Saturday, June 18, 2011

Japan Timeline: 1701-present (Incomplete as of 6/15/11)

This just in from Cniva Albinus→

Dear Beholdmyswarthyface,

Thank you for compiling and uploading your Encyclopedia of Modern Japan. I've saved it onto my desktop, and refer to it regularly. I have just one request: please post the timeline, by itself, onto your blog. That way we could immediately access it, without having to thumb through your nearly 300-page Scribd document. Thank you, Cniva Albinus.

Sure thing. As you know, the timeline is still incomplete, and many of the entries need to be edited/updated, but I'll go ahead and post it anyway. -SS


Pre-Meiji Era

*Genroku Akō Incident 元禄赤穂事件 (1701): “Fourty-seven rōnin” incident that took place in 1701. The fictionalized accounts of these events are known as Chūshingura.

*Restoration Shinto 復興神道 (18th century): A school of thought represented by Kada no Azumamaro (1669-1736), Kano no Mabuchi (1697-1769), Motoori Norinaga (1730-1801), and Hirata Atsutane (1776-1843). While other Shintō schools also sought to rediscover ancient, natural Shintō, Fukkō Shintōists often relied on Buddhist or Confucian methodology or ways of thought, and therefore produced Buddhistic or Confucianistic theories about Shintō. Fukko Shintô scholars began with a painstaking study of ancient philology in their attempt to elucidate the mentality of the ancient Japanese and thus to discover the essence of Shinto. (Kokugakuin Glossary of Shinto Names and Terms)

*Kyōhō reforms 享保の改革 (1736): An array of economic policies introduced by the Tokugawa Shogunate Yoshimune.

*Kansei Reforms 寛政の改革 (1787-1793): A series of strict sumptuary laws issued by the statesman Matsudaira Sadanobu (1759-1829) in order to strengthen the Tokugawa regime and restore the sinking financial and moral condition of the Tokugawa government.

*Cholera Epidemic (1822): 

*Morrison jiken モリソン事件 (1832): US merchant ship carrying Japanese castaways is fired on as it attempts to enter Uraga Bay near Edo (now Tokyo) and then Kagoshima Bay in Kyushu.

*Tempo Reforms 天保の改革 (1842-47): A series of reforms even more repressive than those which preceded them.

*Foundation of Institute for Research on the Barbarian Books蕃書調所の創設 (1856): The insistute would later become the Tokyo (Imperial) University.

*Convention of Kanagawa 日米和親条約 (1854): Treaty concluded between Commodore Matthew C. Perry of the U.S. Navy and the Tokugawa shogunate. The treaty opened the Japanese ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to United States trade and guaranteed the safety of shipwrecked U.S. sailors.

*The Anglo-Japanese Friendship Treaty 日英和親条約 (1854): Treaty between Britain and Japan.

*Earthquake (1855): 

*The Treaty of Amity and Commerce (“Harris Treaty”) 日 米修好通商条約 (1858): Treaty between U.S. and Japan signed in Shimoda which opened the ports of Edo and four other Japanese cities to American trade and granted extraterritoriality to foreigners, among other stipulations. This was the first of the unequal Ansei Treaties.

*Shogun Recognizes Dutch Medicine (1858): 

*Cholera Epidemic (1858): 

*The Japanese Embassy to the United States 万延元年遣米使節 (1860): First Japanese embassy to the United States, dispatched by the Tokugawa shogunate.

*Namamugi Incident 生麦事件 (or the Kanagawa Incident or Richardson Affair) (1862): A samurai assault on foreign nationals in Japan, which resulted in the August 1863 bombardment of Kagoshima. In Japanese the bombardment is described as a war between the United Kingdom and Satsuma domain, the Anglo-Satsuma War 薩英戦争.

*Keiō Reforms 慶応の改革 (1866): A set of reforms created in reaction to unrest in the provinces; it became a key part of the reforms and changes made during the rule of Emperor Meiji. When both Shogun and Emperor happened to die at the same time, the bakufu (shogunate government) created the Keio Reform to keep Japan from falling into disunity or disarray. It Westernized many aspects of the system of bureaucracy, the military, and the economy, focusing on governmental promotions by merit (rather than by birth) and trade policies with other nations. The bakufu hoped that these Reforms would somehow end the Rebellions of Satsuma and Choshu, but they did not. The rebels did not wish to see the bakufu profit from these changes which were so close to the core of what the rebels had been fighting against all along. (

Meiji Era

*Meiji Period Begins (1868): Rebel government proclaims beginning of the Meiji era.

*Haibutsu kishaku 廃仏毀釈 (1868-): A violent anti-Buddhist movement which in the final years of the Tokugawa shogunate and during the Meiji Restoration caused the forcible closure of thousands of temples, the confiscation of their land, the forced return to lay life of monks, and the destruction of books, statues and other Buddhist property.

*Promulgation of Charter Oath 五箇条の御誓文 (1868): Charter promulgated at the enthronement of Emperor Meiji of Japan on April 7, 1868. The Oath outlined the main aims and the course of action to be followed during Emperor Meiji’s reign, setting the legal stage for Japan’s modernization. It remained influential, if less for governing than inspiring, throughout the Meiji era and into the twentieth century, and can be considered the first constitution of modern Japan.

*Shinbutsu bunri 神仏分離 (1868): Law forbidding the fusion of Buddhism and Shinto. The new law marked a change from the previous era’s policy of fusing the two religions, known as shinbutsu shūgō 神仏習合.

*Sakai Incident 堺事件 (1868): Incident in which 11 French sailors from the French corvette Dupleix were killed in the port of Sakai near Osaka. This incident was dramatised in a famous short story, “Sakai Jiken,” by Mori Ōgai.

*Boshin War 戊辰戦争 (1868-1869): Civil war fought between forces of the ruling Tokugawa shogunate and those seeking to return political power to the imperial court.

*Publication Ordinance of 1869 出版条例 (1869):

*Shinto and Buddhism Separation Order 神仏判然令 (?): Order issued from the new Meiji government to separate Buddhism and Shinto.

*Abolition of the Four-Class System 四民平等 (1870-1871):

*Great Promulgation Campaign 大教宣布 (1870-1884):  Failed campaign by Shinto leaders to create a state religion. Narrowly understood, the 1870 Imperial decree released by the Office of Propaganda to the people announcing the Kannagara no daidô (the Great Way of the Kami). More widely understood, the movement directed by the Kyōdōshoku (Agency for Spiritual Guidance) in which doctrines such as “keishin, aikoku” (Reverence for Kami and Patriotism) were expounded to the people. It was a national indoctrination movement for the purpose of strengthening the imperial system and opposing Christianity, but it weakened in the face of Buddhist opposition and arguments for the separation of religion and government. The movement disappeared after the Agency was dissolved in 1884. (Kokugakuin Glossary of Shinto Names and Terms)

*Abolition of the Han System 廃藩置県 (1871): An act of the new Meiji government to replace the traditional feudal domain (han) system and to introduce centralized government authority (Prefectures of Japan). This process marked the culmination of the Meiji Restoration in that all daimyo (feudal lords) were required to return their authority to the Emperor. The process was accomplished in several stages. The process also marked the end of privileged status for samurai.

*Iwakura Mission (1871): Group of politicians led by Iwakura Tomomi tours Europe and the United States.

*Maria Rusugō jiken マリア・ルス号事件 (Maria Luz Incident, 1872): A diplomatic incident between the early Meiji government of the Empire of Japan and the Republic of Peru over a merchant ship with Chinese indentured laborers in Yokohama in 1872. It was an early test of the independence of the Japanese judiciary system and a challenge to the extraterritoriality provisions of the unequal treaties then in force between Japan and the western powers.

*Compulsory Education (1872):

*Promulgation of Three Great Teachings 三条教則 (1872): 

*Establishment of the Home Ministry 内務省の設立 (1873): A Cabinet-level ministry established under the Meiji Constitution that managed the internal affairs of Empire of Japan from 1873-1947. Its duties included local administration, police, public works, and elections.

*The Japanese Land Tax Reform 地租改正 (1873): Series of tax reforms started by the Meiji Government in 1873. It was a major restructuring of the previous land taxation system, and established the right of private land ownership in Japan for the first time.

