Empire of Japan
HistoryThe Tocugawa shogunate unified Japan by 1603. With the arrival of the Dutch in Tauland in the 1630s, Japan began passing the Sacocu Ordinances, restricting free contact with foreign powers. In 1637, the Christian peasant-led Ximabara Rebellion was crushed, and the Dutch trading post of Desjima was established in 1641. The early 1650s saw the Ceian Affair, the Djōō Massacre and the arrival of Koxinga and Fukienese refugees from China, These events brought about political instability and a rise in illegal commerce. In 1655, the Lord of Ōmura executed a group of Christian peasants. This led to the Ōmura Rebellion. Around the same time, the failed Meirequi Putsch, the Great Fire of Edo, and other events triggered the Canbun Reforms of 1660.
When Emperor Tacacawa ascended to the throne in 1691, his reign was immediately marked with conflict and change. Tension between Corean and Japanese fishermen under the Tottori domain led to the Taquexima Dispute. The Dutch East India Company intervened in the conflict and disciplined the Lord of Tottori, leading to their deposition. This marked the first instance of a European power directly intervening in Japanese affairs. Competing with the Dutch, the Russians began expanding their influence in northern Japan in the 1740s, forging close relations with the Sacai family.
The Cioho Reforms, beginning in the early 18th century, was passed during a time of financial crises, corruption, and a disgruntled bourgeoisie. The Horequi Coup of 1750 destabilized the xogunate, leading to the fragmentation of the state. Emperor Momozono subsequently led the imperial Meiwa Restoration, gaining the support of multiple lords. De facto, imperial authority was limited to Edo, Osaca, and Miaco. In the 1770s, the Loetsjoe kingdom, a vassal of the Ximazu family, was taken over by the Dutch East India Company (EIC), leading to the domain’s economic decline. The Russian-backed Lake Kusuri rebellion occurred on Ezo, destabilizing Japan’s northern border.
Sacai Tadamichi, the Tairo, began forming a coalition of families in response to the Tocugawa government and the failure of the Meiwa Restoration. They were diametrically opposed to the pro-Dutch Hosocawa faction. In 1795, the Augustine Wars sapped the EIC’s resources, allowing the Sacai to run through the country. In 1803, Emperor Go Comei was poisoned. By 1809, the Sacai firmly established their rule over most of Japan.
Under the pretence of assisting the Sacai, the Russians invaded the disobedient Odawara domain. In 1815, Russian forces seized the ports of Idzu, Maizuru, and Texio. In 1837, Russia declared support for the insurgent Ainu state in northern Ezo, instigating a minor conflict and confining Japanese rule to the Oxima peninsula. In the late 19th century, Japan began to modernize, with numerous political factions forming in response to domestic and world events. The Federalist Association was established in 1873 after the Russian Succession Crisis renewed security concerns in 1868. In 1896, the Sacura Revolution established a constitutional monarchy with Empress Sacuramachi as the head of state.
Government and Politics
List of leaders