Isaac Meyer

Historian, teacher, podcaster

Tag: minken

Episode 311 – Freedom and People’s Rights, Part 2

How do you talk about a movement without clear leaders? By breaking down its different levels. Plus, a look at how things came to a head between the Freedom and People’s Rights Movement and the government.


Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan

Ikegami, Eiko. Bonds of Civility

Irokawa, Daikichi. The Culture of the Meiji Period


A woodblock print showing the assassination attempt on Itagaki. The moment was highly sensationalized in the press, with the Jiyuto-aligned papers blaming the government and its supporters for incitement and the government claiming this was all just a renegade act. This particular print is pro-Itagaki; note the defiant pose as Aikawa is arrested.

Chiba Takusaburo, leader of the Itsukaichi discussion group.

One of Chiba’s writings. This one is called the “Odoron”, or “Treatise on the Way of Kings.” The idea of “Odo”, the way followed by a true king, is a big part of Confucian historiography; Chiba is showing his continued Confucian impulses here.

There’s now a statue in Gifu Park commemorating the assassination attempt.


Episode 310 – Freedom and People’s Rights, Part 1

This week, we’re starting a look at the Jiyu Minken Undo — the Freedom and People’s Rights Movement — by talking a bit about its ideological origins as well as some of the movement’s early leaders.


Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan

Ozaki, Yukio. The Autobiography of Ozaki Yukio

Bowen, Roger W. Rebellion and Democracy in Meiji Japan.


Eto Shinpei’s participation in the Aikoku Koto helped destroy that party almost as soon as it got off the ground — when he was beheaded for treason the party disbanded to avoid coming under scrutiny because of its association with him.

Nakae Chomin as a younger man.

Itagaki Taisuke as a young man (c. 1880).

The Toyo Jiyu Shinbun, or Eastern Free Press. It was suppressed after slightly more than a month of publication.

Okuma Shigenobu. Tragically I had a hard time finding pictures of him from the early Meiji Period, but the English style suit here definitely shows off his Anglophilia.

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