*National Conscription Law (1873):

*Formation of The Meirokusha 明六社の創立 (1873):

*Freedom and People’s Rights Movement 自 由民権運動 (1873- ): Progressive social and political movement for democracy in 1880s. It pursued the formation of an elected legislature, revision of the Unequal Treaties with America and European countries, the institution of civil rights and the reduction of centralized taxation. The movement prompted the Meiji government to establish a constitution in 1889 and a diet in 1890; on the other hand, it failed to loosen the control of the central government and its demand for true democracy remained unfulfilled, with ultimate power continuing to reside in the Meiji (Chōshū-Satsuma) oligarchy because, among other limitations, the Meiji Constitution enfranchised only men who paid a substantial amount in property taxes, as a result of the Land Tax Reform in 1873.

*Promulgation of The Eleven Principles (1873): Based on Hirata Shinto doctrine, the eleven principles were: divine virtue and gratitude to the emperor; immortality of the human spirit; creation of the universe by the kami of Heaven; separation of the visible and invisible realms; nationalism; ritual acts; pacification of the spirit; proper relation between lord and subject; proper relation between parent and child; proper relation between husband and wife; and ritual purification. (Encyclopedia of Shinto)

*Establishment of Kyōbushō 教部省の設立 (1873- ): Ministry of religion. Established in 1873 to replace the Jingikan (Department of Divinities), which from 1869 to 1871 had been pursuing the indoctrination of the people under the principle of unity of religion and rule (saisei itchi). The Jingikan was reformed in 1871 into a new Jingishô (Ministry of Divinities), which in turn underwent revision two years later into the Ministry of Religion. The Ministry oversaw religious affairs and policies, and sought to advance the Taikyō sempu (Proclamation of the Great Doctrine) through a system for indoctrination mobilizing both Shintoists and Buddhists. The Ministry was dissolved in 1877 in response to arguments for the separation of religious and governmental affairs, and its administrative functions were assumed by the Bureau of Shrines and Temples in the newly created Home Ministry. (Kokugakuin Glossary of Shinto Names and Terms)

*Saga Rebellion  佐賀の乱 (1874): One of a number of uprisings in Kyūshū against the new Meiji government of Japan by members of the former samurai class. It was led by Etō Shimpei and Shima Yoshitake in their native domain of Hizen.

*Libel Law 讒謗律 (ざんぼうりつ) (1875): Law passed by the new Meiji government that criminalized criticism of the government.

*The Treaty of Saint Petersburg Karafuto-Chishima Kōkan Jōyaku 樺太・千島交換条約 (1875): treaty between the Empire of Japan and the Empire of Russia which stipulated that Japan would give up claims to the Sakhalin Island in exchange for undisputed sovereignty over all the Kuril Islands up to the Kamchatka peninsula.

*Press Regulations 新聞条例 (1875): Press Regulations passed by the new Meiji government, making criticism of the government all but impossible. The series of regulations came to be known as the Newspapers’ Reign of Terror.

*Press Ordinance (1876): Press regulation ordinance that gave the Home Ministry the right to close any publication deemed a threat to the government. The ordinance remained in effect until the end of the Pacific War.

*Akizuki Rebellion 秋月の乱 (1876): One of a number of uprisings by members of the former samurai-class which took place in the early Meiji period in Kyūshū and other parts of western Japan against the new Meiji government.

*Hagi Rebellion
萩の乱 (1876): One of a number of ex-samurai uprisings which took place in the early Meiji period against the new Meiji government of Japan.

*Shimpūren no ran
神風連の乱 (1876): One of a number of ex-samurai uprisings which took place in the early Meiji period against the new Meiji government.

*Satsuma Rebellion
西南戦争 (1877): A revolt of Satsuma ex-samurai against the Meiji government, led by Saigō Takamori. It was the last, and the most serious, of a series of armed uprisings against the new government.

*Battle of Shiroyama 城山の戦い (1877): The final battle of the Satsuma Rebellion.

*“Poison Women” Novel Boom Begins「毒婦」小説の旺盛 (1878- ):

*Public Assembly Ordinance 集会条例 (1880): One of the several ordinances that helped put an end to the Freedom and People’s Rights Movement.

*Gen’yōsha Established 玄洋社 (1881- ): An influential ultranationalist group and secret society active during the Meiji, Taishō and early Shōwa periods.

*Penal Code of 1882 (1882): Makes lese majesty a punishable offense.

*Imperial Rescript for Soldiers and Sailors 軍 人勅諭 (1882): Rescript issued by Emperor Meiji in 1882, which would become the most important document in the development of the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy. The Rescript was intended to be the official code of ethics for military personnel, and is often cited along with the Imperial Rescript on Education of 1890 as the basis for Japan’s prewar national ideology. All military personnel were required to memorize the 2700 kanji document by heart. The initial draft was written by Nishi Amane, an Army Ministry bureaucrat and scholar of western philosophy. It was extensively edited by Inoue Kowashi. A famous precept in the Rescript states that “duty is heavier than a mountain; death is lighter than a feather.”

*Bank of Japan Founded (1882):

*Oriental Socialist Party Founded 東 洋社会党 (1882): Tokichi Tarui and others organized the group in Nagasaki prefecture which had about forty members and proclaimed equality, maximum well-being of the public, common ownership of property, joint management of companies, and cooperative child rearing. However, about two months after its formation, this party was banned and dissolved.

*Revised Press Ordinance (1883): Extension of the 1876 Press Ordinance. This revised ordinance became the precursor to Article 19 of the 1887 Press Regulations.

*Chichibu jiken
秩父事件 (1884): Incident in which peasants from Saitama Prefecture, led by members of the Freedom and People’s Rights Movement, rose against the government.

*Explosives Control Ordinance 爆発物取締条例 (1884): One of the several ordinances that helped put an end to the Freedom and People’s Rights Movement.

*Osaka jiken 大阪事件 (1885):

*Formation of Waseda Group 早稲田文学の設立 (?): One of the major literary groups of the mid- to late-Meiji period.

*First Bank of Japan Banknotes Issued (1885):

*Ken’yūsha Group  研友社 (1885-1903): Popular literary group formed by Ozaki Kōyō and others. The group began with the first publication of the literary journal Garakuta bunko, and ended with Kōyō’s death. ryōzanpaku of bundan (shōyō’s words)

*Sendagi Group 千駄木:

*Negishi Group 根岸: Group of writers active during Meiji period, living in Tokyo region of Negishi. The group included Kōda Rohan, Aeba Kōson, Morita Shiken.

*Kokumin Bungaku 国民文学 (?): Literary coterie formed around ‘Kokumin no Tomo’ and the Kokumin Newspaper.

*Norumanton gō jiken ノルマントン号事件 (Normanton Incident, 1886): Incident in which 23 Japanese passengers drowned after the British cargo ship Normanton sank off the Kii Peninsula.

*Press Regulations 新聞紙条例 (1887): Regulations on press promulgated by imperial edict.

*Publication Regulations 出版条例 (1887): Regulations on press promulgated by imperial edict.

*Shinseisha 新声社 (1889- ): Poetry society founded by Mori Ōgai, et. al.

*Meiji Constitution 大日本帝国憲法 (1889): The organic law of the Empire of Japan, promulgated in 1889 and enacted on November 29, 1890. The constitution remained in effect until May 2, 1947.

*Bungaku gokusui ronsō 文学極衰論争 (1889-1890):  Ozaki Kōyō and Shimada Saburō attack Shōyō’s “novel of feelings” as base. More heroes and more didacticism! (Leads to Yano Ryūkei’s heroic tale Ukishiro monogatari, which is criticized by Ishibashi Ningetsu and Ishida Roan for being “too heroic and remote” (Murakami, Ideology and Narrative in Modern Japanese Literature). Doppo and (eventually, albeit ambiguously) Tōkoku on kindaibungaku side (anti-heroic/pro-feeling) with Ningetsu and Roan (as opposed to kaikabungaku of Ozaki/Shimada/Yano/Aizan).

*Maihime ronsō 舞姫論争 (1890): Literary dispute between Ishibashi Ningetsu and Mori Ōgai about the author’s attitude toward Toyotarō, the protagonist of “Maihime” who chooses his own career over the girl he loves.

*Imperial Rescript on Education 教育勅語 (1890): Rescript signed by Emperor Meiji on October 30, 1890 to articulate government policy on the guiding principles of education. The 315 character document was read aloud at all important school events, and students were required to study and memorize the text.

*Establishment of the Meiji Diet (1890): Meiji Diet formed.

*Uchimura Kanzō fukei jiken 内村鑑三不敬事件 (1890): The “disrespect incident” between Christian Uchimura Kanzō and various government officials trying to suppress religion.

