ASIA212Varley

It should not be supposed that the opposition to over

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Unformatted text preview: rchy was the press. A number of the embryonic newspapers of the early Restoration period had been staffed by former shogunate officials hostile to the new Satsuma and Chòshû leaders in the government. With the continued growth of a modern press, this opposition was taken up by journalists who were largely former samurai excluded from government by han cliquism. Many members of the emergent political parties, in fact, first got their start in journalism. Moreover, many newspapers founded in the early Meiji period were intended by their founders to serve as mouthpieces for specific political and social views, almost invariably of an antigovernment tone. Hence, journalism in modern Japan was in its early development distinctly a journalism of protest, and it was to a great extent for this reason that the Meiji oligarchs so readily and frequently attacked journalists through the issuance of restrictive press laws. The temper of the 1880s in Japan was markedly different from that of the 1870s. For the first decade or so following the Restoration, the Japanese had pursued with great, and often indiscriminate, enthusiasm the remaking of their country on Western lines. In the 1880s, they not only modified their earlier, naive admiration for the West but also began to reassess and find new value in their native traditions. For the oligarchs, it became incumbent to enunciate a coherent ideology for the state they 248 Encounter with the West were in the process of constitutionally fashioning. The way in which they did this can be seen most clearly in their policy toward education. In its act of 1872, the Meiji government had proclaimed the goal of universal primary education, and, during most of the remainder of the decade, it had sought to provide training to Japanese schoolchildren that stressed practical subjects and encouraged Western-style individualistic thinking. But, by the beginning of the 1880s, the official attitude had changed and the government now took deliberate steps both to reinstate traditional moral training in the schools and to redefi...
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2013 for the course ANTH 142 taught by Professor Hans during the Spring '13 term at UBC.

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