Definition of Meiji in US English:



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

    • ‘He also has the finest collection of Meiji art outside Japan, as well as Spanish damascene metalwork and Swedish textiles.’
    • ‘The Meiji period began with the end of the Tokugawa shogunate and the restoration of the emperor as the real power.’
    • ‘On his visit to Japan he took gifts for the Meiji emperor, including some artifacts of his own design.’
    • ‘The 1868 Meiji restoration in Japan kickstarted the transformation of a feudal backwater into a textbook example of modernity almost overnight.’
    • ‘Tattooing criminals was continued until 1870, when it was abolished by the new Meiji government of the Japanese Emperor.’
    • ‘It led to the so-called Meiji reforms, of the 1870s, in Japan.’
    • ‘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 industrial revolution arrived in Japan with the new dawn of the Meiji period.’
    • ‘By the 1890s, the fruits of the Meiji government's modernizing policies had begun to appear.’
    • ‘The next upswing for book publishing came with the Meiji era, during which Japan opened itself towards the West.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Even after the Meiji rulers imposed military rule in the 1930s, belief in democracy endured for many Japanese.’
    • ‘The art of woodblock printing in the Meiji period is marked by the industrialization and swift westernization which Japan underwent in this era.’
    • ‘The ensuing Meiji policy of modernization allowed Western ideas, institutions, and culture to infiltrate Japan.’
    • ‘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 Meiji regime reconnected imperial rule with civil political authority and military power.’
    • ‘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.’


Japanese, literally ‘enlightened government’.