*Ōtsu jiken 大津事件 (1891): The attempted assassination of Russian Crown Prince Nicholas Alexandrovitch while he was on tour in Japan.

*Ashio Copper Mine jiken 足尾鉱毒事件 (1891): Incident that began when Tanaka Shozo submitted a query to the Diet concerning environmental pollution in Tochigi Prefecture.

*Botsurisō ronsō 没理想論争 (1891-1892): “Submerged ideals debate” between Mori Ōgai and Tsubouchi Shōyō.

*Jinsei sōshō ronsō 人生相渉論争 (1893): Debate between Kitamura Tōkoku and Yamaji Aizan on relation between self and others in literature.

*Bōkan kikan ronsō 傍観機関論争 (1893): Debate between Mori Ōgai and the Japan Medical Society.

*Publication Law (1893): Law passed by Diet regulating press content.

新派 (1890s- ): Form of drama that presented melodramatic events from contemporary life. Its roots can be traced to a form of agitation propaganda theater in the 1880s promoted by Liberal Party members Sadanori Sudo and Otojirō Kawakami. It eventually earned the name “shinpa” (literally meaning “new school”) to contrast it from “kyūha” (“old school,” namely kabuki) due its more contemporary and realistic stories. As a theatrical form, it was most successful in the early 1900s as the works of novelists such as Kyōka Izumi, Kōyō Ozaki, and Roka Tokutomi were adapted for the stage. (

*The Peace Preservation Law 保安条例 (1894): An Imperial Ordinance issued on 25 December 1894, intended to suppress the Freedom and People’s Rights Movement. It was the most drastic of the several laws enacted after 1875 to contain political opposition to the Meiji oligarchy. It imposed stringent restrictions on the press, public speeches and political meetings. Article Four of the Law authorized the chief of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, with the approval of the Home Minister, to banish from Tokyo for three years anyone who was found to be inciting disturbances or scheming to disrupt public order within 7.5 miles of the Imperial Palace. Within three days of the law’s promulgation, 570 people prominent in the Freedom and People’s Rights Movement (including future Tokyo governor Ozaki Yukio) were arrested and expelled. The Law was repealed in 1898, but was soon replaced by the more stringent Public Order & Police Law of 1900.

*The First Sino-Japanese War 日清戦争 (1894-1895): War fought between Qing Dynasty China and Meiji Japan, primarily over the control of Korea. 

*Treaty of Shimonoseki 下 関条約 (1895): Treaty signed at the Shunpanrō hall on April 17, 1895 between the Empire of Japan and Qing Empire of China, ending the First Sino-Japanese War and resulting in Japan’s cession of Taiwan.

*Shakai shōsetsu rongi 社会小説論議 (1895-1898):

*Seikin-ha 星菫派 (1890s): Literary group formed by the two Yosanos and other Romantic writers. The group was criticized by Katō Shūichi immediately following the war.

*Ryudo Club 龍土倶楽部 (): literature and arts club; met at Ryūdo-ten

*Bungaku Seinen: literary youth of Meiji 30s who preferred gossip-centered shizenshugi novelists to the older generation of writers such as Sōseki and Ōgai.

*Triple Intervention 三国干渉 (1895): A diplomatic intervention by Russia, Germany, and France that ended the First Sino-Japanese War and prevented Japan from occupying the Liaotung peninsula.

*Move to State Monopoly Capitalism (1895):

*The Establishment of The Society for the Study of Socialism 社会主義研究会 (1896): Early socialist society whose members included Isoo Abe, Kotoku Shusui, and Katayama Sen. The society was reorganized in 1901 into Japan’s first socialist political party, the Socialist Democratic Party 社会民主党.

*Nihonshugi rongi 日本主義論議 (1897):

*Universal Suffrage League 普通選挙期成同盟会 (1897): League created to raise public awareness of electoral politics through discussion groups and periodicals.

*Social Policy Association Established 社会政策学会 (1898): Progressive research group founded by Tokyo Imperial University law professors Kuwada Kumazō and Kanai En.

*Unitarian Society in Tokyo Established (1898): Progressive group formed to study works of Marx, William Bliss, Richard Ely, and Saint-Simon. Regarded as the origin of Japan’s socialist movement. 40 members of group formed Socialist Society two years later.

*Rekishi-ga ronsō 歴史画論争 (1899):

*New Poetry Society 新詩社 (1899- ): Poetry society founded by Yosano Tekkan and centered around the literary magazine Myōjō.

*Seiyūkai Formed 政友会 (1900): Conservative political group formed by Itō Hirobumi. In 1940 it voted to dissolve itself into the Imperial Rule Assistance Association as part of Fumimaro Konoe’s efforts to create a single-party state, and thereafter ceased to exist.

*The Public Order and Police Law 治安警察法 (1900): Law  issued by the administration of Prime Minister Yamagata Aritomo specifically against the organized labor movements. In addition to restrictions on freedom of speech, assembly and association, it also specifically prohibited workers from organizing and going on strike. A provision banning women from political associations was deleted in 1922.

*Socialist Society Formed (1900-):

*Bitekiseikatsu ronsō 美的生活論争 (1901): Debate that begins with Takayama Chogyū’s call for individualism and for an aesthetic life in his essay “Biteki seikatsu o ronzu” (1902). Hasegawa Tenkei counters, pointing out the inconsistencies in his argument (duty of literature: genjitsu o bakuro!).

*Kokuryuukai Formed 黒竜会 (1901- ): Right-wing organization whose ideas became influential in the 1930s.

*Social Democratic Party Established 社会民主党の 設立 (1901-1911): Japan’s first socialist political party. The party was disbanded in 1911 following a major government crackdown on leftist movements.

*Bundan shōmakyō jiken 文壇照魔鏡事件 (1901): 

*Establishment of the Heiminsha 平民社の創立 (1903- ): Group of anarchists and socialists formed in opposition to the wave of nationalist frenzy that preceded the Russo-Japanese War. Its weekly journal, Heimin Shinbun, was published from 1903 until 1905. The group was led by Kōtoku Shūsui and other prominent radicals.

*First rails laid in Tokyo (1903):

*Marx’s Communist Manifesto appears in Japanese (1904): 

*Japan’s First Department Store Opens (1904): Mitsukoshi opens in Tokyo.

*Kimi shinitamau koto nakare 君死にたまふこと勿れを巡る論争 (1904): Debate between Yosano Akiko and Ōmachi Keigetsu over Yosano’s poem written in opposition to the Russo-Japanese War. 

*Russo-Japanese War 日露戦 (1904-1905): A conflict that grew out of the rival imperial ambitions of the Russian and Japanese empires over Manchuria and Korea. The major theatres of operations were Southern Manchuria, specifically the area around the Liaodong Peninsula and Mukden, the seas around Korea, Japan, and the Yellow Sea.  The Treaty of Portsmouth, unpopular among the Japanese public who demanded more territory and monetary indemnity, officially ended the war. 

*Seven Professors Incident 七博士事件 (1905): 

*Hibiya yakiuchi jiken 日比谷公園焼打事件 (Hibiya Inindiary Incident, 1905):  Riots that took place when an enormous crowd gathered at Hibiya Park to protest the Portsmouth Treaty that ended the Russo-Japanese War.

*Rise and Fall of Naturalism 自然主義の盛衰 (1906-1910):

*The Japan Socialist Party 日本社会党の 設立 (1906-1908): Coalition representing a wide spectrum of socialist beliefs. The radical element was led by Toshihiko Sakai and Kotoku Shusui, who favored “direct action” and violent overthrow of the government, and moderates socialists led by Sen Katayama and Tatsuji Tazoe, who favored a mild program of social reform. The coalition was instable, and collapsed only after a year, on 22 February 1908.

*Program of Shrine Consolodation 神社合祉 (1906): Government order to merge village shrines.

*Bungei kyōkai 文芸協会 (1906- ): Literary group formed by Tsubouchi Shōyō, Shimamura Hōgetsu, and others promoting shingeki and other new forms of artistic and literary expression.

*Gentlemen’s Agreement of 1907 日米紳士協約 (1907): Informal agreement between the U.S. and the Empire of Japan whereby the U.S. would not impose restriction on Japanese immigration or students, and Japan would not allow further emigration to the U.S. The goal was to reduce tensions between the two powerful Pacific nations. The agreement was never ratified by Congress, which in 1924 ended it.

