chapter  4
20 Pages

The 1880s and 1890s: defi ning a Japanese national identity

The way here set forth is indeed the teaching bequeathed by Our Imperial Ancestors, to be observed alike by Their Descendants and the subjects, infallible for all ages and true in all places. 2

The fi rst extract appeared as Articles 4 and 5 of the Imperial Charter Oath, the statement of progressive principles issued by the new Meiji leaders in 1868. The second formed part of the conclusion to the Imperial Rescript on Education of 1890, whose reinforcement of Confucian values and indigenous Shinto myths of divine imperial origins is seen by many historians as signalling the end of the Meiji revolution.