Definition of Meiji in English:



  • usually as modifier The period when Japan was ruled by the emperor Meiji Tenno, marked by the modernization and westernization of the country.

    ‘elaborately decorated Meiji earthenware’
    • ‘He also has the finest collection of Meiji art outside Japan, as well as Spanish damascene metalwork and Swedish textiles.’
    • ‘Tattooing criminals was continued until 1870, when it was abolished by the new Meiji government of the Japanese Emperor.’
    • ‘The Meiji period began with the end of the Tokugawa shogunate and the restoration of the emperor as the real power.’
    • ‘It led to the so-called Meiji reforms, of the 1870s, in Japan.’
    • ‘The art of woodblock printing in the Meiji period is marked by the industrialization and swift westernization which Japan underwent in this era.’
    • ‘On his visit to Japan he took gifts for the Meiji emperor, including some artifacts of his own design.’
    • ‘He looked like an actor from a Meiji period movie.’
    • ‘These Japanese had been displaced from their homes by the ending of the Tokugawa shogunate and the restoration of the Meiji emperor.’
    • ‘The pieces, which span the Edo to Meiji periods, were collected by two Swiss sisters who devoted their lives to travelling the world in search of Japanese art and design.’
    • ‘To explain this about-face in Japanese attitudes toward wolves, we need to return one last time to the issue of Japan's vision of modernity in the early Meiji years.’
    • ‘Even after the Meiji rulers imposed military rule in the 1930s, belief in democracy endured for many Japanese.’
    • ‘It was an appeal of the artist to his countrymen not to give up their traditional values in exchange for the Western modernization that had begun in the Meiji period.’
    • ‘The Meiji regime reconnected imperial rule with civil political authority and military power.’
    • ‘The next upswing for book publishing came with the Meiji era, during which Japan opened itself towards the West.’
    • ‘It marked the official end of the Tokugawa rule and the beginning of the Meiji era, named after the name which the young emperor had chosen.’
    • ‘The Meiji land tax made possible Japan's transformation into a modern capitalist power, but, as we have seen, only at great cost in human welfare.’
    • ‘The 1868 Meiji restoration in Japan kickstarted the transformation of a feudal backwater into a textbook example of modernity almost overnight.’
    • ‘By the 1890s, the fruits of the Meiji government's modernizing policies had begun to appear.’
    • ‘The ensuing Meiji policy of modernization allowed Western ideas, institutions, and culture to infiltrate Japan.’
    • ‘The industrial revolution arrived in Japan with the new dawn of the Meiji period.’


Japanese, literally ‘enlightened government’.