*Heyday of Naturalism 自然主義 (1907-1913):

*Akahata jiken 赤旗事件 (Red Flag Incident, 1908): At Koken Yamaguchi’s welcome-back party after his discharge from prison, Ōsugi Sakae, Kanson Arahata and other young radicals wove red flags reading “Museifu Kyōsan” (Anarchist Communism) or “Kakumei” (Revolution), and sang  revolution songs. When they took their demonstration outside, the police brutally attacked and arrested Ōsugi, Arahata, Yamaguchi, Hitoshi Yamakawa, and several others. This and several other contemporaneous incidents led to stricter government censorship. (A Brief History of Japanese Anarchism)

*Debakame Incident 出歯亀事件 (1908): Debakame is a Japanese word that originally meant “peeping Tom and murderer” but now generally just means “peeping Tom” when used at all. The etymology is simple: in 1908, a known pepping Tom named Ikeda Kametarō, a.k.a. Deba no Kamekichi, was arrested for and found guilty of murdering a woman on her way back from the public baths. (

*Nihon-ha 日本派 (early 1900s?-?): The “Japan School” of haiku, led by Masaoka Shiki, Kawahigashi Hekigotou, and, later, Takahama Kyoshi.

*The Trial of Lady Chatterley  チャタレイ裁判 (1908):

*Trial of Ikuta Kizan and Ishibashi Shian (1908): Censorship trial of two naturalist writers, Ikuta Kizan and Ishibashi Shian. Hiraide Shuu led the defense.

*Pan no kai パンの会 (1908-1912): Poetry group formed in opposition to the literary Naturalism that dominated at the time. The group of writers, mostly Tokyoites, would meet at a certain French restaurant to discuss literature.  

*Press Law (1909): Law passed by Diet regulating press content.

*High Treason Incident
大逆事件 (1910): Incident involving the 1910 plot by Japanese socialists-anarchists to assassinate the Japanese Emperor. Twenty-four of the twenty-six defendants were sentenced to death on January 18 1911. Of these, half had their sentence commuted to life imprisonment on the following day. Of the remaining twelve, eleven were executed on January 24, 1911. These included Kotoku Shusui, the first Japanese anarchist, and Oishi Seinosuke, a doctor. The last of the condemned defendants, the only woman, Kanno Suga, was executed the next day. While many of the defendants were probably aware to some degree of the plot, they did not intend to personally participate and were completely surprised by the process which led to the verdicts. The High Treason Incident is also indirectly related to The Red Flag Incident, which occurred in 1908. During the High Treason investigation, anarchists already incarcerated were questioned about possible involvement, including Osugi Sakae, Sakai Toshihiko, and Yamakawa Hitoshi. Kanno Suga, who was found not guilty during the Red Flag trials, was arrested, tried, and sentenced to death in the High Treason trials. Osugi later wrote that he had encountered the defendants in prison, but was too afraid to speak to them too loudly. Kotoku was unable to hear him, as he had poor hearing. Osugi also encountered their executioner, who later retired after their execution. The Incident ushered in a period of heightened repression and steady decline for socialism in general, and anarchism in particular, throughout the Taisho period.

*Shinshichō-ha 新思潮派 (1910- ): Anti-naturalist literary group established by Tanizaki Jun’ichirō and other young writers attending the University of Tokyo. also called 新理知派、新技巧派。

*Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty
日韓併合条約 (1910): Treaty signed by the representatives of the Korean and Japanese Imperial Governments which marked the official beginning of Japan’s rule over the Korean peninsula.

*Public Peace Police Law (1910): Law promulgated by the Yamagata government severely limiting the activities of labor and socialist organization. The law marked a major defeat for progressives.

*Shirakabaha 白樺派 (1910- ): founded by Mushakōji Saneatsu, Shiga Naoya; Arishima Takeo;

*Execution of Twelve “Anarchists” (1911):

*Committee on Literature 文芸委員会 (1911-1913): Early attempt by government to censor content of publications. The committee was disbanded after complaints from writers and publishers. It was followed by the Literary Chat Society 文芸今話会.

*Committee for the Investigation of Popular Education 通俗教育調査委員会 (1911- ): Committe created by Imperial Decree for the purpse of monitoring various forms of media.

*Death of Meiji Emperor (1912): Emperor Meiji dies in July, “followed” by General Nogi Maresuke.

*Tokyo Population Reaches Three Million (1912):

Taishō Era

*Mavo (1912-1926): Radical art group which roared into new arenas and new art forms during the 1920s, with work ranging from performance art to painting, book illustration, and architectural projects. Hurling rocks through glass roofs and displaying their rejected works, Mavo artists held peripatetic protest exhibitions against the Japanese art establishment. Ultimately, Mavo’s work became a major influence in Japanese commercial art and had a pronounced and lasting impact on Japanese visual and political culture. (

*Krafft-Ebing’s Psychopatathia Sexualis introduced to Japan (1914): Krafft-Ebing’s classic study of sexual “perversion” was translated as 『変態性慾心理』, and immediately banned. The modern use of the word “hentai” began around this time. An earlier translation had appeared in 1894, under the title Shikijōkyōhen.

*Shimsensu jiken シーメンズ事件 (1914): “Siemens Incident.” Several politicians are charged with bribery, leading to the resignation of the first Yamamoto Gonnohyoe cabinet.

*The Twenty-One Demands 対華二十一ヵ条要求 (1915): A set of demands made by the Empire of Japan and sent to the nominal government of the Republic of China, resulting in two treaties.

*Yūtōbungaku ronsō 遊蕩文学論争 (1916): Debate that began with Akagi Kōhei’s attack on what he viewed as the recent degradation of literature by the Naturalist authors.

*Bosei hogo ronsō 母性保護論争 (1916): begins with Yosano Akiko’s feminist attack on Tolstoy and Ellen Key for their essentialist representations of the maternal urge. 

*Dentōshugi ronsō 伝統主義論争 (1917):

*Minshū geijutsu ronsō 民衆芸術論争 (1917):

*Failed attempt to occupy Siberia (1917):

*Rice Riots of 1918 米騒動 (1918): Landlords and rice merchants anticipating the dispatch of troops to Siberia began rice speculation, causing prices to skyrocket. This squeezed the people’s livelihoods, and Rice Riots (Kome Sodo) broke out in Toyama in July 1918 (Taisho 7), and spread quickly among communities along the coast ringing Toyama Bay. When newspapers gave national exposure to the Toyama riots the following month, similar riots rapidly erupted around the country. (National Diet Library)

*Shinjinkai Formed 新人会 (1918?- ?):

*Dawn Society (Reimeikai) Formed 黎明会 (1918-1920): Progressive political party formed by Yoshino Sakuzō.

*Toshi keikaku hō 都市計画法 (1919): The Town Planning and Zoning Act.

*Shigaichi kenchikubutsu
市街地建築物法 (1919): Urban Building Act.

*Japan Federation of Labor 総同盟 (1919-1940):

*Kaikyū geijutsu ronsō  階級芸術論争 (1920):

*Morito jiken 森戸事件 (1920): Incident involving the arrest and three-month imprisonment of Tokyo University professor Morito Tatsuo for publishing an article about the social theory of anarchist Peter Alekseevich Kropotkin.

*Nikolaevsk Incident (1920): Japanese residents of the town of Nikolaevsk near the mouth of the Amur River are massacred.

*Formation of Japan Socialist League 日本社会主義同盟の設立 (1920-1921): Association organized by Shakaishugi editor Sakutaro Iwasa, Sakai Toshihiko, and Yamakawa Hitoshi that brought together the various factions (anarchism, Bolshevism, etc.) in a struggle against capitalism and imperialism. The league was suppressed by the government in 1921. 

*Japan’s First Labor Rally Held (1920): The first labor rally is held in ...

*Mirai-ha bijutsu kyōkai (1920-):

*Puroretaria bungaku ronsō プロレタリア文学論争 (1921):

*Appearance of Shin-kankakuha, Dada, other bourgeois modernist movements (1921):

*Mitsubishi Kawasaki dockyard strike in Kobe (1921):
*Assassination of Prime Minister Hara Takashi (1921): The Prime Minister was assassinated in Tokyo Station by a right-wing railroad switchman.

*Ana Boru ronsō アナ・ボル論争 (1921): 

*Washington Naval Conference (1921-1922): a military conference called by the administration of President Warren G. Harding and held in Washington, D.C. Conducted outside the auspices of the League of Nations, it was attended by nine nations having interests in the Pacific Ocean and East Asia. Soviet Russia was not invited to the conference. It was the first international conference held in the United States and the first disarmament conference in history, and is studied by political scientists as a model for a successful disarmament movement. It resulted in three major treaties: Four-Power Treaty, Five-Power Treaty (more commonly known as the Washington Naval Treaty) and the Nine-Power Treaty and a number of smaller agreements. These treaties preserved peace during the 1920s but are also credited with enabling the rise of the Japanese Empire as a naval power leading up to World War II.

