This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
David L. Ho;}ell
See Bu~o lnsh!, Seji ~enmonroku [c. 1816], vol. 1 of Honje Eijiro et a1., eds., Kinsei shahai keizai sosbo, 12 vols, (Tokyo: Kaizosha, 1926),271-274.
Mary Elizabeth Berry
42SeeH. D. Haro~tunian, T.hings Seen and Unseen: Discourse and Ideology in Tohugaioa Nativism (Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press, 1988). 4JTs~kada Takashi, "Mibun shakai no kaitai: Osaka Watanabe muraNishihama no jirei bra," Rehish] h yoron 527 (March 1994): 73-99. "Thomas C. S~ith~ The Agrarian Origins of Modern Japan (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1959), remains the standard treatment of this process.
Public Life in Authoritarian Japan
1 develop this point more fully in Howell, Capitalism from Within, 44-49, 88-92. ORIENTA TrONS
A ROBUST PUBLIC SPHERE coexist with an authoritarian state? The question cuts to the bone of Japanese politics before 1945. Pushed hard, most historians of Japan would answer (if guardedly) "no." My own answer is "yes," on the condition that we detach the public sphere from the telos of democracy. The authoritarianism of Japanese regimes before the Allied Occupation is a simple matter of fact. Throughout the early modern period, hereditary martial elites monopolized the coercive powers of governance. During the better part of the modern period sovereignty resided in the monarch, who was advised by appointive, supra parliamentary organs of rule. Independent of popular control, pre-occupation regimes remained unfettered, too, by popular rights. Neither in law nor in practice did unconditional freedoms of speech, assembly, or belief protect the social voice. Censorship and surveillance attended all social representations. The break came by fiat. The Allied-drafted constitution of 1946 declared the "Japanese people" both sovereign and possessed of "eternal and inviolate" human rights. No indigenous democratic insurgency before World War II had anticipated the change. The liberal vanguard had embraced the ballot but not any consequent surrender of imperial authority, the dignity of the subject but not any consequent entitlement of the citizen. AN
Mary' Elizabeth Berry is professor of history at the University of California at Berkeley.
where detecting just what did go wrong remains an Important enterprise. are we to understand the relationship between state and society in Japan' before the break? Do we find a "public sphere" of nonofficial opinion and voluntary action that was brought to bear. as a legitimate extension of an autonomous society. party and union formation. The final flaccidity of the public sphere. The repression of the 1930s was no surprise turnaround but rather the characteristic modus operandi of a supremacist state. Other gains-from Japan's recognition as an international power to its penetration of world markets-nour- r-. and radical political movements-that . though never negligible. The most optimistic case for the public sphere comes from the "gradualists" (as I shall call them). using chauvinist schools to incapacitate free thought. If it could tolerate a limited party politics convergent with its own interests. others on the social torpor enforced by authorities). at least If we presume both an inherent competition for power between state and society and the likelihood that a driven tenacious society will win. nonetheless. that state steadily fought both liberal and leftist society through controls on speech and assembly. and the imprisonment or execution of radical dissenters. society ten? to merge in Japan: the state absorbed a society . all of them attentive to the ultimate weakness of a public sphere that. the problem.2 At the other end ofthe spectrum. the academy. 3 A classical question organizes the debate between the gradualists and the realists: who had the upper hand in the competition between state and society? For the other two parties to discussions of Japan's public sphere the question turns not on competition but on corruption: what infected the public sphere internally? Perhaps more keenly than the optimistic gradualists. habits of feudal deference and an acute backwardness. Hence. the "realists" find a persisz_. economic as well as military-that amplified the role of authority.rnay saw a flourishing popular press. Infantilization. they are alike in finding the liberality of the gradualists chimerical. The state tried to choke liberal energy in the cradle. Against punishing odds. rampant militarism. Never inevitable. tently repressive state. society gained leverage over the state. heterodox philosophy and social dissent in burgeoning academies and a c~:itique of norm. successive regimes improved most standards of life. whose departure point IS normally the Meiji period. the survival of an authoritarian state largely accepted by Japanese subl. was never strong enough either. ).J lacking seH-consciousness and the capacity for autonomous ac. The debate tends to center on four positions. Not only did the Meiji oligarchs anticipate the more ambitious agendas for reform (from public education and conscription to private land ownership). they believe..' But most scholars find such claims untenable. was the preferred. mounting diversity in religion and schooling.ects seems anomalous. might well have overcome historical disadvantages as well as state repression. Given evidence of a healthy public sphere. The "materialists" tote up the gains provided by the state.ative culture throughout the theater and \iterary clr~les. these parties discern enormous potential in public life-particularly in the press. and voluntary organization of virtually every sort. Mode. these presumptions dominate his~orical circles. it came from within. and the colossal failures of a leadership in crisis. Softer versions echo in claims that state and . and townspeople. Indeed. on state power? SO~l1e historians deny altogether the existence of a Japanese public sp~ere b~fore the occupation. portray a Japanese society constrained by disadvantages-notably. police harassment. Something must have gone wrong. then. .134 Mary Elizabeth Berry Public Life in Authoritarian Japan 135 How.tion. was not a matter of external crises or pernicious adversaries. the reversal of liberalism occurred with the swell of right-wing violence. A breakthrough to popular governance seemed likely between 19:18 and 1931 when political parties dominated the selection of prime ministers and their cabinets. They emphasize the docility of a public habituated to obedience or (what is much the same thing) the lurnpishness of a public that an activist state had to prod into purpose. Early modernity saw routine politi~al agitation among peasants. While the realists diverge in perceptions of the public sphere (some focus on the valor of dissenters. They are vexed by state-society relations precisely because the evidence for a vigorous public life is strong. however. These scholars.. weapon.
/inspired in good measure by a teleology that links public life to broadly democratic goals. Potential public leaders chose the favorable outcomes delivered by the state over the changes in governing process that only tireless dissent could have achieved. It remains." Only as decades of experience have exposed its perils and limits has democracy lost what in japan has long been its almost romantic character. however. that its values were not partial or immature variants on democratic themes but the very inverse of democratic values.. which inescapably shapes discussions of modern Japanese society.. Behind discussion of Japan's deformed public sphere is an "if only" mentality: if only freedom of speech or popular. Let me suggest. But I do want to suggest an alternative approach to interpretation by thinking about japan's public sphere on its own terms. the polity is founded on the values of pluralist debate and pragmatic compromise. Yet monotheism was not so much a default position. They note not only the deference of liberals to imperial sovereignty but the identification of the most principled public critics with a state that.. then . democratic governance is animated by idealism-by the exaltation of a people presumed capable of virtue and thus inherently superior as the source of legitimate rule. Since state collapse presaged chaos. the prewar public sphere aimed at neither popular rule nor unconditional popular rights. Let me begin with the proposition that. insofar as it was not a democratic regime that waged war. Society failed to tame a lawless government.' All four positions. remained their center of value.j the Pacific War. in the view of the idealists. More suspicious ot leaders than people. . The idealists are particularly concerned with the acquiescence of these principled critics to the state violence that escalated in the 1930s and 1940s. historians have also implicated a deformed public sphere.' runs the argument. further. psychological mystery.ugument tends to exculpate. AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH I have no interest in rescuing Japan's public sphere from judgments of failure.136 Mary Elizabeth Ben)' Public Life in Authoritarian Japan 137 ished patriotic confidence in the government. Because Japan moved so uncertainly along this trajectory. And they find explanations neither in materialist incentives nor in personal fears of reprisal. The argument could serve to exculpate the people. But instead the . democracy itself. In short. It must consequently tolerate a high degree of division and indecision. for example) that might have legitimated renunciation of a bad regime. indeed to hallow. review and rever- . however flawed. remain a lesser evil than an autonomous leadership. sovereignty had been achieved. however. Democracy submits government to social control because it is premised on the superiority of the people to the state. That legacy and the countervailing ideal of democratic rule have urgently determined discussion of japan's public sphere. though riven with interest." The "idealists" grapple not with worldly reward but with '-1. postwar japanese liberals remained largely free of the anxiety over democracy that has long riven a West where popular sovereignty proved no protection against state crimes. The critique acquires its power. from the shame ot . the compelling antithesis to everything repugnant in the legacy of authoritarianism and total war. even a bad state could not be renounced. the public sphere must have been i11developed. Until recently. as often complementary as they are antagonistic. Whether or not we model public spheres on the European experience. excepting the far Left. as an absolutist philosophy that hallowed the state as the best hope of humanity in secular time and space. Coupling authoritarian rule with the crimes of the Japanese state. historians tend to plot social activism on a trajectory that leads toward popular governance. an activist state undercut the resistance vital to a public sphere. the system is hammered out of cynicism: the people. particularly compromising the growing middle class that might have led it.This critique of a somehow deformed public sphere is I/. For some of its advocates. associate the survival of authoritarian rule with inadequate resistance from the public sphere-which was variously hobbled by crisis and repression or subverted by collusionist values. But for at least as many. Their explanations hinge partly on what we might call monotheism: most public men lacked-outside the state-the alternative gods (of transcendent conscience.
