The 14th GJS LectureWhen Honesty Ceased to be the Best Policy: Foundation of Political Rhetoric of Meiji Japan

Date and time: October 6, 2016 (Thur.), 4:00-6:00PM
Venue: Main Conference Room (3rd Floor), The Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo
Speaker: Iokibe Kaoru (Professor Graduate School for Law and Politics, The University of Tokyo)
Language: English

Abstract: If politicians tell us a lie, as well as protest and complaint against this, we may as well turn our attention to its background and the history of partial remedies. Depicting a peculiar type of fabrication substantially harmful for the people, this talk illustrates the experience of Japan that developed a political discourse to modify its effect in the latter half of 1870s, the era when honesty was about to be the best policy. This effort seems to have failed around 1881, but it was followed by the similar quest in the realm of literature through 1890s. Those sequences involve the main events of politics and literature of that era, emergence of newspaper editorials, establishment of political parties, construction of constitutional monarchy, reform of Kabuki play, renascence of Haiku, etc., hopefully making a new curious tour of Meiji Japan.

Organizer: The Global Japan Studies Network (GJS)
Co-organizer: Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, the University of Tokyo
Contact: gjs[at]