*Japan Communist Party Established 日本共産党の設立 (1922-1935): The party was as an underground branch of Comintern by a group of socialist activists, including Hitoshi Yamakawa, Kanson Arahata, Toshihiko Sakai, Kyuichi Tokuda and Sanzo Nozaka. Outlawed at once under the Peace Preservation Law, the JCP was subjected to repression and persecution by the military and police. By 1935, the underground party had virtually ceased to exist.

*Sengen hitotsu ronsō 宣言一つ論争 (1922): debate about the political role of writers; began with publication of Arishima Takeo’s “Sengen hitotsu” (Kaizō); Hirotsu Kazuo responds by arguing for a classless pure realm for art (junsuina geijutsu/junsuina kimochi). Arishima responds with three types of artists (defined by relation to society: pure; conciliatory; moralist). Marxists (?) Katagami Noboru, Sakai Toshihiko, and Kawakami Hajime join in on fun.

*Einstein Visits Japan (1922):

*(Bungei sakuhin no) Naiyōteki kachi ronsō (文芸作品の)内容的価値論争 (1922): Kikuchi Kan argues that a work’s seikatsutekikachi (dōtokuteki and shisōteki) is as important as the naiyōteki (formal value). Satomi Ton dismisses Kikuchi’s sozaishugi and gaizaitekikachi.

*Mizukara shirazaru shizenshugisha ronsō 自ら知らざる自然主義者論争 ( - ): ?

*Shirakaba ronsō 白樺論争 ( - ): Debate between Shirakaba and naturalist writers;

*Toranomon jiken 虎ノ門事件 (1923): A failed assassination attempt on Crown Prince Hirohito by Yamaguchi socialist Namba Daisuke. 

*The Great Kantō Earthquake 関東大震災 (1923): Earthquake of September 1 kills 90,000; injures 100,000; partially or totally destroys 680,000 homes; establishes permanent demarcation between “old” and “new” Japan.

*Teito fukkou 帝都復興 (1923- ): The term given to the reconstruction of Tokyo following the Great Kantō Earthquake.

*Amakasu jiken 甘粕事件 (1923): The Amakasu Incident occurred  in the chaos immediately following the Great Kantō earthquake. Fearing that anarchists would take advantage of the disaster to overthrow the government, a squad of military police led by Lieutenant Amakasu Masahiko arrested Osugi Sakae, Itō Noe, and her six-year-old nephew. They were later beaten to death and their bodies thrown into a well. The killing of such high profile anarchists, along with a young child, became known as the Amakasu Incident, and sparked surprise and anger throughout Japan.

*Kameido jiken
亀 戸事件 (1923): Incident in the Kameido district of Tokyo in which several anarchists, left-wing activists, and Koreans were killed by police following the Great Kantō earthquake

*Sanbun geijutsu ronsō 散文芸術論争 (1924): Hirotsu Kazuo and Satō Haruo defend prosaic art from attacks by Ikuta Chōkō, who insists on a pure art-for-art’s-sake position. 

*Shi- (shinkyō-) shōsetsu ronsō 私(心境)小説 (1924-1925): Kume Masao vs. Ikuta Chōkō and Nakamura Murao. Begins with article (“Honkaku shōsetsu to shinkyō shōsetsu to,” Shinshōsetsu) by Nakamura Murao in which he contrasts the two types of narrative: honkaku shōsetsu (superior form exemplified in Tolstoy) and shinkyō shōsetsu (native, inferior phenomenon, broader in scope as it contains within it shinkyō shōsetsu). Ikuta Chōkō agrees, arguing for universality over particularity (“Nichijō seikatsu o henjū suru akukeikō” (Shinchō, 1924). Responding to both Nakamura and Chōkō, Kume Masao defends the shinkyō shōsetsu as the true and superior form of novel in his article “Shishōsetsu to shinkyōshōsetsu” (1925, Bungei kōza). According to him, the supposedly superior honkaku shōsetsu are no more than yomimono. The self is the basis of all literature, and all that matters is sincerity! he argues. Uno Kōji weighs in on Kume’s side, claiming Japanese are incapable of writing a honkaku shōsetsu anyway.

*Establishment of National Foundation Society 国本社の設立 (1924): National political society formed by Hiranuma Kiichirō.

*Hentai boom 変態ブーム (mid-1920s):

*May Thirtieth Movement (1925): A labor and anti-imperalist movement during the middle-period of the Republic of China era. It began when Shanghai Municipal Police officers opened fire on Chinese protesters in Shanghai’s International Settlement. The shootings sparked international censure and nation-wide anti-foreign demonstrations.

*Ninagawa jiken 蜷川事件 (1925): ?

*Inauguration of Radio Broadcasts (1925):

*Kyoto Student Federation Incident 京都学連事件 (1925): Incident in which 37 members of Kyoto Student Federation were searched, interrogated, and arrested.

*Peace Preservation Law 治安維持法 (1925): Law enacted on 12 May 1925, under the administration of Kato Takaaki, specifically against socialism, Communism, and anarchism. It was one of the most significant laws of pre-war Japan. The main force behind the law was Minister of Justice (and future Prime Minister) Hiranuma Kiichiro, although a strict law to control the activities of leftist radicals had wide support in the Diet and widespread popular support.

*General Election Law 普通選挙法 (1925): Law passed in 1925 extending suffrage to all males aged 25 and over. It was proposed by the Kenseito political party and it was passed by the Diet of Japan May 5. The law effectively quadrupled the size of the electorate.

*Shisō zendō 思想善導 (1925): intended to suppress socialist and anarchist activity.

Shōwa and Heisei Eras

*Japan Labor-Farmer Party 日本労働農民党 (1926-1928): Progressive political party ordered to shut down by government.

*Japan Writers’ Association 日本文芸家協会 (1926-, and again in 1946- ): 

*Junsui shōsetsu ronsō 純粋小説論争 (1926): begins with Aono Suekichi’s essay on mokuteki ishiki ronsō.

*Mokuteki ishiki ronsō 目的意識論争 (1926):

*Socialist People’s Party
社会民主党 (1926-1932):

*The Shōwa Financial Crisis
昭和金融恐慌 (1927): A financial panic in 1927, during the first year of the Shōwa reign, and was a foretaste of the Great Depression. It brought down the government of Prime Minister Wakatsuki Reijirō and led to the domination of the zaibatsu over the Japanese banking industry.

*Nihon shihonshugi ronsō 日本資本主義論争 (1927):

*First Subway Line Opens (1927): First subway begins running between Asakusa and Ueno.

*Shōsetsu no suji ronsō 小説の筋論争 (1927): Debate between Akutagawa and Tanizaki over the value of “plot” in fiction.

*Nanjin jiken 南京事件 (1927): Japanese, British, and US consulates in Nanjing attacked by Chinese Nationalist soldiers.

*Rōnō-ha 労農派 (1927): Marxist group formed in opposition to Japan’s Communist Party. The group was centered around the journal Rōnō, founded the same year.

*Akutagawa Ryūnosuke’s Death (1927): Akutagawa commits suicide.

*Troops dispatched to Shandong Peninsula (1927): Japan sends troops to interfere in China’s 1927 revolution.

*March Fifteenth Incident 三・一五事件 (1928): Incident in which 1,658 suspected communists from around the country were rounded up and arrested. Charges were brought against 483 of those. In a special open trial of the Tokyo District Court in 108 sessions from 25 June 1931 to 2 July 1932, some 300 members of the JCP were sentenced. The trial was carefully orchestrated by the Home Ministry to expose the inner workings of the JCP and its strategy to undermine the existing political order. All defendants were found guilty and were given stiff sentences, but those who publicly recanted (tenkō) their communist ideology and who agreed to “rehabilitation” were given much reduced sentences.

*NAPF (Japan Proletarian Art League) 全日本無産者芸術連盟 (1928-1934): Formed in the aftermath of the March15 arrests. Later renamed KOPF.

*Geijutsu Taishūka ronsō 芸術大衆化論争 (1928):

*Geijutsuteki kachi ronsō 芸術的価値論争 (1928):

*Keishikishugi bungaku ronsō 形式主義文学論争 (1928):

*Government begins active suppression of left-wing (1928):

*Mass Arrests (1928): Mass arrests of leftists carried out on March 15 by Tanaka cabinet. 