'. But this approach 1 mistakes the variable attributes of a system for the system itself. make sense of it. however. Agitation took three conventional forms: debate over the organization of the leadership and the very criteria for selecting it. argued that "minority rule is always government in a dark chamber" where "excesses" and "abuses" are given license. however.fficials. The evidence of a robust public sphere. authoritarianism went together in Japan with rancorous conflict against authority. that democracy and authoritarianism remain different modes of power-not points on a spectrum of development that incrementally connects one to the other. can look like movement along such a spectrum. Let us take japan's liberal theorists at their word. as well as the accompanying vitality of political culture. If democrats ultimately assign power to the people. It consequently had to tolerate the ultimate independence of leaders from public opinion. Thus he insisted that policy be set "in accordance with the people's opinions" and that suffrage be extended to guarantee a "just and equitable" government devoted to "the welfare of the people. The challenge is to reconcile . ruthless competition for and within office. clarity and transcendence in decisions. It is important to remark that the ambivalence we take for granted in democracies was no less acute in authoritarian Japan." At the same time. often vituperative. In short. were an imponderable variable-divided in interest. it had to imagine an ultimate community of national interest. to cite an eminent example. To the gradualists. However steadily we may note adaptations in the Japanese political process. their social views are as disparate as their particular formulas of rule. Yoshino rejected "the dangerous theory of popular sovereignty. remonstration against the vices and ill-judgment of leaders. Actors in Japan's public sphere presumed a vital membership in the polity without presuming control of it. the V values diverged. If there are powerful resonances here with democratic practice. Hence the use of a democratic telos may seem appropriately internal to the Japanese experience. the polity was founded on the values of responsibility and expertise in o." I"'-'. authoritarianism was animated by idealism-by the exaltation of a leadership (ultimately an emperor) presumed capable of wisdom and thus inherently superior. this authoritarian premise with the role claimed for popular. which may accord substantial roles to the people. Thus they fashion manifold versions of popular sovereignty. if authoritarians ultimately assign power to the state. Yoshino Sakuzo." embracing "loyalty to the emperor" as the "essence of our national polity. It is equally important to remark. so compelling to the gradualists. Ceding authority to a leadership. It must concede disparate visions of the good and multiple centers of value. disparate in achievement. More suspicious of people than leaders. an ideology of public service and imperial devotion.~'/ The solution. Leaders might be tempered-by fierce eligibility requirements. That public sphere aimed at the integrity of rulers rather than at direct power. For some in Japan. But for at least as many cynics. demands for wide access to leaders expected both to heed the public voice and delegate powers of governance. and the surveillance of critics. Authoritarianism elevates the state above social control because it is premised on the superiority of rulers to the people. too.138 Mary Elizabeth Berry Public Life in Authoritarian Japan 139 v sal. is real enough. any transfer from imperial to v popular sovereignty would have required a vast leap in ideological register-not movement along a spectrum. not infrequently with substantial concessions to powerful leaderships. a point easy to overlook. viscous in movement. I believe. So. Although this paradox should »: . is to regard Japan's public sphere not as the space where popular sovereignty was claimed but where leadership was scrutinized and disciplined by criticism. The people. the public did not cede the prerogative-exercised mercilessly-to harrow that leadership through agitation. Yoshino Sakuzo continued to accept the premise of authoritarian rule: the power of decision lay finally in a leadership subordinate only to a sovereign emperor. "opinion" in opposition to "minority rule. a flawed leadership remained a lesser evil than a popular cacophony. they nonetheless do ceaseless battle over the distribution and exercise of authority. But we do not have to imagine a protodernocracy to. the election of the lower house in Japan's parliament. conflating a certain resilience in practice with a conver.) sion in ideology. and open."? Like the overwhelming majority of political actors in pre-occupation Japan.
residential and marital choices." And violations of the contract invited popular remonstration with rulers-an act that could legitimately pry open a public sphere. older brother. EARL Y MODERN IDEOLOGY AND AUTHORITARIANISM: CONDITIONS Two intertwined questions concern me throughout the balance of the essay. The linkage does permit us. Thus identification as a samurai. It also permits us to ask historical questions focused on the dynamic of that logic. ( The high leadership-the shogun and several hundred daimyoemerged from a long civil war that ended in an uneasy peace premised on federation. however.dress. While yaku defined the specific (tax and work burdens). And the most obvious answer is ideological: people bore up under authoritarian rule because they had learned to believe in it. Still. the continuity in authoritarian rule across the divide invites reflection on the deeper continuities in social structure that sustained autonomous states in Japan. and lord were ideally extensions of each other rather than independent agents or contenders.rutiny-but only and indispensably under scru. artisans. tiny-was judged more tractable than mass rule. treatment before the law. giri defined an embracing ethos of service and subordination to the collective. denoted ancestry. 'a hierarchical and absolutist ideology of power left room for the notion of social contract. By linking Japan's prewar public sphere to scrutiny of the leadership rather than popular sovereignty I neither recommend the model nor diminish its consequences. the polity was based on an uncomfortable leadership. education. not permeability. In early modern Japan hereditary power centered in the shogun of the Tokugawa line (in office from 1603 until 1868) and devolved on roughly 250 daimyo who administered semiautonomous domains in a federal form of rule. First.140 Mary Elizabeth Berry Public Life in Authoritarian Japan 141 not mystify democrats accustomed to endless sallies against ignorant citizens and the representatives they choose. This legacy continued to matter: throughout the early modern period the central powers of the Tokugawa . and merchants) and regulated most aspects of being. typically in the person of the lord. status groups were interdependent parts of a polity that required equally faithful service from necessarily differentiated servants. and codes of . Although ideological arguments are invariably circular. Parent. Strength and concord in the polity required discretion. and etiquette. Still. Yet here we find the peculiar idealism of prewar Japanese politics: a responsible leadership under remorseless sc. ideological rationales for authoritarianism are not all the same. profession. This community of power also constituted the highest order in an encompassing system of social status. we balk at the possibility that authoritarianism can be congruent with nondemocratic dissent. Under the daimyo a large body of samurai officials executed the primary tasks of governance. Such an emphasis permits the long view of public life that has been vital to our understanding of public spheres in the West. diet. husband. with concluding references to the modern experience. the status system was nonetheless integral in ideology. Exquisitely discriminating in hierarchy. Finally. Further. The first question assumes that something other than repression and ignorance sustained authoritarian rule. in roles. Nor was service interchangeable. The system classified all persons in hereditary groups (most broadly those of samurai." By imagining mutuality and reciprocity between people and leaders. Certainly early modernity and modernity have a fractured relationship. the system was continuous (and essentially Confucian) in the conception of human relations. The structures and exercise of power must be tensile as r welL Two conditions of rule in early modern Japan were crucial: to both the survival of authoritarianism and the cultivation of a i public sphere. Service was not expedient work but an indispensable act of virtue and belonging. status prescribed both the formal duties (yaku) and the general obligations (giri) of the members of each order. In theory. for example. to trace an internal logic in Japanese politics without undo emphasis on anomalies. a certain resilience in ideology is hardly sufficient to make authoritarianism berable. peasants. What made authoritarian rule bearable in Japan? What form in practice did the public sphere take? I address both questions in the early modern context.
