Popular Protest and the Working Class
Communal protest in Japan was in evidence during the Tokugawa period, and has recurred throughout the years since 1868, despite vigorous suppression by the authorities. Popular protest was motivated by a variety of issues and took various forms. On more than one occasion it brought down the government and threatened the stability of the state. However, for the most part, the socialist and left-wing movement which claimed to represent the interests of the masses proved unable to tap this popular discontent.