April 17, 2014

Poseidon of the East (15)


Provinces in Japan once enjoyed a fair amount of autonomy in governing their internal affairs. This "federalism" was one reason for the longevity of Tokugawa rule. But it also led to its downfall when the domains of Satsuma, Choshu, and Tosa united and overthrew the shogunate in 1868.

During the early Meiji period, in order to expeditiously eradicate the old feudal order and get everybody on the "same page" policy-wise, the central government took back much of that independence. The over-concentration of political power in Tokyo plagues Japanese politics to this day.

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