factionalism and disabling contests over precedence. the practical exercises of ownership belonged to a highly stratified peasantry. ther. most samurai were converted from fief holders resident in villages to salaried retainers resident in cities. Samurai dedicated themselves to learning and learned criticism of the regime. tax collection. A degree of autonomy derived. an often substantial gap between the prestige of high status and the embarrassment of low incomes.rai survived as an elite without land and. the elite recruited the upper stratum of agrarian society to marginal membership in its ranks . shrine societies. the samu. nonsarnurai organs. Nor were. Career profile and ambition.l" And. but the practice in early modern Japan affected very large numbers." Free with modest social honors and titles. and contended. the policy produced a strange elite (lacking. potentially. competition within a vast samurai community highly differentiated in rank. Tens of thousands of villages produced headmen. . from within. derived from the very remoteness of samurai who were neither village residents nor landholders. A second condition of rule that made authoritarianism bearable concerns the daily exercise of power-the regime gOY· )' erned through local. elite discomfort encouraged a complex psychology of leadership.ntaI1an rule. A degree of autonomy . and research on subjects as varied as agronomy and anatomy. a public voice of dissent. local councils. successful pacification created peacetime soldiers without any practical military function beyond policing. Conducive to independence and skepticism. On the other hand. underemployed. The regime effectively traded local latitude over internal affairs (such as discipline and conciliation. these near-officials also swelled dramatically the cohort of "pu blic men" in Japan-the men who legitimately assumed a public role and. those posts filled systernati~aIly after candidates completed some formal regimen of trainmg. nor any alternative discipline. . rebellious villages had developed internal organs of rule that continued to dominate local adrninstration. talent and skill. such factors led the samurai to fashion roles for themselves. where over 80 percent of the population lived. The secondary leadership-several hundred thousand sarnurai-emerged from this settlement transformed. hopes of active service. any counterpart elsewhere).. Just as important. as far as I know. On the one hand. medicine. too.onditions served to disperse and temper the weight of ~utbo. initiative followed by retreat. that could rationalize appoint. the samurai were paid poorly. by local lords. in rural villages. All regimes absorb. presumptively loyal functionaries in a polity that paid them and protected their honor. ancillary powers and men of influence. administrative posts in shogunal and dairnyo bureaucracies remained far fewer than the number of eligible candidates.g. to diverse "public" work that embraced education.142 Mary Elizabeth Berry Public Life in Authoritarian Japan 143 shogunate were compromised. Although the shogun and daimyo held proprietary jurisdiction over the land. one in persistent economic trouble. There was no Chinese-style examination system in Japan. If the leadership ideal remained tied to the sheer power of command in a vertical hierarchy of blood. Further. public works and commons) for submission to state authority. In the first instance. for those governed by the early modern polity the result was a blunted authoritarianism. Variously compromised by affiliation with their samurai masters. Thus the discomfort of the leadership was compounded of rn~n~ factors: distrust within the daimyo fraternity. again. They increasingly detached the notion of service from old valuesfrom martial proficiency. Designed to isolate warriors from the land bases and local followings that could sustain rebellion. and youth groups. the samurai made up an enormous group (:WI~h their families. As a condition of peace. up to 8 percent of the population) with lImIted. and undisciplined by system- atic trainmg. Selection was a mixed affair of patronage and parentage. the~e c. Fur. submission to individual lords. rnent and focus samurai energy. to some extent. even hereditary calling-and attached it to new ones. Perhaps m~st de~oraliz~n. and an intense anxiety over function and purpose. Caution. writing. it was also loosened substantially to value merit and public service. For those governed by the early modern polity. below the highest ranks. local variants in policy-these were the hallmarks of a system checked . the samurai were dependent. the regime effectively absorbed local powers as what I call "nonsamurai near-officials. from wartime legacies..
and suits-became staples of peasant protest. And these habits soon led grievants beyond the village-sometimes to appeal internal decisions. currency traders and lenders.i!cgitation in w0ich no no fficiafs:d~~d -'. Grievance. Coupled with an ideology ofuniversal membership and reciprocal obligation in the polity. Thus I depart from interpretations that find public action contradictory to authoritarian rule. however. and intrusions into village governance.. and membership in governing bodies.144 Mary Elizabeth Berry Public Life in Authoritarian [apan Normal Politics in the Village 145 A similar dynamic operated in the cities. Both the divisions within an uncomfortable leadership and the prominence of "nonsarnurai near-officials" in local administration mitigated the features of authoritarian command. arrogance.. THE EARLY MODERN PUBLIC SPHERE 'r Four types of activity defined Japan's early modern public sphere-the sphere of voluntary': initiative anQ. in the first instance. negotiation. communal work. status distinctions. of course. the relationship between leaders and subjects changed substantially. more often to accuse samurai authorities of ill-rule. Conflict that might have been suppressed by a martial presence or deflected to absentee au. Thus.-rvIew this . grievance arose through violations of official obligation. inadequate relief measures during disasters. authoritarian rule in Tokugawa Japan had a peculiar profile. II petitions. loans and foreclosures. \" moreover. they protested the personal misconduct of officials: bribery. potentially revolutionary. lady through uprisings-substantial enough to enter the record on over seventy-three hundred occasions-villagers enacted a collective public presence. and an active stake in decisions. Partially overlapping this community of mercantile prestige was the vast body of neighborhood elders-from tens of thousands of block associations in hundreds of towns and cities-who governed their neighbors as headmen governed their villages. Three forms of public action-uprisings.It developedwithin and as a consequence of a polity that public actors took for granted. partiality. A combination of inexperience and cultural taboo separated samurai from a market they.:··-. gold and silver guildsmen.en. They also protested what they saw as bad policy: commercial and transport monopolies that constrained their markets. Particu. Urban commoners became "nonsarnurai near-officials" largely because of the disengagement of the elite from routine commercial management. The combination of ideology and structure was crucial in opening a space for a distinctive sort of public life.. usurious lending rates. in the rhetoric of the polity.. these structures helped make that polity bearable.surrendered-again with appointments and petty honors=-ro semiofficial townsmen: brokers of rice and other major commodities. corvee demands that straitened their resources. licensed ·transporters and wholesalers. They lodged their protests. was ~ endemic-over access to water and other resources. lavish spending. It also became inherent to political life as tolerable practice. A volatile politics in agrarian Japan was guaranteed by the absence of samurai and the centrality to daily administration of village headmen and councils. p~bli~· ~~ti~n ~s systemic ·-a~~d""nOrmal. No less vehemently. a responsibility lodged firmly by samurai authorities in the village community itself. rank ignorance of local conditions.~ -til~jiQliil£<1_1_~!. But the policy also accustomed villagers to leadership. Grievance was particularly raw over the matter of tax assignment and collection. and ultimately abortive.'. emergency levies.01. crime and punishment. it inj ured parties faithful in II .F Peasants protested unfair taxes. Certainly this reliance on self-governance reflected an official intention to localize conflict and hence divert it from the regime. efforts to examine harvests and recalculate dues." In sum. Any hope that village boundaries might contain conflict was foolhardy. thorities had to be managed. by neighbors j who became practiced in grievance. Within a resolutely conservative public sphere. political organization. The documents accornpanying uprisings invoked the interdependence of status groups entangled by mutual responsibility.
