Patriots and Redeemers in Japan: Motives in the Meiji Restoration / Edition 1

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In this concise but ambitious historiographical essay, Wilson argues for an approach to the Meiji Restoration that emphasizes multiple lines of motive and action.

"By bringing some very interesting critical theory to his reading, Wilson has produced a book that will shift the terms of discussion on this event."--Harry D. Harootunian

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Editorial Reviews

Addresses the question of who took part in making the Meiji Restoration. By arguing that there are many answers, that many groups of agents participated, Wilson offers a novel perspective on the decade of the 1860s in Japan, one that identifies and develops multiple lines of thought and action. Paper edition (90092-4), $14.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226900926
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2009
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 218
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Prologue: Agency and Structure in the Meiji Restoration 1
The Myth of the Meiji Rescoration 4
The Meaning of the Meiji Restoration 6
Ch. 2 Time and History in Japan 13
Ch. 3 Pax Tokugawa 29
Characterizing Tokugawa Japan 29
The Tokugawa Feudal System 31
Pax Tokugawa: Multistate Balance of Power 35
Levers of Change 37
The Realm as a Normative Concept 41
Ch. 4 Plotting Bakumatsu History: A Fourfold Narrative 43
Motives and Narratives in Writing History 43
A Matrix of Motivational Determinants 66
Reconsidering the History of Motives 73
Ch. 5 Pursuing the Millennium in Bakumatsu Japan 77
Apocalypse and Artifice at Liminal Moments 78
Millennial Dreams as Models of Social Action 83
Salvation Sects: Tenrikyo and Konkokyo 86
The Millenarian Conversion of Samurai Nativism 90
Ch. 6 What the Hell! Ee ja nai ka Dancing as a Form of Protest 95
Falling Charms and Dancing Parties 95
Paralysis of Central Space 102
Foreign Views of ee ja nai ka 104
Urban ee ja nai ka in Kyoto 107
Rural ee ja nai ka in Harima 109
A Historiographical Question 111
A Revolutionary Situation? 113
Ee ja nai ka the Movie 117
Ch. 7 Epilogue: The Crowd in the Meiji Restoration 123
A Funeral in Fujisawa 123
Carnival or Festival? 125
Notes 133
Glossary 157
Bibliography 171
Index 195
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