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The conundrum of Japan’s modernization: an examination of enlightenment prints of the 1870’s Lo, Teresa Wing-Yan 1995

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T H E C O N U N D R U M O F J A P A N ' S M O D E R N I Z A T I O N : A N E X A M I N A T I O N O F E N L I G H T E N M E N T PRINTS O F T H E 1870S by T E R E S A W I N G - Y A N L O B. A . , The University of British Columbia, 1993 A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E O F M A S T E R O F A R T S in T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S Department of Fine Arts We accept this thesis as conforming tojtb.e required standard T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A August 1995 © Teresa Wing-Yan Lo, 1995 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of F-lfJB AtZTS The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date AU&UST 30, /195 DE-6 (2/88) 11 Abstract The subject of investigation is a specific genre of Meiji period (1868-1912) woodblock prints known as Enlightenment prints (kaika nishiki-e), produced in Tokyo during the 1870s. While working with the technique and style of the previous century, they exploit themes of modernization and Westernization. An astounding volume of prints appeared during this period, with popular demand and technical facility higher than ever before. Curiously, these works have not been treated critically by scholars, who see them as amusing oddities marred by bright aniline colors. Art historians have focused on artists such as Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) and Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915) who reinterpreted themes from classical literature and ukiyo-e* prints and paintings, or who experimented with Western innovations such as volumetric modeling and defined sources of light. Enlightenment prints, on the other hand, are visual documents of a rapidly changing Japan. Their significance can be appreciated, if they are studied in the proper cultural context, for their development closely parallels the aspirations of the citizens and policies of the Meiji oligarchy, which was primarily to regain equal status through revisions of the unequal treaties imposed by the foreign powers in the 1850s. Characteristic of Enlightenment prints of the 1870s are Ginza street scenes. The emphasis is on new inner-city transportation, new utilities, and new buildings. The bustle of street traffic and trains reflects the quickened pace of life, and progress. The triptych format favored by artists in the Meiji period lends itself to elaborating the horizontal expanse of a new bridge or the breadth of a spacious boulevard. Cityscapes by Hiroshige III, Kuniteru II and others convey quite *Ukiyo-e refers to prints and paintings featuring Edo, that period of 1576-1868 and the name of Tokyo before the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the fleeting and transient world of courtesans and actors. Ill literally the broad new horizons and exhilarating scale of Meiji Japan. More than simple street scenes, these images emphasize the national mobilization towards modernization that typified the decade of the 1870s, the motivation being the desire to attain equality with the West. The excitement of Western influences and the juxtaposition of such influences in scenes they were familiar with attracted a large public for the Enlightenment prints. In this thesis, I will explore the scenes the Enlightenment prints promoted, the point of views reflected. Their subject matter mirrors the view that modernization is positive and admirable. However, by analyzing the social mores and print culture of the 1870s, I will argue that there is more than meets the eye in the Enlightenment prints. Contemporary accounts of the massive changes in this decade reveal the fact that rapid modernization is a continuous struggle. It is my contention that in the early years of this period, disparate images produced in the prints reveal the urban, economic and social complexities of the modernization process. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ii Table of Contents iv List of Figures vi Acknowledgement ix Introduction 1 Chapter One HISTORICAL BACKGROUND TO THE MEIJI 4 The Need to Modernize 4 The Initial Steps 5 Chapter Two WOODBLOCK PRINTS: AN ART FORM FOR COMMONERS 8 Print Artists of the 1870s 8 A Common Heritage 9 Chapter Three WESTERNIZATION IN PROGRESS: A CHANGING CITYSCAPE 12 Mixing Tourism and Commerce 12 The Focus Changes 15 Architecture in Ginza Reflecting the Changes in the Landscape 17 The Dark Side of the City: Scenes of Rebellion in the Capital 22 Chapter Four MARKERS OF TECHNOLOGY: LOCOMOTION AND INDUSTRY 26 A New Mobility 26 Fostering Industrial Growth 31 Self-Help: The New Work Ethic 34 V Chapter Five A TASTE FOR CHANGE: LIFE IN THE CITY 38 The Intelligentsia of the 1870s: The Meirokusha 38 Fukuzawa's "Spirit of Civilization" 42 A Middle Class Emerging from Bunmei Kaika 45 The Emperor's New Clothes 48 A New Activity of the Consumer Class: Gin-bura 53 The Emancipation of Women: Fact or Fancy? 55 Conclusion 63 Figures 67 Bibliography 83 vi List of Figures Figure Page 1. Utagawa YosMfuji, Imported and Japanese Goods: Comic Picture of a Playful Contest of Utensils. Ca. 1873; rpt. in Julia Meech-Pekarik, The World of the Meiji Print: Impressions of a New Civilization (New York: Weatherhill, 1986) plate 17 67 2. Utagawa Kuniteru II, Tokyo Tsukiji Hoterukan. 1869; rpt. in Meech-Pekarik, 78 68 3. Utagawa Kuniteru II, Famous Scenes in Tokyo: True Picture of a Five-story Building at Kaiun Bridge. 1872; rpt. in Meech-Pekarik, 81 69 4. Kobayashi Kiyochika, View ofEdo Bridge in Tokyo. January 13, 1876; rpt. in Henry Smith II, Kiyochika: Artist of Meiji Japan (Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1988) 22 70 5. Utagawa Kuniteru II, True View of the Brick and Stone Street Construction along the Main Street ofGinza, Tokyo. September 1874; rpt. in Meech-Pekarik, plate 56 71 6. Utagawa Hiroshige III, Scenic View of Tokyo Enlightenment: Picture of Stone Construction at Kyobashi and Prosperity of Brick and Stone Shops on both Sides ofGinza Street. December 1874; rpt. in Meech-Pekarik, plate 14 72 Vl l 7. Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, Todai sannozan senso no zu. 1874; rpt. in John Stevenson, Yoshitoshi's One Hundred Aspects of the Moon (Redmond: San Francisco Graphic Society, 1992) 26 73 8. Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, Saigo Takamori seppuku no zu. 1877; rpt. in J. P. Filedt Kok and J. F. Heijbroek, The Age of Yoshitoshi (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 1990) 31 74 9. Shosai Ikkei, Picture of Steam Engine Traffic at Shiodome. 1872; rpt. in Meech-Pekarik, plate 13 75 10. Utagawa Yoshitora, Vehicles on the Streets of Tokyo. 1870; rpt. in Meech-Pekarik, plate 12 76 11. Kobayashi Kiyochika, View ofTakanawa Ushimachi under a Shrouded Moon. 1879; rpt. in Smith II, 46 77 12. Utagawa Yoshitora, Picture of an Imported Silk Reeling Machine at Tsukiji, in Tokyo. 1872; rpt. in Meech-Pekarik, plate 15 78 13. Kobayashi Kiyochika, Manufacturing Pots and Kettles in Kawaguchi. 1879; rpt. in Smith II, 47 79 14. Josiah Wedgewood. Ca. 1878; rpt. in Stewart Culin, "Japanese Color Prints Illustrating Samuel Smile's Self-Help " Brooklyn Museum Quarterly 6.2(1919): 112 80 15. Attributed to Uchida Kuichi, Emperor Meiji. Ca. 1872; rpt. in Meech-Pekarik, 103 81 Vl l l Fukuzawa Yukichi, pages from Western Clothing, Food, and Homes (Seiyo ishokuju). 1867; rpt. in Meech-Pekarik, 66-67 ix Acknowledgement I wish to thank first Moritaka Matsumoto, Associate Professor in the Department of Fine Arts at the University of British Columbia for the sound guidance and support he has generously given through my years as an undergraduate, then in the Masters program. He accepted many discussions which expanded my knowledge and facilitated my research. This thesis would not have been possible without his kindness and patience. He has been not only my sensei, but also my mentor. My sincere gratitude also goes to Katherine Hacker, Assistant Professor, Department of Fine Arts, University of British Columbia. Her detailed criticisms and suggestions contributed immensely to and greatly improved my many drafts. A very special thanks to Ms. Molly Creery for her constant support and encouragement. Her "red ink" has helped in the polishing of the text. I would like to thank my esteemed colleague and friend Joseph Loh for always challenging me to achieve greater heights. Thank you Naomi Arai and Anita Wu for all the late nights and helping me keep everything in perspective. 