Who ruled Japan before the Meiji Restoration?

Question:

Who ruled Japan before the Meiji Restoration?

Meiji Restoration:

The Meiji Restoration marked a major turning point toward modernization in the history of Japan. The new Meiji Emperor and his supporters introduced significant changes to industry, social customs and military preparedness in the mid-nineteenth century.

Answer and Explanation:

The later Tokugawa Shogunate ruled Japan before the start of the Meiji Restoration in 1867 and 1868. It was the last feudal military government of Japan lasting over two hundred years. Technically speaking, the Meiji Emperor's father Komei ruled over Japan as a figurehead, but the shogun still held true power. The Tokugawa strove for peace of the great families (known as daimyo) and saw foreigners as a threat to the peace of the society. The rulers had initiated a closed country with extremely limited trade until the nineteenth century. The Tokugawa legally differentiated four classes of society, namely the samurai, farmers, artisans, and merchants. The shoguns also made the daimyo live part of the time in the new capital Edo and leave their families whenever they returned to their domains.


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Meiji Restoration: Causes & Effects

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Chapter 4 / Lesson 13
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Read about the Meiji Restoration and its effects. Learn when the Meiji Restoration began, its main goal, what caused it, and how it changed Japan.


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