The 1868 Meiji Restoration was a crucial moment in Japanese and modern world history. The samurai-dominated feudal regime was overthrown, and the new regime, advocating adoption of Western models, quickly revamped political, economic, military, religious, and social structures, transforming 250 semi-autonomous feudal fiefs into a unified nation-state. Within a few decades, Japan rivaled Western nations in military and economic prowess.

In advance of the sesquicentennial in 2018, this project seeks to spark and nurture academic and popular interest, as well as disseminate new interpretations of the Meiji Restoration to an international audience.

In pursuit of these goals, the project will convene three international conferences:

The Civil Wars of Japan’s Meiji Restoration & National Reconciliation: Global Historical Perspectives

Wake Forest University, January 30-31, 2015

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Global History and the Meiji Restoration

Heidelberg University, July 3-5, 2015

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Yale University, 2017 (exact date TBA)