landholders in Tokugawa-era villages were registered in systematic cadastres and accountable for systematic taxes imposed impersonally. The routinization of agrarian politics.~. Medieval structures of patronage and clientage withered.. The most pervasive result of such formulations was samurai schooling and employment in schools. self-appointed custodians of culture built up the samurai with ennobling images. Provoked by the high elite's resolve to break fiefdoms.t<.~. Historians of Tokugawa villages have been acutely attentive to the constraints on peasants and the conservatism of their protests. Within this context. rebuking the bad policy and the bad men 'je'opardizing thei. with time. It is a marvel of Tokugawa history that. in work and attribute. their actions exposed the major fault lines in the system. /" '~rl' I their own discharge of duty. Selfgovernment. and surely it would be corrected by humane officials mindful of rightful principles. rich in prestige and power. Indeed. . too. but to lifelong inquiry into the teachings of the masters. in many ways the samurai did not survive. were a fiction. through thousands of conventionalized uprisings. Self-cultivation. Achieved through the sort of self-cultivation other men were too busy to pursue.·ln~estments. this virtue would serve as a universal example and thus inspire concord throughout the realm. Whether grievants won immediate redress or abated future impositions. a daily reason for being.P Debate in the Academy: Toward Expertise and Merit Another marvel of the Tokugawa period is the very survival of the samurai-a huge hereditary elite without clear purpose or sufficient employment. put the regime under constraints no less real than those on peasants. ~l~t~10Ej~~~._tQ. local land control and the collective payment of taxes invested villagers in the polity. or even village-bred political habits. They held (or might hold) their own property. Yet it was not just ideology. heavier in compliance than defiance. was linked to learning-not to an instrumental education tailored .!" But the tenuous survival of the samurai owed most to a new definition of function. They surrendered part of their produce to officialsnotably to officials who did not hold property themselves and were thus uniquely dependenr-e-to support the state. social mobility. is called a samurai."a. Some samurai-brilliantly educated and luxuriously provisioned-assumed great offices and wielded considerable influence.146 Mary Elizabeth Berry Public Life in Authoritarian Japan 147 . Others-barely literate and uncertainly provided-curried horses and took in piecework. is called a samurai. It is a marvel that superfluous samurai remained landless urban tenants as villagers held on to land and a degree of local autonomy. Denied military power. Although the great majority of peasants remained marginal or dependent holders. These were diverse and contentious.§. the group ranged from the outset in rank and income and.to work. peasants also suffered from internal cleavages that broke unified resistance to the regime. And not so ironically. ." 15 Razan and successive commentators linked the samurai to virtue. that enabled protest in the public arena. moreover. more riven by minor gradations in prestige than gross divisions in power. protesters put their gravest interests beyond the reach of any but the most reckless rulers. the change objectified relations in land. movement toward change remained reformist rather than radical.ke. warning officials against widening those fissures into chasms. Notions of a coherent elite. But this is really my point. Certainly the regime propped up its deputies with legal privileges and sumptuary laws.L. protest was doubtless most conservative in effect when it was most successful. Hence villagers were ready to. The regime effectively confirmed private land ownership by villagers in exchange for routinized taxation. They constructed a samurai tradition-made of history and genealogy. too. Certainly. language and etiquette-meant to provide identities for men sorely in need of them. Unlike their ancestors. The shogunal advisor Hayashi Razan framed the foundational definition: "A man who is of inner worth and upright conduct. They began by creating academies for themselves. who has moral principles and mastery of the arts.. and participation in official bureaucracies. By defining fault lines.s)Unt. which tended to mean self-regulation within the confines of an exploitative state.h" . only exacerbated the internal enmities that worked to the advantage of the authorities.taxes declined steadily as a percentage of yields. A man who pursues learning. No more monolithic a class than the multifarious peasantry. .
and mercantile rights (abolishing monopolies along the way). An angry regime periodically found the presumption intolerable." The political commentary of samurai came from men we might call.8 Here we find the divisions within a large. The daimyo became the target of abandoned perorations for plain personal stupidity. came from "public outsiders" who wielded learning instead of status to criticize the polity. The discharge or discipline of prominent advisors was ample demonstration of the radicalness not just of their views but of impetuous counsel itself. a redefinition of service.i tially universal. where they might instruct samurai disciples." He himself was not sparing with political counsel to rulers.. Nor was it simply the poor policies of those rulers that invited opposition. Passive learning became active service as samurai both in and out of official posts voluntarily raised their educated voices-often and inventively-e-on the subject of rule. samurai intellectuals continued to press opinions generated in many heterodox academies. sometimes mixed with samurai in schools and academies. to eliminate the forced residence of the daimyo in Edo (a major source of debt). but all remained nominal members of the ruling elite. ' Commoners such as Nakae Chikuzan (1730-1804) took the point. too. state rather than person. let alone stand as judges of other men's qualifications. 'since the . which was no longer just a job." ' The identification of samurai with moral cultivation and scholarship gave purpose to an anachronistic elite. Chikuzan argued that "all human beings were born as sages with virtue" and that the studious cultivation of virtue prepared any learned man for "evaluation of the secular world. urged the shogunate to contract the numbers of priests and samurai and then put those samurai to work in industry: "It is a ridiculous thing that the courtly and military houses disdain profit. "public insiders. privilege derived from learning rather than status. Here was a second consequence of redefining the role of the samurai.148 r Mary Elizabeth Berry Public Life in Authoritarian Japan 149 since the absence of an examination system released scholars from an orthodox canon and orthodox interpretation. that group was potentially : porous. consequences. we find a changing conception of leadership. A version of the public sphere opened at the very core of.I new conception of the elite loosened the very connection be. They also practiced medicine and wrote for commercial publishers. and to cancel fixed. an uncomfortable elite. the redefinition of the samurai encouraged. foolish." The daimyo were "willful. Its crucial features-education and virtue-were poten. Chikuzan urged the shogunate to assume central direction over bullion. since they held no formal offices. and unforeseen.t' " Many of them were nonofficials. And as the academies turned out large numbers of educated men. where they might live as cultivators rather than parasitic urban stipendiaries. Unemployed samurai heaped opprobrium on men who "were scarcely fit to referee an archery contest."? The presumption throughout such debates was that men of virtue and learning had rightful access to rulers compelled to hear (if not heed) them. hereditary samurai stipends in Javor of a merit system that would base appointment and salary on performance. Kumazawa Banzan (1619-1691) condemned the deflation of rice prices that punished both producers and samurai (who in "innumerable cases" were "starving to death") and urged the shogunate to fix rice prices."1. In the process. . They learned. service discharged through dissent rather than compliance-these were the attributes of a reirnagined leadership. the samurai took to opening their own schools and roving about as freelance tutors. But it had two additional. More importantly. however.i pose to the dominant status group. Loyalty focused on '. Ogyu Sorai (1666-1728) urged the shogunate to return military men to the land. competitive leadership that tempered authoritarian rule.'! tween high status and military pedigree." And so forth. they began to detach a polity that was their prime concern from individual rulers whom they could oppose. both crucial to the development of a public sphere tied to a dissenting academy. The political commentary of commoners. First. If blood and martial profession were insufficient to rationalize and give pur. They sometimes learned from samurai teachers. Kaiho Seiryo (17551817). pompous. in Andrew Barshay's terms. in their own academies. Debate in a broader public sphere swiftly followed. Nonetheless. weak. currency.