1 INTRODUCTION The bright crowded scenes of the kaika nishiki-e, the Enlightenment prints of the 1870s which were produced early in Japan's Meiji period, seem proof positive of an industrial Japan undergoing a smooth transition from the traditional to the modern, from samurai to salary-man. However, a closer examination of contemporary print culture reveals that there were other agendas and points of contestation. The prints did not always reflect the truth. Rather, they were the optimistic froth of the new movement to Westernize. They seemed to marvel: "How many goodly creatures have we here! ... O brave new world that has such people in it."1 The Enlightenment prints did not attest to documenting a reality. The purpose of this thesis is to call attention to these brilliant thrusts into modernity. It will examine the prints as they are and explore the issues of commerce, industry, transport, urban life and the emerging classes from which they came and that formed the matrix of the Meiji in the 1870s. Mass-produced images using synthetic vibrant colors and in strong contrast to traditional Japanese methods, these Enlightenment prints have been largely ignored by art historians or critics; not until 1986 did work appear on the subject. Julia Meech-Pekarik's book The World of the Meiji Print: Impressions of a New Civilization was the first work devoted to a study of the Meiji prints. For the very first time, her book brought to light a portion of the Lincoln Kirstein Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Meech-Pekarik's study provided only preliminary information regarding the prints and briefly located them within their social historical context. The enterprise of this thesis is to address the issues of the beginning of a monetary-based economy that lay beneath the graphic surface of the Meiji prints of the 1870s. The Meiji government needed to enforce Shakespeare, The Tempest V.i.183-184. 2 its commitment to strengthen the military and foster a rich country. Their national sovereignty was at stake. That the transition was a confusing one is clearly shown in Utagawa Yoshifuji's 1873 print entitled Imported and Japanese Goods: Comic Picture of a Playful Contest of Utensils (Fig. 1), a seemingly innocent image of a battle scene in a non-specific setting. Half of the figures are in Western military uniforms while the other half are in various traditional Japanese armor. As the title indicates, the battle is between imported Western goods and indigenous Japanese items. A mighty kerosene lamp figure stands confidently tall wielding a cane at the buckling rapeseed oil lamp warrior. In a playful manner, Imported and Japanese Goods: A Comic Picture of a Playful Contest of Utensils depicts the dichotomy between traditional and modernization. This debate is reflective of the Meiji period. The gamut of issues that complexify the process of modernization lies beneath every battle in this scene and ultimately in the 1870s. The Enlightenment prints deal with issues of modernity, with urban development and industrialization. They depict Western-style architecture, new modes of transport, and an emerging consumer class striving for modern acoutrements. It is through these emblems of enlightenment as found in the prints that this thesis will examine the representations of Tokyo and refute these representations through other views of Tokyo. To foreground this analysis, the thesis opens with the historical background for the prints, contextualizing them in their socio-historical moment. The work then goes on to describe the physical nature of the Enlightenment prints and to locate them with the larger Japanese print culture, before focusing on architecture, technology, and society, the metaphors for the new Japan. They were emblems, symbols of civilization and enlightenment, in the eyes of the Japanese, achievements of what they had done in the first decade of Meiji rule. 3 Examining the representation of Tokyo in the Enlightenment prints and refuting these representations through comparing them with prints by non-Enlightenment print artists reveals that there were other views of Tokyo. The cityscape may not have been as the kaika nishiki-e would have us believe. 4 CHAPTER ONE: HISTORICAL BACKGROUND TO THE MEIJI The fall of the Tokugawa government and the Meiji Restoration caused a vast upheaval in Japanese life. Although its predecessor had already initiated the modernization of the country, the Meiji oligarchy2 set about this task in earnest. The oligarchy was young and most of its members came out of the samurai elite. As such they recognized the importance of Western military strength and its basis in scientific and technological achievement. They were disposed to accept whatever changes seemed necessary to increase Japanese strength; thus, they took their models for innovation not from ancient Japan but from the contemporary West. Their overriding principle may be summed up in the slogan fukoku-kyohei, "to prosper the nation and strengthen its defenses;" in other words, Japan was to be built up in every way in order to be able to respond to the Western cultural expansion and maintain its sovereignty. The Need to Modernize The guidelines for this reform had begun to emerge in a memorandum prepared in 1867 by Iwakura Tomomi (1825-1883), a member of the court aristocracy and one of the major leaders of the restoration movement. This document maintained that the aim should be a central administration with the Emperor at the head; economic progress through the stimulation of agriculture and foreign trade; renewal of the educational system; and re—negotiation of those treaties with other nations that had proved to be humiliating for the Japanese people, including the abolition of extraterritorial rights for foreigners and freedom to determine customs duties independently. 2 The Meiji oligarchy comprised approximately 30 leaders of the reform movement and restoration. For names, see W. G. Beasley, The Meiji Restoration (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1972) 318-320. 5 The intention was to seek ideas of reform from Western culture. The quest for knowledge from abroad gained particular emphasis in the Imperial Charter Oath of 6 April 1868, which defined the official aims and program of the new Imperial administration. Such clauses as "evil customs of the past shall be broken off," "careers shall be open to all equally," and "knowledge shall be sought throughout the world and thus shall strengthen the foundation of the Imperial policy" appeared in the Oath. Iwakura's plans took positive shape in 1870, when he proposed the creation of a centralized state, on the grounds that the existing feudal system was incapable of defending the nation against external threats. He proposed the abolition of the privileges of the samurai and the establishment of a national army. In addition, the government was called on to recognize education as an appropriate means of increasing the country's wealth and power. The purpose behind all this was that Japan should attain equality with the Western world, bunmei kaika, Civilization and Enlightenment, which may largely be taken to mean the degree of development reached by Western society in the latter half of the nineteenth century. The Initial Steps The reforms were set into motion with alacrity. The first step was to unify the country administratively; within two years the government succeeded in mustering sufficient political support that by 1871 it was able to combine the former domains of the daimyo to make up a system of 72 prefectures, led by centrally appointed governors, and three municipalities.3 The necessary conditions for effective government action in the economic sphere were created through the financial reforms of 1871 and 1872, by which the 3john Whitney Hall , Japan: From Prehistory to Modern Times (New York: Delacorte Press, 1970) 270-272. 6 currency was standardized in the form of a decimal system based on the yen. A banking system was established, modeled after the American Federal Reserve, and the eventual foundation for long-term financial stability was laid with a loan of 2.4 million pounds from Britain, and a revision of the land tax in 1873.4 The military might and authority of the government was strengthened by the adoption of compulsory military service in 1873. The new conscription law effectively eliminated the last of the privileges of the samurai, who had previously enjoyed the exclusive right to carry arms. In order to create a united Japan, it was essential to set aside the old four—class system, but reform here had to be pursued cautiously, for this was a change that penetrated the very heart of society. Sufficient progress had been made by 1870 that commoners were allowed to take surnames and to exercise free choice of occupation and place of residence. In 1876, the samurai were forbidden to carry swords and the pension payable to them by the government was compulsorily converted to government interest—paying bonds, redeemable in one lump sum after some years, upon which their privileged status effectively came to an end. These reforms did not proceed without opposition, principally from the peasants and the samurai. The former criticized the tax reform and compulsory military service, which they referred to as a "blood tax." The samurai in turn were frustrated at their loss of status, expressing this in a series of disturbances from 1873 onwards which culminated in the revolt of 1877 led by Saigo Takamori (1827-1877), one of the major leaders of the Meiji Restoration, which the government needed a 40,000—man army to suppress. Internal disagreements within the Meiji oligarchy came to a head in 1873, when the majority of the government decided that Japan should not provoke war with Korea but should concentrate first on strengthening the country internally. 4 H a l l 277-280. 7 An important factor which helped to shape the views of the majority in this situation was the return of the Iwakura Mission from its two-year visit to Europe and the United States in 1873. The Mission's report laid particular stress on the backwardness of Japan and her need to learn from the West. One method for achieving this was to invite Western experts in different fields to visit Japan, and another was to send Japanese students abroad. It is estimated that some 3000 foreign advisors were employed in Japan between the years 1858 and 1890, enabling the country to adopt rapidly many of the achievements of Western culture.5 One of the first tangible fruits of the reform was the modernization of transport and communications. The first telegraph lines were built in the early 1870s, and the first railway line, between Tokyo and Yokohama, was opened in 1872. The reforms and achievements of the 1870s laid the foundations for the establishment and changes in political and economic institutions in the 1880s. Through a process of selection, adaptation, and/or rejection, British, German, French, Russian, and American elements were incorporated into Japanese culture. ^Olavi K. Fait, The Clash of Interests: The Transition of Japan in 1861-1881 in the Eyes of the Local Anlgo-Saxon Press (Rovaniemi, Finland: Phojois-Suomen Historialinen Yhdistys, 1990) 51. 8 CHAPTER TWO: WOODBLOCK PRINTS: AN ART FORM FOR COMMONERS Japanese woodcuts were printed on handmade mulberry-bark paper of many different standard sizes,6 but the most common size in the late nineteenth century was a sheet approximately 15 x 10 inches called oban, or "large format." The majority of prints used in this study are in this format. Individual prints were often designed as components of larger compositions. Two or three vertical sheets might be placed side by side to form a horizontal composition of a diptych or a triptych. Unless otherwise specified, the cartouches on the upper portions of the prints give them their titles. Print Artists of the 1870s The focus of this study is Enlightenment prints. During the Meiji period, four groups of print artists can be distinguished in terms of the choice and treatment of subject matter: ukiyo-e artists, Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1838-1892), Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915), and the Enlightenment print aritsts. The first group of makers — ukiyo-e artists — produced images of classical themes in the traditional mode. This group of artists remained to practice in the ukiyo-e genre in both style and subject matter. They continued to produce images of actors, courtesans, and famous landscapes in the Utagawa School tradition. The second group, headed by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, used elements of the ukiyo-e mode of elaborate costumes and bright colors with figures delineated in strong lines to articulate a view of the mores of Meiji Japan. What sets Yoshitoshi apart from other print artists was his choice of themes of cruelty and violence that were reflective of the political chaos, social dislocation and economic 6Julia Meech-Pekarik, The World of the Meiji Print: Impressions of a New Civilization (New York: Weatherhill, 1986) xix. 9 depression of the end of the Tokugawa era and early Meiji years in Tokyo. Scenes of debauchery and depredation executed in aniline dyes, dramatic composition and drastic foreshortening, and explicit details are common only in Yoshitoshi's works. Representing another distinct group is Kobayashi Kiyochika. His muted palette, achieved by avoiding aniline dyes, and experimentation with Western volumetric modeling and chiaroscuro, separate Kiyochika prints from those made by other artists. By using a precisely constructed perspective and shading for atmospheric effect and modeling, he reinterpreted the environs of a Tokyo undergoing modernization. Beyond the scope of this study are the prints Kiyochika made of the Sino—Japanese, Russo-Japanese wars and his satirical caricatures of the 1880s and 1890s. The last group consists of the kaika nishiki-e. These artists used imported, visually startling dyes to depict their vision of a modern, Westernized Tokyo. The gaudy reds and bright chemical blues, instead of being as disagreeable as they would have been were the