*Revised Peace Preservation Law 治安維持法 (1928): Included amendment stipulating death for anyone who challenged private property rights or sought to alter Japan’s kokutai.

*Bungaku kenkyū ():

*Bungei judo undō: Literary Home-front Campaign, whose 52 members of prominent writers include Kobayashi Hideo, Kawabata Yasunari, Kikuchi Kan, Yokomitsu Riichi;

*Japan Proletarian Writer’s Association 日本プロレタリア作家同盟 (1929- ): NALP. Association formed under the aegis of NAPF.

*Marukusu shugi geijutsu kenkyuukai マルクス主義芸術研究会 (1929- ): Student organization at Tokyo University founded by Hayashi Fusao, Nakano Shigeharu, and Kaji Wataru as an outgrowth of Shinjinkai. The group would soon gain control of the proletarian arts movement under the Japan Proletarian Arts League, or JPAL.

*Inshō hihyō ronsō 印象批評論争 (1929?): begins with Kobayashi Hideo’s “Samazama naru ishō?

*Casino Folies Opens in Asakusa カジノ・フォーリー (1929-1933): A revue troop made up of girls between the age of 12 and 16. It was rumored that dancers would drop their panties one day a week.

*April Sixteenth Incident 四月十六日事件 (1929): Incident in which six to seven hundred suspected communists were arrested; 339 people were charged.

*London Naval Treaty (1930): A disarmament treaty between the United Kingdom, the Empire of Japan, France, Italy and the United States which regulated submarine warfare and limited naval shipbuilding. The treaty was ratified by the Japanese diet in 1934.

*Shinkō geijutsu ha (kurabu) 新興芸術派倶楽部 (1930-1932 ): Literary society formed by Yokomitsu Riichi, Kawabata Yasunari and other “Shinkankaku-ha” writers as a reaction to the rise of proletarian literature. ero guro nansensu; part of post-quake “shinkō” boom (shinkō bungaku, shinkō eiga, shinkō kaikyū, etc); Ryūtanji Yū; members dispersed in 1931-2.

*Kōza-ha 講座派 (1930): Formation of Marxist group. Disbanded in 1936.

*Hihan 批判 (1930- ): Progressive intellectual and cultural journal. It was a continuation of the previous journal Warera.

*March Incident 三月事件 (1931): Aborted military coup launched by the radical Sakurakai secret society within the Imperial Japanese Army, aided by civilian ultranationalist groups.

*November Incident 十一月事件 (1931): Also known as the Military Academy Incident 士官学校事件, this was an attempted coup d’état that took place in November 1934. It was one of a sequence of similar conspiracies for a ‘Shōwa Restoration’ led by radical elements with the Imperial Japanese Army.

*Liutiaogou Incident
柳条湖事件 (1931): conquest of Manchuria by the Japanese Guandong (Kwantung) army begins.

*First talkie film (1931): Madamu to nyoubou.

*October Incident 十月事件 (1931): Also known as the Imperial Colors Incident 錦旗革命事件, this was an abortive coup d’état attempt on 21 October 1931, launched by the Sakurakai secret society within the Imperial Japanese Army and aided by civilian ultranationalist groups. Leaders of the planned coup were arrested and received exceedingly light sentences.

*Manshū jihen 満州事変 (1931-3): The Mukden (or Manchurian) Incident. An early event in the Second Sino-Japanese War in which  a section of railroad owned by Japan’s South Manchuria Railway was dynamited. The Imperial Japanese Army, accusing Chinese dissidents of the act, responded with the invasion of Manchuria, leading to the establishment of Manchukuo the following year. While the responsibility for this act of sabotage remains a subject of controversy, the prevailing view is that Japanese militarists staged the explosion in order to provide a pretext for war. ( 

*Period of “National Emergency” Begins
非常時 (1931-1945):

*Information Committee
情報委員かい (1931):

*Nōmin bungaku ronsō 農民文学論争 (1931):

*Tantei shōsetsu ronsō 探偵小説論争 (1931): debate centered around detective fiction of Edogawa Ranpo.

*Establishment of Puppet State of Manchuria (1932):

*May 15th Incident 五一五事件 (1932):  Attempted launched by radical elements of the Imperial Japanese Navy, aided by cadets in the Imperial Japanese Army and civilian remnants of the League of Blood Incident. Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi was assassinated by 11 young naval officers. The following trial and popular support by Japanese population led to light sentences.

*Socialist Masses Party 社会大衆党 (1932-1940):

*Bungei fukkō 文芸復興 (1932-1935): Cultural renaissance. Term coined by Hayashi Fusao.

*Sakuradamon jiken 桜田門事件 (1932): Assassination attempt made on Emperor Showa by Korean independence activist Lee Bong-chang.

*Shanhai jiken 上海事件 (1932): Incident between Chinese and Japanese troops in Shanghai.

*League of Blood Founded 血盟団 (1932- ): Ultanationalist organization formed by Inoue Issho and other right-wing radicals.

*League of Blood Incident 血盟団事件 (1932): The “League of Blood Incident” was an assassination plot in which ultranationalist extremists targeted wealthy businessmen and liberal politicians. The group chose twenty victims but succeeded in killing only two: former Finance Minister and head of the Rikken Minseito, Junnosuke Inoue, and Director-General of Mitsui Holding Company, Dan Takuma.

*Shakaishugi riarizumu ronsō 社会主義リアリズム論争 (1933):

*The Shōwa Research Association 昭和研究会 (1933-1940): Political think tank in prewar Japan. 

*Murder of Kobayashi Takeji (1933): Proletarian writer Kobayashi Takeji is tortured to death at the hands of the police.

*Yuibutsuron kenkyūkai 唯物論研究会 (1930s): Marxist research group in the 1930s, whose members included Tosaka Jun, Mashita Shin’ichi, and other prominent leftist philosophers and critics.

*Tenkō ronsō 転向論争 (1933):

*Shesutofu ronsō シェストフ論争 (1933):

*Shimpeitai jiken 神兵隊事件 (1933): A failed coup intended to install a military government.

*Takigawa jiken 滝川事件 (1933): The forced removal of Professor Takigawa and other foreign policy dissidents and “old liberals” from the law faculty at Kyoto University. 

*Gakugei jiyuu doumei 学 芸自由同盟 (1933-1935): Group of 250 leading intellectuals led by Hasegawa Nyozekan, Miki Kiyoshi, and Nii Itaru that sought to protest Professor Takigawa’s dismissal and to curb the increasing suppression of left-wing cultural organizations. Tokuda Shuusei was elected as president of the group. The group was disbanded in 1935.

*Literary Chat Society Founded 文芸懇話会の設立 (1934-1937): ... before it was disbanded in deference to new Imperial Arts Academy. 

*Teijin jiken (1934): Government officials implicated in a stock scandal.

*Shūkyō fukkō
宗教復興 (1934):

*Kōdōshugi bungaku ronsō 行動主義文学論争 (1934): 

*Junsui shōsetsu ronsō 純粋小説論争 (1935):

*Minobe Tatsukichi announces “organ theory” at Diet  国会議事堂で美濃部達吉が天皇機関説を発表 (1935): 

*Formation of Japanese Romantic School (1935): Yasuda Yojuurou announced formation of school and urges fellow romantics to turn to Holderlin, Novalis, and Schlegel in order to “discover” their own traditional culture.

*Rapid rise of militarists (1935):

*Japan Romantic School 日本ロマン派 (1935-1945): partipates in Kindai no chōkoku;

*Fanatical tennou-shugi begins to spread (1935): Based in universalism (tennou is that which creates all life-- Taishou vitalism roots) of Kakei Katsuhiko, Todai professor of constitutional law.

*Shisō to jisseikatsu ronsō 思想と実生活論争 (1936): debate between Masamune Hakuchō and Kobayashi Hideo.

*Term “fascism” disappears from public discourse (1936): Though the notion that Japan was becoming “fascist” dominated the mass media in the 1930s, it began to disappear from public discourse after the Feb 26 incident.

*Establishment of New Japan Culture Society 新日本文化の会 (1936- ): Patriotic literary association founded by Hayashi Fusao and Matsumoto Manabu.