But intrusions oscillated and failed to outweigh opportunity and meager taxes. for example-in a fashion that cast the state as guardian of private interests. merchants faced real constraints: licensing requirements. The principal barrier to circulation was language: most academic texts were written in Chinese. agrarian practice. market economics. The sources and values of this worldview : were conservative. entre. by the equally peculiar situa. merchants assumed the habitual management of market activities along with the attendant tasks of recruiting. natural orders. i. This sense of dignity is apparent in rner-. tise and self-control. even the most critical. which signified loyal service to the nation. went into commercial print. Crucially. Thus the relationship between merchants and the regime tended I toward accommodation rather than confrontation. and individual success with corporate virtue. If Tokugawa-era samurai lacked employment and opportunity. forcing openings in the public sphere.P This was not a philosophy based on the legitimate oppositional interests of private parties. We do not discover merchants pressing hard 011 authorities-for advantageous legislation or the protection of property. connecting both academics and larger audiences in mental dialogues on the polity. Exalting scientific reason and human agency. the Kaitokudo scholars discounted philosophical absolutes. • in the process. Although censorship laws forbade the publication of works on current events and members of the military houses. the cultivation there of a dissenting public voice for officials and nonofficials alike. Epistemology was the ultimate issue. enforcement was irregular. In short. and organizing labor. there were big bends in the argument. which linked fidelity to calling with service to country. they vastly enlarged commoner claims to exper. I I Spreading Information and Instruction in Commercial Print The treatises written by Tokugawa scholars did not stay in the academy.i preneurs vastly enlarged the arena of commoner enterprise. the service of virtuous and learned men was indispensable. demands for loans. Fueled by high literacy rates and expansive urban populations. entertainment and publishing. learning derived from expert knowledge and scientific analysis of lived experience. The retreat of officials from the market left vast arenas open to commoner initiative-banking and finance. and avoidable if writers used indirection instead of name-calling. . And. These arenas were not protected in law as merchant domains. in the West. training. official monopolies. and the resulting conception of a meritocratic elite-all these developments were set in motion by the peculiar situation of the samurai. Many. The polity was primary. limits on land purchases. or even the desirability of a communal voice in the governance of communities. its holders became substantial members of the polity by definition: wealth signified successful labor. Historians have identified roughly five thousand individual publishing firms that operated during the period (not including . political economy and practical policy were the subjects of research." Yet an enormous vernacular literature reached the public as well. and sage kings. But it was a philosophy that elevated learning over blood privilege in the selection of a ruling elite. though. the learned elite was to guide the less enlightened. There.i tion of the merchants." Equating prosperity with honor.' chant household codes. natural science. By seizing initiatives neglected by the regime itself. Always vulnerable to elite control. a printing explosion occurred in early modern Japan. The motion was accelerated. The dual themes-the pride in expert knowledge and the prestige of successful enterprise-were played out to their logical conclusion at the Kaitokudo academy. Still. The rise of the academy. The emphasis of the Kaitokudo scholars on worldly expertise as a criterion for leadership is inseparable from the experience of mercantile enterprise. Merchants in Japan did not play the role they sometimes played' .. periodically left to publishers themselves. Learning was not the monopoly of a closed class. banking and currency. They grounded authority in the proper human response to verifiable knowledge-knowledge of history.150 Mary Elizabeth Berry Public Life in Authoritarian Japan 151 The most notable of these schools was the Kaitokudo merchant academy in Osaka (Nakae Chikuzan's school). a situation encouraged by the absence of competition from foreign traders. manufacture and circulation." Yet we do discover subtler pressures. the codes implied that when proficient work brought wealth. merchants were surfeited. they linked good rule to expertise.
in simple language and countless revised editions. Toward the lower end of the spectrum. for example.. and manuals of farming and all manner of craft. about a fixed. print : constructed another sort of public-a body united by inforrna. however. .. By 1750. population registers.. And having imagined a public quite properly interested in itself.P The Tokugawa regime was the original author of publicness I in Japan. The most remarkable aspect of the publishing explosion was the generation. derived from official sources.. Much of the informational literature was obsessed with self-improvement. even gods of love (if the reader followed attentively enough The Great Mirror of Sex). traced the physical and social geography of most spatial units-the nation and its circuits.. the information texts moved into multiple genres covering inexhaustible subjects.. universalized relations of early modernity. Publishers produced encyclopedias and dictionaries. tion on a people now trained in . catalogues of everything from manufactures to fine art. There. many based on shogunal surveys.. forests and hiking trails. was its mutability... for example. as ' I a consumer rather than a simple object of knowledge.. geographies and travel guides.. The scrutiny of a knowable and classifiable public that began with the Tokugawa regime was continued by self-styled sociologists and ethnologists. The texts dissected individual cities.tion. for no practice was ever perfect." From cuisine to artistic cultivation. with its many individual crops and methods. from travel itineraries to schooling opportunities. it replaced a' . The disciplines of state-building removed subjects fr0111 the discrete. fanciers of fine foods.. surveys all imposed standards. \_. normative versions of the polity. and famous places.. personnel registries. Smith calls "the technologists.. In the process. But it was farming. and genealogies. of empirical texts that minutely and capaciously described contemporary life. Without directly rebuking the polity. . decorative gardeners.-. The public emerged. the commercial press drew into consciousness ever more varied characterizations of the social body. and basic national history.17 The middle spectrum was crucial. Thousands of domestic maps. impersonal . the webs of entertainment and recreation. national geography. the informational texts explored cultures and attachments made of ambition and cash. lists almost eight thousand titles in fifty-nine categories available that year : in the imperial capital. Yet their publications disclosed new asI sumptions about that public. exposing the myriad employments and market relations. first of all. Spilling beyond cartography.. primers and survey texts taught reading. provinces and cities. They were not.. corporate attachments of medieval society into the categorical. But most texts moved outside. Publishing at once imagined and helped create large audiences of the curious ready to devour social information. More important than the multiplicity of social life. local gazetteers and urban directories.Both the scrutiny of an scrutiny.state and the self-scrutiny of compliance constructed • one sort of pllblic-a body united by common disciplines and "generic attributes.. was as prescriptive as it was descriptive. Toward the upper end of the spectrum.--. they created both the notion of a public and a domain of public ) knowledge. brothel and theater zones. the literature of cultivation taught commoners to be gentlemen-more or less adequate poets.. the diverse religious practices and civic rituals that undermined one-dimensional models. Sericulture and silvaculture. in effect. and cartographic .. bringing out a thousand new: titles annually. biographical compendia. For readers and the radiating circles around them. individual neighborhoods.152 Mary Elizabeth Berry Public Life in Authoritarian Japan 153 the unregistered presses operated by the daimyo and underground' concerns). taste and choice. that consumed the men Thomas C._.: fied profit. and quantifica. And their output was high. brewing and craft production-all received attention." The literature of improvement imagined progress and glori. ritual and festive calendars. publishers may have been . work-and the endless drive toward perfection of skill-was the subject. presumptively timeless order of closed status groups and an interdependency v driven solely by virtue. and complicated. Much information... classification." They combined long observation and experimentation with wide travel and interviews to compose manuals that instructed farmers in ever better practices (from the choice of hybrids to the use of fertilizers) and urged farmers to greater refinements on their own.Systematic cadastres. A catalogue issued by publishers in Kyoto in 1692.
treated repeatedly in situations meant to disturb. It took for granted routine political engagement. silly boys living in affluence. between glamorous habitues of the brothel quarter and miserable family men. to be \ sure. moral structures collapsed. It ." An art i that disengaged human experience from political criticism was \ I an art that repressed subjectivity and sacrificed social agency. Nowhere in ./ tion-and irresistibility-of desire remained palpable. satiric painting. the divisive. The private was the realm of powerful emotion and physical passion. Removing the polity from i art. But it preserved its autonomy through a i sort of Faustian compact.] artists confined their implicit politics to the domain of human folly and private confusion. One public sphereof normal politics in the village.QqJ:nc~nd v~lue. A parallel sphere-of drama. This art was inherently political. the sphere of the private. But even in moralistic treatments. human appetites appeared as destructive powers that splintered relations and corrupted their captives. well-informed' population was accustomed to managing the agrarian and commercial sectors. Together with the literature of public information. Passion forever contended against a frail. often enough. it embraced all relations vital to social life-the relations of family and governance. property and economic exchange. it accustomed readers to the knowability of things and to the power of knowing. Yet in both cases it was dangerous because it was unruly-the source of instability . Disorder belonged to the sphere of art and play.not-its-G0m:pl~_ent:_ Theprivate signified the violation of the collectivity througl1Selfishness. and anti-social. And. often indirect commentary on matters like expertise and bullion policy into frontal demands for change. just rulers and a harmonious collectivity. Hence it was necessary to separate this realm from the public and subordinate it emphatically." Nor did they translate high. The_public_w~s th~_}?~~12_s1interdepe. By 1850 an extensively literate. often unrewarding virtue. dissent in the academy. no alternative polity raised its head. was the partisan. this compact sealed the failure of Japanese modernity. l Fo. Hierarchy was rank invention.r many modern critics.~"p~@!'~was. LEGACIES The forms of public agitation I have traced here produced a society quite different from its early Tokugawa ancestor. and almost certainly emboldened political dissent in the' public sphere proper. In that world. They honored the public-private divide. This version of the private could refer alternately to "natural" and appropriate emotion or to libertine excess. I Isolation cuts two ways. Denoting. vainglorious warriors reduced to tawdry vendettas. misers deceiving their clients. Dangerous Subjects Because it incorporated popular audiences into the public sphere of knowledge. the library of information and improvement was not a safe place. Particularly from the Tokugawa period.P . however. Disorder forever reproached the conceit of order. money.154 Mary Elizabeth Berry Public Life in Authoritarian Japan 155 fixed world with a changing one where performance mattered. samurai in hock. The chief subjects were sex. Neither was it a radical place. between brilliant entrepreneurs and feckless samurai. the samurai illusory.h. information and instruction in the book market-operated within the stretching boundaries of the polity. In exchange fOJ: official tolerance.. Writers depicted grandmothers (on- sumed by lust and obsessed with gold. the sheer exhilara. as well as social . the private also came to be associated with the mysterious. and honor. vicious. relegating to a fictive. They protected I their space from capture. the awesomeness of .its_QPposite7". artists also removed art from the polity.. a 1'. monks marrying into merchant fortunes. the "public" was a synonym for the good. moral confusion and senselessness. Fiction delighted in the contrast between happy rich charlatans and the unhappy fastidious poor. alternative world the upheaval of i: the spirit. At least from the seventh century in Japan. The art of the T okugawa period took on the deep perversity of experience. most eminently for Maruyama Masao. these works did writers break the censorship laws to create a periodical press dedicated to "news. Their world : remained orderly and gradually adaptive. and poetry-explored the underside and outside of a world that did not reliably make sense. Often enough. 29 Separation was the Tokugawa solution. fiction.
