Oct 1/3 – The “Social Problem”




Kono Hironaka in Hibiya Park (MIT site)

As we mentioned with Kokoro there was an actual sense of ending with the death of the Meiji Emperor. But of course that does not mean history stopped, but that new questions themselves thrown up from the resolutions and developments of the Meiji period emerged. We need to consider the question not only of the development of a cultural Japanese subject but now the place and role of the “nation” or “the people” in the political structure. We start with theories of incorporating the people within the Meiji inherited constitutional order. In addition to the readings below reread the article on the emperor in the Meiji Constitution of 1890 (Sources, pp. 76-9).


  1. Read through the Visualizing Cultures essay, at least “Challenging the State,” “Identifying ‘the people,'” and “Democracy & the Crowd.”
  2. Kanno Sugako, “Reflections and the Way to the Gallows
  3.  Sources, 148-211—especially Minobe and Yoshino

Class slides