Meiji at 150: A Global Moment for Japan Studies, an Ambivalent Moment in Japan

Robert Hellyer, David Leheny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


After suggesting numerous times that it intended to make the Meiji Restoration’s 150th anniversary a central concern in 2018, the government of the late Abe Shinzō held only a brief, restrained ceremony one afternoon in Tokyo, leaving much of the more celebratory work to local governments at sites associated with Meiji leaders. In contrast, Japan studies centers and scholars around the world held events marking the Restoration and reflecting on its role in our understanding and imagining of modern Japan. This essay argues that the changing political and scholarly significance of the Restoration provides different opportunities and constraints to those seeking to reflect on its current meanings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-139
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Japanese Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'Meiji at 150: A Global Moment for Japan Studies, an Ambivalent Moment in Japan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this