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Above the CloudsStatus Culture of the Modern Japanese Nobility$
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Takie Sugiyama Lebra

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780520076006

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520076006.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 16 May 2022

Creating the Modern Nobility

Creating the Modern Nobility

The Historical Legacy

(p.28) Two Creating the Modern Nobility
Above the Clouds

Takie Sugiyama Lebra

University of California Press

This chapter provides a historical sketch of the nobility. The basic structure of the nobility under study came into formal existence in 1884 as the result of an imperial ordinance called the kazokurei. The embryo had taken shape fifteen years before, which calls us back to the dawn of Japan's modern era, the Meiji Restoration. The Meiji Restoration, launched in 1868, was a turmoil of sociopolitical events and transitions. When the Tokugawa shogunate, which had endured for over two and a half centuries, was defeated in the civil war of 1868–69, it collapsed, together with its feudal system of control. The winning camp thrust the thus-far marginalized imperial throne, then occupied by the sixteen-year-old Emperor Mutsuhito (known posthumously as Emperor Meiji), onto center stage of the political theater as the supreme symbol of legitimacy for the newly emerging order.

Keywords:   Japanese history, nobility, Meiji Restoration, imperial throne, Emperor Mutsuhito, civil war

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