How did Japan have a revolution without the violence faced by Russia?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When you talk about a "revolution" in Japan, I assume that you are asking about the Meiji Restoration.

First, we must note that the Meiji Restoration was not bloodless.  The restoration was made possible in part by battles between those who supported the emperor and those who wanted to keep the shogunate in power.

Of course, there was less bloodshed than in the Russian Civil War.  The most likely reason for this was that the revolutionaries had a great deal of tradition on their side.  Those who wanted to overthrow the shogunate could point to the support of the emperor.  Emperors had always had a great deal of theoretical power in Japan and a lot of popular support.  The revolutionaries, unlike those in Russia, could win many people over by casting themselves as people who were simply restoring the old ways, not people who were imposing a radical new system.