*Anti-Comintern Pact (1936): Japan joins with fascist Italy and Nazi Germany

*Nakano Shigeharu/Kobayashi Hideo ronsō 中野重治小林秀雄論争 (1936?): debate between Marxist Nakano and Kobayashi; 

*Abe Sada jiken 安部定事件 (1936):

*May Day Banned (1936):

*Cabinet Information Committee (1936):

*Niniroku jiken 二二六事件 (“February 26 Incident”) (1936): A major coup attempt against the Japanese government by the Imperial Way Faction 皇道派. Groups of assassins killed or attempted to kill the upper leadership of the government and seize control of key buildings. Fourteen hundred junior military officers took up arms in Tokyo, occupying the Diet, army ministry, and police headquarters. Three cabinet members were killed, including finance minister Takahashi Korekiyo. A band of officers stormed the kantei (the prime minister’s residence) and attempted to kill Prime Minister Okada Keisuke. Admiral Suzuki Kantaro, and Prince Saionji Kimmochi. Most of the city ended up effectively under rebel control. The rebels were fighting in the name of the Emperor against what they saw as a self-serving, overly political government that needed to pay more attention to the troubled domestic economy. Emperor Hirohito responded by ordering the army and navy to suppress the revolt. Elements of the armed services interested in the conquest of Asia saw this as an opportunity to use the rebel’s actions as an excuse for the military to seize greater power over the government. On the 29th, both services reported that they had captured all the rebels, and either executed them or demanded that they commit ritual suicide. Martial law was imposed until July, and Okada was forced to resign in March, making way for a new premier, Hirota Koki (who ended up signing Japan’s alliance with Germany). After some initial success, the coup started to unravel as the Emperor, General Hideki Tojo and surprisingly Shigeru Honjo (once a known supporter of Sadao Araki) acted against the rebels. The Emperor showed unexpected firmness. After a brief political crisis and stalling from the military, the rebels were forced to surrender. In the aftermath, many radical officers were retired and the coup leaders were tried and executed. Whatever the motive, February 26 wiped out the pro-peace factions in Japan and placed the entire country on a solid militarist footing. It was an important step in the escalation in 1937 of the Second Sino-Japanese War, towards Shanghai and the Nanjing massacre. The story behind the February 26 Incident is controversial in Japan, and has been the subject of many movies and fictional stories. Although there is no conclusive evidence to support their position, many believe that Hirohito’s younger brother, Prince Chichibu Yasuhito, was behind the revolt. Some conspiracy theorists have gone as far as to say that Emperor Hirohito and his cohorts staged the rebellion to create the perception of a need for stronger internal security measures.

*Rokōkyō jiken 盧溝橋事件 “Marco Polo Bridge Incident” (1937):  Conflict between Chinese and Japanese troops near the Marco Polo Bridge outside Beijing, which developed into the warfare between the two countries that was the prelude to the Pacific side of World War II. In 1931 Japan occupied Manchuria (now Northeast China) and established the puppet state of Manchukuo, spending large sums to develop the region’s industry and continuing to expand their occupation into northern China around Beiping and Tianjin. This violation of China’s territorial integrity produced a growing anti-Japanese movement in China. By 1937 this movement had grown so strong that the Chinese communists and Nationalists agreed to end their civil war and form a United Front against further Japanese aggression. Before the incident occurred, the Japanese army had occupied Fengtai, the railway junction close to the Marco Polo Bridge, southwest of Beiping. On the night of July 7, 1937, a small Japanese force on maneuvers near the Marco Polo Bridge demanded entry to the tiny walled town of Wanping in order to search for one of their soldiers. The Chinese garrison in the town refused the Japanese entry; a shot was heard, and the two sides began firing. The Chinese government, under strong anti-Japanese pressure, refused to make any concessions in the negotiation of the dispute. The Japanesethe Japanese scored successive victories. The Japanese government, under mounting public pressure not to retreat, decided to seek a quick victory in China. However, this eluded them, and the two sides plunged into what was to become the Sino-Japanese War (1937–45) and, in 1941, the Pacific theatre of World War II. (Britannica Encyclopedia)

*Shina jihen 支那事変 (1937): The “China Incident,” which led to large-scale hostilities between Japan and China.

*Japan Proletarian Party
日本無産党 (1937):

*Nanking Massacre (1937):

*Publication of Kokutai no hongi (1937):

*Pane Gō jiken “Panay Incident” (1937):  An important, if shortlived, crisis in U.S.Japanese relations occurred in the 1930s as Japan launched the Second SinoJapanese War in July 1937. The Japanese had quickly conquered Beijing, Shanghai, and Nanjing, and blockaded the coastline. On 12 December 1937, Japanese warplanes sank the U.S. Navy’s gunboat Panay on the Yangtze River, killing three Americans and wounding nearly thirty. In the daylight attack, many of the escaping survivors were repeatedly machinegunned. Three Standard Oil tankers being convoyed by the Panay were also sunk. President Roosevelt’s advisers believed Japanese officers in China had authorized the attack on the clearly marked ships, and the president and his cabinet considered an embargo and possible naval action. However, while condemning the attack, congressional and press opinion concluded that no vital American interests were involved. When the foreign ministry in Tokyo soon offered a formal apology and agreed to U.S. demands for an indemnity of $2 million, the crisis subsided, but it increased antiJapanese sentiment in the United States and helped persuade the president to take a firmer stand toward Japan, including in 1938 imposing a “moral embargo” on the sale of aircraft to the Japanese military and increasing the U.S. Navy. (U.S. Military History Companion)

*Popular Front Incident 人民戦線事件 (1937-1938): Incident in which over four hundred leftists were arrested on suspicion of participation in anti-government activities.

*National Mobilization Law (1938):

*Establishment of the National Spiritual Mobilization Movement
国民精神総動員運動の設立 (1938- ): An organization in the Empire of Japan established as part of the controls on civilian organizations under the National Mobilization Law by Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe.

*Press censorship begins in earnest (1938):

*Establishment of PEN Brigade ペン部隊の設立 (1938- ): Corps of compliant writers during the war. Members included Kishida Kunio, Hayashi Fumiko, . . .

*Establishment of Bungakkai 文学界の設立 (?): Literary society. Hosts Kindai no chōkoku panel.

*”New Order in East Asia” Declaration (1938): Government places new emphasis on Greater Co-Prosperity Sphere Ideology.

*Kyōju gurupu jiken 教授グループ事件 (1938): Arrest of professors suspected of being affiliated with the leftist group Popular Front (jinmin sensen).

*National General Mobilization Law
国家総動員法 (1938- ): Legislation passed by the Diet of Japan by Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe to put the national economy of the Empire of Japan on war-time footing after the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War. The National Mobilization Law had fifty clauses, which provided for government controls over civilian organizations (including labor unions), nationalization of strategic industries, price controls and rationing, and nationalized the news media. The laws gave the government the authority to use unlimited budgets to subsidize war production, and to compensate manufacturers for losses caused by war-time mobilization.

*The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Literature 日本文学振興会 (1938- ): Organization established in order to promote Japanese literature. The committee organizes five of the major literary awards.

*Jūgun sakka butai 従軍作家部隊 (1938-1945): Association of writers embedded with the Japanese Imperial Army and Navy.

*Continental Settlement ... 大陸開拓国策ペン部隊 (1939- ):

大陸開拓文芸懇話会 (1939):

*Nomonhan jiken (1939): Heavy fighting between Japanese and Soviet troops along the Manchurian-Mongolian border, ending in the defeat of Japanese forces.

*Japan Literary Society 日本文学者会 (1940- ):

*Tripartite Pact 日独伊三国同盟調印式 (1940): A pact signed in Berlin, Germany on September 27, 1940, which established the Axis Powers of World War II. The pact was signed by representatives of Germany (Adolf Hitler), Italy (foreign minister Galeazzo Ciano) and Japan (ambassador Saburo Kurusu).

*Zoruge jiken ゾルゲ事件 (1941): Spy case involving German journalist Richard Sorge.

*Pearl Harbor Attack (1941):

*Publication of Shinmin no michi (1941):

*Rationing of Paper Begins (1941):

*Patriot Conference of Literary Writers 文学者愛国大会 (1941): Conference.

*Japan’s Young Citizens’ Cultural Association 日本少国民文化協会 (1942- ):

*Japanese Literature Patriotic Association Founded 日本文学報国会の設立 (1942-1945): Interwar literary committee to which nearly all writers were pressured to join.

*Yokohama Incident (1942): Incident in which forty-nine writers were jailed for their leftist leanings.

*Kindai no chōkoku 近代の超克-- 文化総合会議 (1942- ): Symposium arranged by the Kyoto School.

