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Feature Article

Remembering Restoration Heroes in Modern Japan

Just as the American Civil War lives on in historical fiction, television series, and movies, so too does the Meiji Restoration of 1868 continue to evoke memories of heroism, pride, and tragedy. In the centuries preceding the Restoration, Japan had been split into domains ruled by military lords (daimyō), with the head of the Tokugawa family as the country’s nominally leading warrior (shogun). During this time, the emperor and court nobles lived in Kyoto, but they possessed little political p...