Sunday 24 June 2018
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economist
5 months ago

Why modern Japan’s founding moment still divides a nation

THE story of Japan’s modernisation began 150 years ago this month, when a band of young samurai and their allies overthrew the Tokugawa shogunate and with it seven centuries of feudal rule. Under the shoguns (military rulers), merchant and cultural life—centred upon bustling Edo—had been far from stagnant, as the stunning woodblock prints of Hokusai and Hiroshige attest. But Japan had for more than two centuries been closed and inward-looking. Its stratified society was absurdly rigid.Above all, the warrior

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