*「世界史的立場と日本」座談会  (1942):

*Great East Asia Writers Congress 大東亜文学者大会 (1942-1944): 3 annual meetings.

*Great Japan Tanka Poets’ Association
大日本歌人協会 (1942?- ):

*Japanese Journalism Patriotic Association
大日本言論報国会 (1943-): Wartime association, led by Tokutomi Soho, created to suppress freedom of speech.

*New Japan Literary Society 新日本文学会 (1945-2005): 

*Shutaisei ronsō 主体性論争 (1946-1948): Postwar debate over subjectivity.

*Rice Riots (1946): Thousands of demonstrators gather in front of Imperial Palace demanding better and cheaper access to rice.

*Seiji to bungaku ronsō 政治と文学論争 (1946- ?): postwar debate between orthodox Marxist Nakano Shigeharu (of Shin nihon bungaku) and Hirano Ken (of Kindai bungaku critics, along with Ara Masahito).

*Bungakusha no sensō sekinin ronsō 文学者の戦争責任論争 (1946): 

*Daini geijutsu ronsō 第二芸術論争 (1946):

*Reverse Course Begins 逆コースの開始 (1947- ):

*Formation of Zengakuren 全学連の設立 (1948- ): Communist league of students in Japan noted for organizing marches and protests.

*Communist Party officially denounces subjectivism (1948):

*Teigin jiken
帝銀事件 (1948):

*Taira Incident
平事件 (1949): Incident in which a police station was occupied by members of the Communist Party. All those arrested were soon acquitted.

*Fūzoku shōsetsu ronsō 風俗小説論争 (1949): Debate between Nakamura Mitsuo and Niwa Fumio.

*Shimoyama Incident
下山事件 (1949): Incident surrounding the disappearance and death of Sadanori Shimoyama, the first president of Japanese National Railways. He disappeared on his way to work, July 5, 1949, and his body was found the next day. The Mitaka incident, the Matsukawa incident, and the Shimoyama incident occurred within one month of one another, and together are known as JNR’s Three Big Mysteries.

*Mitaka Incident
三鷹事件 (1949): An incident that took place on July 15, 1949 when an unmanned 63 series train with its operating handle tied down drove into Mitaka Station on the Chūō Line in Tokyo, killing 6 people and injuring 20. The government indicted ten people on a charge of train sabotage resulting in death of the victims. In a court ruling in 1955, one employee of Japanese National Railways, Keisuke Takeuchi, was sentenced to death; the other defendants were freed. All the acquitted defendants were members of the Japan Communist Party, but Takeuchi was not. Takeuchi died in jail in 1967 of a brain tumour. Until his death, he continued to proclaim his innocence.

*Matsukawa Incident
松川事件 (1949): Incident on August 17, 1949 when a passenger train hauled by a JNR Class C51 steam locomotive derailed and overturned between Kanayagawa and Matsukawa stations on the Tōhoku Main Line, killing three crew members. It was reported that the tracks had been sabotaged, which the government blamed on the Japanese Communist Party and the Japan National Railway Union. Twenty people were arrested and convicted but all were eventually acquitted. The perpetrators of the alleged sabotage were never found.

*Chōsen jihen
朝鮮事変 (1950-1953): Korean conflict.

*Red Purge Begins (1950):

*Ningen tankyū
人間探求 (1950-1953):

*Ihōjin ronsō 「異邦人」論争 (1951):

*Amatoria (1951-55):

*The Trial of Lady Chatterley  チャタレイ裁判 (1951- ): 

*Security Treaty 日米安全保障条約 (1951):

*Kaen-bin jiken
火炎ビン事件 (1952- ):

*May Day Incident メーデー事件  (1952): Series of protests in front of the Imperial Palace resulting in violent clashes between 1,000 police and 6,000 demonstrators demanding an end to the U.S. occupation. Two protestors were killed and over one thousand were injured.

*Anti-subversive Activities Act 破壊活動防止 (1952):

*Peace Treaty With Japan (San Francisco Peace Treaty) 日 本国との平和条約 (1952): Treaty signed between Japan and part of the Allied Powers. This treaty served to officially end World War II, to formally end Japan’s position as an imperial power, and to allocate compensation to Allied civilians and former prisoners of war who had suffered Japanese war crimes. This treaty made extensive use of the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to enunciate the Allies’ goals.

*Uchinada Incident 内灘事件 (1952-3): A series of protests against the establishment of a US Army firing range in Uchinada, Ishikawa Prefecture.

*Kokumin bungaku ronsō 国民文学論争 (1952):

*Kitan kurabu (1952-1975):

*Fūzoku kagaku 風俗科学 (1953-1955):

*Fūzoku zōshi (1953-55):

*Shijin no sensō sekinin ronsō 詩人の戦争責任論争 (1954):

*Kokumin bungaku ronsō 国民文学論争 (1950s): debate that included Yamamoto Kenkichi, ..

*二重橋事件 (1954):

*Ura mado 裏窓 (1956-1965):

*Sōmagahara jiken (1957): Case involving the murder of a Gunma woman by a U.S. serviceman. 

*Nagasaki Flag Incident 長崎国旗事件 (1958): Diplomatic dispute over which flag should serve as the legitimate national flag of China.

*May-June (“Hagerty”) Incident ():

*Kokuminbungaku ronsō 国民文学論争 (1950s):

*Jōbu kōzō ronsō 上部構造論争 (1956):

*Sensō sekinin ronsō 戦争責任論争 (1956):

*Jiyū ronsō 自由論争 (1957):

*Seiji to bungaku ronsō 政治と文学論争 (1959): Debate between Hanada Kiyoteru and Yoshimoto Takaaki.

*Seiji shōsetsu ronsō 政治小説論争 (1959- ): began with Nakamura article, “Futatabi seiji shōsetsu o”

*安保阻止第八次統一行動 (1959): Protest on grounds of Diet in which over 300 demonstrators were injured.

*US-Japan Security Treaty
安保条約 (1960): Cold-war treaty signed between Japan and U.S. which strengthened ties between the two nation.

*六一五闘争 (1960):

*Asanuma Inejiro shakaito iincho shisatsu jiken (1960): Televised assassination of Socialist Party leader Asanuma Inejiro which, according to some, was CIA-orchestrated.

*Shimanaka jiken “Shimanaka Incident” (1960): The attempted murder of Chūō Kōronsha president Shimanaka Hōji by a right-winged radical angered at the publication of Fukazawa Shichirō’s famed story about regicide.

*Fūryū Mutan jiken
風流夢譚(嶋中)事件 (1961):

*Junbungaku ronsō 純文学論争 (1961): Debate Hirano Ken vs. Itō Sei and Takami Jun; Inoue Yasushi, Ōka Shōhei, others involved;

*Seiji to bungaku ronsō 政治と文学論争 (1963):

*Haneda jiken 羽田事件 (1967):

*Nichidai funsō
日大紛争 (1968):

*Tōdai funsō
東大紛争 (1968):

*Tōdai Yasuda Kōdō senkyo 東大安田講堂占拠 (1969):

*Naikō no sedai ronsō 内向の世代論争 (1970):

*Establishment of the Japanese Red Army 日本赤軍の設立 (1971): A far-left militia founded by Shigenobu Fusako early in 1971 in Lebanon. It called itself Japanese Red Army and sometimes Arab-JRA after the Lod airport massacre.

*Yojōhan Trial 四畳半襖の下張事件 (1980?- ):

*Edo shōsetsu ronsō 江戸小説論争 (1974?): Mizuno Minoru and Suzuki (?)

*Kokoro ronsō (1985-1994): Debate between Komori Yōichi and Nakamura Miharu on Natsume Sōseki’s Kokoro.

*Rengō sekigun Asama Sansō jiken 連合赤軍浅間山荘 (1972): 

*Kindaichū jiken 金大中事件 (1973): 

*Mitsubishi Jūkō jiken 三菱重工事件 (1974):

*Atami satsujin jiken (1974):

*Shitabari saiban 下張裁判 (1975): Trial in which novelist Nosaka Akiyuki was charged with reprinting and distributing Nagai Kafū’s allegedly pornographic novel.

*Rokkiido jiken (1976): Corruption scandal in which Japanese government officials were charged with taking bribes from Lockheed Aircraft Corporation.

*Toshiba jiken (1987): 

*Matsumoto sarin jiken (1994)

*Sarin gasu jiken (): 

*Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami (March 11, 2001):