Membership in the polity and access to its leaders.•. open warlet alone a populist alternative-was never declared. and' flexibility in forms of payment. If the private sphere of art did battle against stable world views. ". Village notables led protests over land valuations and tax rates.. t!t~_p~?p}eof v).L1irty " million continued to function exceptionally well:_Taxes got colle'cted. when selfselected leaders of samurai background dismantled samurai government to build "a rich country and a strong army. vill~ge's"'~rl(j . Historians often tell the Meiji story as if reporting a typhoon. equally crucial yet often mentioned in passing. high levels of activism and dissent-more of the "normal politics" that also belonged to the Tokugawa tradition.~~ .l! . The public sphere operated within the recesses and on the terms of the polity. government at lower levels was a hectic business of perpetually redrawn jurisdictions and shifting leadership. The Tokugawa legacy lived. The astonishing development of early Meiji. was also confirmed by the self-respect that came with landholding. The questions could be universally broached. and education.~Lt.ae-y-ga11"i"ofwould-be leaders. surveying rail lines.~. amid administrative commotion. And as reform accelerated. Cut loose from a very old shogunate. and prepared."£Q.y.~ I 'r-:_"C~'~~. If there was no apocalypse. a vast number of local functionaries (old and new._$. '. lay the foundations for capitalist enterprise and industrialization. '.wrenched. . allowances for poor harvests. They also joined the urban-based movement for "people's rights" that resulted in elected assemblies at the prefectural and sub-prefectural levels..o::. No apocalypse. invariably remarked on by historians."i. and the like. But it is in the humdrum that the fascinating story of Meiji lies. then.'::.F This escalation of dissent from local problems to the very I organization of power brought to a wide public forum questions! previously centered in the academy.i'tie'.§g~~~~y .. The scope and velocity of their work. no terror. economic expertise. still catches the breath.. Convictions of membership and access resounded in the academy. while farmers retained landed wealth. they focused on . where commoner intellectuals reconceived the very criteria for leadership on meritocratic principles. They resisted central control over local government.£_~h_~~~l~ce. then catapulted into the unki.g_.~. The results shaped the Meiji experience. but in a form intensely punishing to the old leadership.1arkets-'-~o'd<-~d. even at our historical distance.. Social stability came' with. generally near poverty.Qg~tLQLQY. A storm of change seems to have broken after 1868.j The conservatism of these changes is indisputable. by the academy: the rejection of elites created by birth or tradition. running schools. and wide knowledge of public affairs. there was not much docility either.~~~~~produced the Tol~~:~J. was the society-larger and more resilient than the polity itSelf t~il_~-··. The wasting elite was left landless. The scholarship has tended to . And to advance their purposes reformers organized political parties and debating societies.'p'()lit. construct modern systems of finance. for example. because of a revolution anticipated.j Japan got on with things.> '.. that the storm outshouts the humdrum. communications. . is by Meiji incomprehensiblewltnout""l"F:-He're:" too."j". they reconceived authority in accord with the still-elitist principle of expert performance. operating postal and police systems. Increasingly. affirmed by Tokugawa ideology. Public actors remonstrated with bad officials without rejecting officialdom. Government at the top was an improvisedbusiness of transitory offices and figureheads.?-~:y..j two issues stunningly new to Meiji politics: constitutional rule and popular representation. Small wonder. property._~~perience." 156 j Mary Elizabeth Berry Public Life in Authoritarian Japan 157 mobility within status groups and along their borders._and of __in te~!:§:l_. apart whU~. and depended on. . Thus without invoking entirely novel views of power... The obverse of this settlement. They did this work.v::.iOWn-byalTIc.!Up-e. li~:~~~~~. and establish a constitutional monarchy." Over the next twenty years they would conscript a national soldiery and defeat foreign powers. . conscripting soldiers. was the confirmation of peasant landholders as owners of private. was a-society ready for continued agitation. appointed and elected) took on the hard daily challenges of appraising land and recalculating taxes. public action exploited the singular opportunities provided by the Tokugawa settlement itself. \) moveover. however.t~_Q. winning rate reductions. newspapers and journals.oper-~ted almost nor" mally. no paralysis:'A . was the disestablishment of a martial elite that was paid off with government bonds (mere pittances in the case of almost all samurai). and now legally protected.was.
the bureaucracy. Immediately vested in the polity.n9. it distributed capital advantages to landholding farmers. the land settlement discharged revolutionary ardor.he I people." no automatic privilege-and no entitled body of obvious leaderssurvived.. the settlement dispersed opportunity. according to the provisions of the Law of Election. moreover. ' We are now at the place where we began.P" This was the Meiji revolution. farmers raised their angry voices over land valuation and taxes-not their armed bodies over landholding itself." Article 37 went on: "Every law requires the consent of the Imperial Diet. factionalism.~~. identified "qualification" for most offices with success in competitive examinations. and stupidity. be appointed to civil or military or any other public offices equally. Hence the problem.158 Mary Elizabeth Berry Public Life in Authoritarian Japan 159 focus on the agrarian problems of high taxation and growing tenantry in the Meiji period.. The ultimate check on bad leaders was not a sovereign electorate.!. did constitutional structures ! mitigate the modern variant-this time in law. these problems were nonetheless attended by a certain social equilibrium. just as the systemic features of that polity had made authoritarianism pliable.h. would replace base rulers with "men of talent. constitution incorporated three further constraints on the the leadership that derived from public debate. Nowhere was this advantage clearer than in late Meiji voting rolls. indeed the opportunity. venality. but a monarch transcendent and presumptively incorruptible. the: franchise and the electoral politics it made possible moved: representatives firmly into the constellation of leadership as: one more check on high power.~L. access to leadership roles was opened and regulated. And with the opening from the 1880s of national universities-as well as staff colleges for the army. "38 Third. so." Eventually extended to all adult males. The self-selected leadership faced relentless criticism-reminiscent of the invective formerly directed at the daimyo-for partiality." The laws regulating the civil service." the guarantor of good rule. The working out of Japan's constitutional system was a dynamic process that invites the commentary of gradualists and realists.~. At the heart of the constitution was the idealist's paradox: the very emperor whose sovereignty defined authoritarian rule was also. Oligarchic autocracy was consigned to death.. and finally dependent on monarchical review. Thus the issues of constitutionalism and representation came to the fore in a society able to think. as vulnerable to divisive interests as its leaders. mutually limiting. the judiciarytwined around each other without an integrative command system short of the throne. .P Forged by two decades of public battle between the oligarchs and their opponents. A meritocracy made of schooling. of devising alternatives. as firm a principle as it had been in the Tokugawa polity. accessible through examination) became the prime determinant of mobility. As samurai and commoners began fading ! into an undifferentiated community of Japanese "subjects. where rich farmers outnumbered the samurai who could not meet the property qualifications. the Meiji Constitution hewed close to a ! conservative tradition. navy. The arms of an "octopus" government-the armed services.F Second. Indeed.P The dispersion of opportunity inherent to the land settlement continued with the early Meiji policies of universal education : and male conscription.. too. Most clearly." The authority of the leadership remained . Further. again. and police-higher education (again. I Article 19 of the constitution specified that "Japanese subjects may.s2~~k itself. sublimearrogance. the upper and lower houses. Article 35 of the constitution specified that "The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members elected by the people. materialists I . the privy council. in his simultaneous sacrality and identity with "the welfare of all t. it also revealed ferocious opposition to continued oligarchical rule. the lacerating debates of Meiji focused always on the question of where authority might properly lie. about the distribution of authority. one founded in a Tokugawa public sphere that had gradually decoupled birth . !Q__!. and of wild public infatuation with schooling. ruling institutions were many. But . First. according to qualifications determined in laws and ordinances. in original terms. from rightful power. If public discussion indicated a high degree of consent to new policies. ~Stlif. too._~l1d1Q[i~I. the ministries. Sharp and wrenching. Thus.~~4. Movement required either exquisite coordination or a direct appeal for imperial fiat.
