Asian History Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

What factors led to the collapse of the Tokugawa government and the Meiji Restoration in 1868?

Expert Answers info

Greg Jackson, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

bookM.A. from University of Massachusetts-Boston


calendarEducator since 2018

write1,770 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Law and Politics

The Meiji Restoration was the Japanese political revolution that saw the dismantling of the Tokugawa regime. The leaders of the Meiji Restoration were primarily motivated by longstanding domestic issues and new external threats.

The revolutionaries tended to be young members of the samurai class who harbored generations-old grudges against the Tokugawa regime. Since the age of warring states was brought to an end in 1603, the samurai had been relatively powerless and without purpose as they were subordinate to the ruling Tokugawa clan. In fact, by the mid-nineteenth century, Japan's feudal system was in decay. Although there was peace and stability, little wealth made it to the people in the countryside. Class restrictions meant that the samurai were not allowed to be anything other than warriors. Without wars to fight, the samurai often found themselves pushed to the margins and outpaced by the growing merchant class. This led to a rise in competing factions among the samurai and other...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1,163 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

timehiker75 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write92 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Olen Bruce eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write4,269 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial