(born Nov. 3, 1852, Kyōto, Japan—died July 30, 1912, Tokyo) Emperor of Japan during whose reign (1867–1912) the Tokugawa shogunate was overthrown, Japan was transformed into a world power, and the imperial throne came to the forefront of the political scene after centuries of being overshadowed by shogunal rule. He believed in the need to modernize Japan along Western lines. Under the Meiji emperor the domains (han) and old class system were abolished, a new school system was introduced, and the Meiji Constitution was promulgated. Also during his reign Taiwan was annexed after the Sino-Japanese War (1894–95), Korea was annexed (1910), and Japan defeated Russia in the Russo-Japanese War (1904–05). Seealso Tokugawa period; Meiji period; Meiji Restoration.
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