights vested to the nation's citizens. This lack of structure is also reason for the political conflicts that occurred in the past and today. Constitution of the Empire of Japan (Meiji): November 29, 1890 1. Drafting Process - American (liberal) and British (too much power) were rejected, modeled after Germany
2. New Political Structure
3. Emperor to have power shared with elected Diet Constitution of Japan (Postwar): May 3, 1947 1.Drafting Process - Meiji Outdated
- Postdam (WWII)Declaration, Washington to impose new structure
2.Peace Constitution: Article 9 - Prohibition to wage war
4.Changes in Political Structure PART #2: JAPAN TODAY E. The Emperor of Japan "symbol of the state and unity of the people"
- Postwar Constitution 1. Role/Duties
-Power in name, ceremonial not exercising sovereignty F. National Diet of Japan The National Diet or Kokkai is a bicameral legislature established by the Constitution of Japan, comprising of a lower house (House of Representatives) and a upper house (House of Councilors), each with elected officials. The Prime Minister is elected by this legislature. G. Local Governments Government is a unitary national government not Federal
-Divided into 47 Prefectures
-Prefectures are dependant on central (national) for funding H. Present Complications and Global Influence -March 11, 2011: Great Tohoku
-6th Prime Minister in Five Years
-Economic Influence - we owe money to Japan Conclusion Japan's government throughout history has faced many difficult challenges and obstacles usually caused by conflicts amongst individuals vying for political power and control. We can compare this to today to the time of the shogunates in how political leaders strive to dominate the government. Get into groups of 5; you will be role-playing into the shoes of the government officials 1. Tokugawa Period
2. Meiji Restoration
3. World War II
4. Present Day 1603CE 1868 1890 1947 2011/