NEW MEN AND NEW METHODS
Organization of new administrative machine --the Meiji
oligarchy--abolition of feudal domains --land tax reform --
centralization --the Iwakura mission
THE DECISIONS taken on January 3, 1868, after Satsuma and its allies had seized control of the imperial palace were not immediately made public. Nor did the emperor's new champions possess means of carrying them out. It was all very well to inform the Shogun that he was stripped of his lands and office, but none knew whether he would accept the decree or whether, if he rejected it, he could be made to submit by force. Accordingly, the next three weeks were a time of rumour and speculation, when only an inner circle of Court and Bakufu officials had any idea of what was going on. Choshu, pardoned by the Court, moved troops to Kyoto, which greatly strengthened the hand of the conspirators, while the Shogun, Keiki, withdrew to Osaka, where he had a substantial body of men at his command. Despite this he gave the impression of having abandoned all attempts to control the situation, though his chief supporters, the lords of Aizu and Kuwana, clearly wanted him to fight. Meanwhile Owari and Fukui, both of whom were Tokugawa relatives, were working to bring about a compromise, proposing that Keiki should surrender only his Court titles and such part of his lands as would provide the emperor with an adequate revenue. Keiki agreed. However, he reckoned without the growing hostility between Satsuma and Aizu. On January 26, apparently without the Shogun's authority, Aizu and Kuwana troops marched on Kyoto. Next day outside
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Publication information: Book title: The Modern History of Japan. Contributors: W. G. Beasley - Author. Publisher: Frederick A. Praeger. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1963. Page number: 98.
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