What was the Meiji period like?
This period saw the transfer of power from Tokugawa to the imperial court, and the transition from a system of government based on the bakufu and han domains to a unified state.
This was also the period that witnessed the transition to a capitalist economy and the establishment of a modern Japanese state system.
In 1889, the Meiji Constitution (the Constitution of Imperial Japan) was promulgated, laying the foundation for the political structure of the state.
It contained a clause maintaining the divinity of the emperor, proclaiming that the country "must not violate the sanctity of the emperor," and thus Japan gradually became unified under the force of nationalism.
In protest against nationalism, human rights movements arose to assert and extend the rights and freedom of citizens.
But in the end, under the banner of nationalism, Japan let stare interests take precedence and advanced into the Korean peninsula and the Chinese continent.
Friction increased with countries that opposed Japan's advances, and in the Meiji period alone, Japan entered into the Sino-Japanese War (1894-95) and the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05), and went on to annex Korea in 1910.