• Yalın Akçevin deposited Between Empire and Democracy – Japan’s Taishō Experience on Humanities Commons 2 years, 2 months ago

    The Taishō democracy period of early 20th century – then Imperial – Japan appears to observers today as a period, in between two imperialisms, where parties, politicians, and the Imperial Diet seemed to be on the path to becoming the dominant political powers in Imperial Japan. However, this period of “democracy” and parliamentarism was short-lived and ultimately collapsed in 1936 when the military pressures became too high and the center of political power decidedly shifted to the military and its leaders. This essay seeks to understand and explore the rise and fall of Taisho democracy, arguing that this “democratic” and parliamentarian shift in power was brought to an end because it was built on structures which were not necessarily designed to support it and that its proponents did not defend it when faced with outside pressures that sought to end it.