this deflection of sovereignty 'from the person of the monarch (and an implicit elevation of the Diet) might have prepared a far deeper ideological movement toward popular rule. of which the emperor is an organ. erecting barriers against its misuse. Jansen (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press./ / ENDNOTES "For example. They inherited this problem from their Tokugawa predecessors. Revolution may have been on the way. we miss the dilemma at the core of both the constitu. 1989). Both the training ground of public men and the cathedral of a national religion of education. education. . Reischauer. 3For example.: University 1995).j tion and the public sphere. Nation in Tokyo. indicates a presumption of . 1989). N. And one of the most vigorous sites of criticism remained the academy. see Sally A. The [apanese Today (Cambridge. Knopf. the university long enjoyed an independence that made legal faculties the center of innovative theory. The weight of the evidence. :1868-1885. The checks and balances of the Meiji Constitution were . .J. 1982). public vigilance was the source of light in the dark rooms of power. And as reformers achieved the most liberal Tokugawa goal.: Princeton University Press. for if democracy required public engagement. Engagement continued to take the form of agitation against grievance-in strikes. Mikiso Hane. Rebels. 5. 161 and idealists alike. They began from the premise ! of imperial authoritarianism rather than popular sovereignty. finally defeated from within or •without. Marins B. The [apanese Social Structure. even in mass riots and marches-and. 1990). culminating in the' imperial citadel. ed. a triumphalist ideology.elitist authority-derived now. Dore (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press. Peasants. The disciplining of authority nonetheless demanded a robust public sphere. Engagement took the form. O. But if we approach that process as a poten\ tially democratic movement. gence. vol.: Press." in The Cambridge HistOIY of]apan.160 I Mary Elizabeth Berry Public Life in Authoritarian. all the more did au thori tariani sm. and Outcastes (New York: Pantheon. esp. though in a hypothetical history. from merit. 1988). Certainly it was not one impervious to a public sphere where the state remained intently under scrutiny. not protections i from the tyranny of the majority. Any such incipient movement died with the purges of academe and officialdom begun in 1935. Pa. with mounting attention. and proceeded along a course of difference rather than conver. 2For example. the sundering of authority from blood. too. But to regard it as inevitable. union protests. Japan. trans. or even in healthy gestation.1." The governing process itself remained under scrutiny. Ronald P. . for most. insisted on examination for all appointive posts. Tadashi Fukurake. 1982) and Reflections on the Way to the Gallows (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. of routine electoral politics and exacting commentary from an enormous daily press on all acts of government. "See Stephen Vlastos. Popular representation was one of many barriers."? Although Minobe himself was no democrat. . 1905-1937 (Pittsburgh. in favor of popular welfare. In the history we can recover. 426. 'The evidence also indicates an aversion to corrupt authority rather than a commitment to popular authority. and the sternest competition. For a recent work. As Yoshino Sakuzo suggested. in both law and public response. as critics fought the privileges of the peers. Yet this was not. Hastings. Also see Karel van Wolferen. It was at Tokyo Imperial University that the jurist Minobe Tatsukichi refined a notion ascendant among liberals until the Pacific War: sovereignty resides in the legal person of the state. for a thoughtful and wide-ranging analysis of state concessions to propertied interests. 1977). "Opposition Movements in Early Meiji. denounced clique-ridden ministries. The supporters no less than the critics of government worried about how the power of authorities was to be contained. intended as impediments to deviant officials. Vlasros breaks the bounds of any simple "materialist" analysis even while illuminating its most trenchant claims. Edwin Harvard University Neighborhood and of Pittsburgh Press. and consistent with the liberal tradition. Mass. Changing Song: The Marxist Manifestos of Nakano Shigebaru (Princeton. a statist ideology was pervasive. they took on the twin challenges of redefining authority and . also. that would at once defend against misrule and organize the progress of good governors. Miriam Silverberg. The Enigma of Japanese Power (New York: Alfred J. and demanded party cabinets. is to ignore the revolutionary distance that separates the sovereignty of the state from the sovereignty of the people.
The book catalogues are reproduced in (Edo jidai) Shorin ShUPP411 sbosek! moleurohu sbasei. See Barshay. "Ronald P." unpublished paper. ed. N. For Tokugawa-period publishers' catalogues. "Popular Culture. 1.Y. Andrew Gordon (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Oka Masahiko et al. '''Merit' as Ideology in the Tokugawa Period. 491 for the Seiryo quotation. "Economic Change of japan." is Robert N. 1988). Also see Edo Printed Books at Berkeley. cd.4 vols. J982). For the agrarian situation. 12For analysis of conflict within villages see Herman Ooms." in Native Sources of Japanese Industrialization. Individualism and the Making of Modern Japan (Cambridge. Bellah. Nineteenth Century. 1975) 9Irwin Scheiner. esp. James L McClain et al. . 1986). 1750-1920 (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. (New York: Columbia University Press. Peasant Protests and Uprisings in Tokugawa [apan (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Mass. 1962-1964). ed.r a splendid treatment of Tokugawa-period printing. Smith. 1983) and Andrew Barshay's discussion in "On (No) Revolution: Modalities of Historical Change in the Thought of Maruyama Masao. Also see.Y. Dore. Tokugawa Ideology: Early Constructs.: Harvard University Press. 1985).: Cornell University Press. Sasaki et al." in Japanese Thought in the Tokugau/a Period. see James White. Sydney Crawcour. The classic study in English of merchant thought. 1996). 24For censorship. (Tokyo: Nisshin Insatsu Kabushiki Gaisha. "The most elaborate treatment of the samurai "tradition" came from Yarnaga Soko. R. 2 of Sources of Japanese Tradition. Status. (Tokyo: Yumani Shobe." in Studies in the Institutional History of Early Modern Japan. and William B. Andrew Barshay. N. lSThomas C. J ansen (Princeton. See J. "Benevolent Lords and Honorable Peasants. 5. 1985). 7 one of the earlier and most vociferous advocates of returning samurai to the land. 1. Hauser. 486-492. 1968). Kinsei Kyoto shuppan bunka no ke1tkJ1ti (Tokyo: Domei-sha. "Kinsei toshi no kensetsu to gosho. Sasaki Junnosuke. (Tokyo: Inoue Shabo. "The Petition Box in Eighteenth-Century Tosa. The Taming of the Samurai: Honorific. 1975). IJFor the urban situation. The Political Writings of Ogya Sorai (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ryusaku Tsunoda et al. "Rule by Status in Tokugawa Japan. (Tokyo: Tokyo Daigaku Shuppan-kai. Shively. "The History of the Book in Edo and Paris.162 1988). Yamaga Soko Sensei Zenshu Kanko-kai. Visions of Virtue. 151-186. vol. "Kanai shikiho cho" (1695/2) in Mitsui-ke .: Princeton University Press. 1lNajita. ed. Ogyu Sorai was 17Extracts from the work of these thinkers appear in Tsunoda. 1965). in the 12For a splendid overview. Ikki: Social Conflict and Political Protest in Early Modern Japan (Ithaca. Maruyama Masao. N.J. 1962). Tetsuo Najita and Scheiner (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1982). 