Freedom and People's Rights Movement

The Freedom and People's Rights Movement, Liberty and Civil Right Movement, Free Civil Right Movement (自由民権運動, Jiyū Minken Undō) (abbreviated as Freedom Party (自由党, Jiyūtō)[2]) or Popular Rights Movement was a Japanese political and social movement for democracy in the 1880s. It pursued the formation of an elected legislature, revision of the Unequal Treaties with the United States and European countries, the institution of civil rights, and the reduction of centralized taxation.[3]

Soeda Azenbō, whose liberalistic ballads came to be seen as the anthem of the Jiyūtō.[1]
  1. Deliberative assemblies shall be widely established and all matters decided by open discussion.
  2. All classes, high and low, shall be united in vigorously carrying out the administration of affairs of state.
  3. The common people, no less than the civil and military officials, shall all be allowed to pursue their own calling so that there may be no discontent.
  4. Evil customs of the past shall be broken off and everything based upon the just laws of Nature.
  5. Knowledge shall be sought throughout the world so as to strengthen the foundation of imperial rule.[4]

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, under the Meiji Constitution, the first election law enfranchised only men who paid a substantial amount in property taxes, as a result of the Land Tax Reform in 1873.

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See alsoEdit


  • Sims, Richard (2001). Japanese Political History Since the Meiji Renovation 1868-2000. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-23915-7.
  1. ^ Soeda, Azenbō (2009). A Life Adrift. Routledge. ISBN 9780415592161.
  2. ^ Buruma, Ian (2003). Inventing Japan, 1853–1964. Modern Library. ISBN 0-679-64085-1.
  3. ^ "Quickening of the people's right movement", Matsuoka, Kiichi (Japanese)
  4. ^ McLaren, p. 8, quoted in De Bary et al., p. 672.