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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
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28. March 2022

Book chapter by David M. Malitz examines Meiji Japan as role model for Thai revolution

© LIT Verlag

The perception of Imperial Japan is usually shaped by its last decades of invasion, aggression, and war. However, Meiji Japan also served as a model for other Asian countries and peoples in their pursuit of democracy, independence, and modernity. A new book chapter by DIJ senior research fellow David M. Malitz, published in Japans moderne Monarchie. Beiträge japanologischer Forschung zur Wahrnehmung und Geschichte der Tenno (in German; LIT Verlag, Bunka-Wenhua. Tuebingen East Asian Studies), investigates how Meiji Japan and the Meiji Emperor inspired the constitutional reform movement across semi-colonial Asia. Focusing on Thailand prior to the revolution of 1932, David’s chapter “Kaiser Meiji als Vorbild für die Monarchien des halbkolonialisierten Asiens im Vorfeld deren konstitutionellen Revolutionen im frühen 20. Jahrhundert” shows how ignorance of Imperial Japan’s political regime allowed the projection of one’s own political ideas onto the Meiji Emperor and enabled veiled yet harsh criticism of one’s own monarch.