'Toliugawa Religion: The Va/lJes of"Pre-Industrial japan. 1990) for a convenient and substantial (though partial) list of the material that reached the public. 1995)." in The Cambridge History 13Mitsui Takahira. ed. Smith II. John W. 3 vols. 54-56. defines public men inside and outside of government and then explores their histories through exemplary biographies. KYOto-shi (Tokyo: Gakugei Sherin. Education in Tokugaura [apan (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. see Munemasa Isoo. State and Intellectual in Mudem [apan. State and Intellectual in Modern Japan: The Public Man in Crisis (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Private Academies ofTokugawa Japan (Princeton. Hall and Marins B. where titles can be searched. 4. 1993). ed. The quotations." in Iioanami koza Nihon no rekishi. Matsumoto Sannosuke.: Princeton University Press. Ariz. vol. see E. Also see Carol Gluck." in Journal of Japanese Studies 1 (1) (1974). Tokugawa Village Practice: Class. ed. 1991). 1972). Also see Donald H. vol." in The Cambridge History of Japan. "On the Meanings of Cousritutiona l Government and the Methods by Which It Can Be Perfected.: Cornell University Press. Hall. "in The Cambridge History of Japan. 56-82. 1978)." Journal of Japanese Studies 20 (2) (1994).217-239. 9 (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten. and Richard Rubinger.Fo. "The Idea of Heaven: A Tokugawa Foundation for Natural Rights Theory. in discussions of imperial Japan in the prewar period. For petitions. See 379 for the Banzan quotation. see Furushima Toshi. who compiled a systematic encyclopedia of martial society in 58 volumes. cornp. 222-284. Economic Institutional Change in Tokugauia Japan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. sJohn W. ed. John W.: Princeton University Press. see Wakita Osamu. 13Thomas C. l. 1570-1680 (Princeton. are on 1. 19J5). lOBarshay. 1968). Hall (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 6See. for example. which are Najira's paraphrases of Chikuzan. N.]. Sources of Japanese Tradition.347. see Luke Roberts. :1994). see HenJ:Y D. Kyoto no rekishi. A partial but extensive translation of Yoshino's great work. (New York: The Free Press. See the Buhe jiki. 13Quoted in Tsunoda.: University of Arizona Press. 1987).igyo shiryo. 1974). "The Village and Agriculture During the Tokugawa Period. cornp.68. "The Past in the Present. Smith. I~Chikuzan's work is discussed at length by Tersuo Najira in Visions of Virtue in Tokugawa Japan: The Kaitokudo Merchant Academy of Osaka (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. "The Land Tax in the Tokugawa Period. Sources of Japanese Tradition. and its resonance with a "Protestant ethic. 1995). 1986). and Stephen Vlastos. 169. N. "Kogi to rnibun-sei." appears in vol." in Taikei Nibon kohka-shi: Kinsel.lI1ko. (Ithaca. Power (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. vol. 4. Herman Ooms. Anne Walthall." in Edo and Paris: Urban Life and the State in the Early Modem Era. see the following note. 2d ed.J. Shido B1. Mary Elizabeth Berry Public Life in Authoritarian Japan 163 SMost eminently. Sengo Nihon no kakushin shiso (Tokyo: Gendai no Rironsha." in Postwar Japan as History. vol." IOThe only synoptic work in English on the samurai is Eiko Ikegami. Social Protest and Popular Culture in Eighteenth-Century Japan (Tucson. vol. vol. ed. in the same volume. For extra-village protest. McEwan. 5.
60 of Nihon shiso taikei)." and Andrew Gordon. N. 1988). Earl Kinmonth. The Self-Made Man in Japanese Thought (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. "Late Tokugawa Culture and Thought. Jansen (Princeton.: Princeton University Press. G. 1959). and The Life of an Amorous Woman. Marshall. 76-122 for discussion of the constitutions drafted even in remote villages. 1963)." in Koei no ichi kara (Tokyo: Miraisha. ed. and Smith. Gregory j. Also see Byron K. Sargent (Came bridge: Cambridge University Press. in Kinsei shikido-ron (vol." in Native Sources. ." The Cambridge History of japan. 1.264-273. G. The State and the Mass Media in Japan. The Meiji Unification through the Lens of Ishikawa Prefecture. Marius B. and of Deputies who have been appointed by the Emperor. 1972). and the Kyo babutae in (Shinsha) Kyoto sosho (Kyoto: Rinsen 5hotc1J. D. see Taichiro Mirani. Shikido Okagami. The prolific literature of primers and texts is surveyed in Ishikawa Matsuraro. trans. 1982). Okuma Shigenobu (New York: Dutton. Mikiso Hane (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press. Notehelfer's review of James C. 1959). "Okura Nagatsune and the Technologists. Baxter. was retained in the Meiji Constitution. 1990). Victor Koschmann (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press. Smith. "Professors and Politics: The Meiji Academic Elite. 1sThomas C. 39Michael Lewis. Minobe Tatsuhichi. "The fiction of Ihara Saikaku provides an encyclopedic view of these subjects. "The Debate on Subjectivity in Postwar Japan.164 Mary Elizabeth Berry Public Life in Authoritarian Japan 165 26Among the most remarkable city directories are the Edo sokanoko meisbo taizen in Edo sosbo. Interpreter of Constitutionalism in Japan (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. in Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 57 (1) (1997): 270-289. Rioters and Citizens: Mass Protest in Imperial Japan (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. trans.. 37For an excellent summary of constitutional constraints. Ronald Dore.: Stanford University Press. 1909). The Diploma Disease (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Furushima Toshio (vol. trans. Calif. 173-198. 2'Matsumoto Sannosuke. 1898-1932.: Princeton University Press. W. 191." Journal ofJapanese Studies 3 (1) (1977). see Kinsei hagalcu sbiso. 1985). 40The fullest study of Minobe in English is Frank O. 1967). See. Imperial Japan's Higher Civil Service Examinations (Princeton. 1976). 3-4. Kasza. Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. 2 (Tokyo and New York: Kodansha. which did not become a major source of national leadership.1918-1945 (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press." in Authority and the Individual in Japan. J6For an English translation of the constitution. Haroorunian. For discussion by the oligarchs. ed. 3'See Maruyama Masao's discussion of Motoori Norinaga in Studies in the Intellectual History of Tokugau/a Japan. N.}. 1983). trans. vo!' 6. Oraimono no seiritsu to tenkai (Tokyo: Ynshodo Shuppan. "Opposition Movements in Early Meiji. . The upper house of the Diet was to be "composed of members of the Imperial Family.l3See F. 32Vlastos. 135-176. The Culture of the Meiji Period. Maruyama Masao. 1965). vols. 1991) . Spalding. and H.178-179. Miller. 1. Also see}. vol. . Victor Koschmann. ed. 5. The most influential of the manuals was Miyazaki Antei's Nogyo zensbo.6). of Nobles. for example. see Fifty Years of New Japan. "Kindai Nihon no chishikijin. comp." in Pacific Affairs 54 (4) (1982). 1976). 3sRobert M. Noma Koshin (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten. see the Kodansba Encyclopedia of Japan. "The Establishment of Party Cabinets. J4A small peerage." )-'See Irokawa Daikichi. 1988). 1974)." in The Cambridge History of Japan. ed. 62 of Nihon sbiso taikei) (Tokyo: Iwanarni Shoren. "The Roots of Political Disillusionment: 'Public' and "Private' in Japan. The Japanese Family Storehouse. 27Fujimoto Kazan. Edo Sosho Kanko-kai (Tokyo: Edo Sosho Kankokai. The Agrarian Origins of Modern Japan (Stanford.-1976). 1974). Ivan Morris (New York: New Directions. 1981).988). 7-9. Peter Duus (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. vol. vol. ed.J.
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