prints trying to depict traditional subjects, were well suited to the novelties and eye—startling sights around Tokyo. A Common H e r i t a g e Ukiyo-e had begun in the middle of the seventeenth century as an expression of revolt at the feudal system. At this time, artists in the streets whose living was not underwritten by the aristocracy had to cater to the common people, and moved the fine arts from the monopoly of the privileged to the commoners by using economical woodblock methods . The Utagawa family and their school formed the main current of ukiyo-e from the height of its popularity in the eighteenth century to the end of the Edo Shogunate; many print makers, disciples of Utagawa Kuniyoshi, are to be found among the artists of the Yokohama prints. To the artists, as to the people of 10 Japan in general, the opening up of Yokohama as an international port, so transforming a fishing village into a city full of foreign curiosities, was an event of unending surprise and interest. Yokohama prints may be defined broadly as ukiyo-e depicting foreigners and foreign things in general that appeared for the first time in Japan. The term also covers prints having Edo for their background and those belonging to no particular locality, as well as imaginary foreign scenes based on copper-plates and lithographs imported from abroad, maps and general views of Yokohama and a multitude of other such variants. Prints produced and sold between 1848-1859, following the arrival of foreign ships in Japan come under the heading of Yokohama prints among present-day collectors and art historians. The ukiyo-e tradition had, by the time of the Yokohama prints, begun to show signs of stagnation; the audience also had by that time tired of the traditional themes of beauties and actors, landscapes and views of famous places. By the 1860s, Hokusai and Hiroshige I, prominent ukiyo-e masters, were dead; Toyokuni III had retired; Kuniyoshi was ill and could no longer work. The opening up of Yokohama with all that it brought must have been a powerful stimulus to the young ukiyo-e artists, at a time when the great masters among them had withdrawn from the scene and their techniques had come to a standstill. They went into the work of conveying their surprise and interest through the medium of their prints. The Yokohama and Enlightenment prints form only a small portion of ukiyo-e as a whole, neglected by most as not belonging to the main current of art. The height of Yokohama prints belonged to the 1860s, after which their publication began to decrease. In the first year of the Meiji era, when Edo became Tokyo, the capital of new Japan, it inevitably took over the role of Yokohama as the center of interest for the Japanese people. The Enlightenment prints of the 11 Meiji era supplanted the Yokohama prints. However, they possessed techniques and characteristics of their own, as may be seen in their treatment of their subjects. Whereas the Yokohama prints tended to depict primarily foreigners and foreign customs, the Enlightenment prints showed preference for particular buildings or institutions. In these prints, in contrast to the Yokohama prints, Japanese dressed in the Western fashion are portrayed more often than foreigners. Unlike ukiyo-e, Enlightenment prints did not use the traditional vegetable dyes but employed new aniline dyes made available after 1872 by trade with Germany.7 By the 1870s, the novelty of foreigners had dissipated. Now, print artists produced images showing evidence of acculturation; there was a definite shift in the subject matter. The Japanese people in the Enlightenment prints had adopted elements of Western architecture and dress to suit their needs. In this study, Utagawa Hiroshige III (1842-1894), Utagawa Kuniteru II (1830-1874), Shosai Ikkei (?-?), Utagawa Yoshitora (?-?), Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900), and Utagawa Yoshifuji (1828-1887), will be considered as the luminaries among the Enlightenment print artists because of their collective similarity in the treatment of the same subject matter. According to the seals on the prints themselves, these artists were working in Tokyo, around the same geographical districts, during the same period. The majority of their prints were produced during the 1870s. There is virtually no information on their biography, let alone their stance on the transformation of Meiji Japan. All that exists to be studied are their prints. These images romanticized the progress of the 1870s. Their works form the corpus of Enlightenment prints. 7Museum of Japanese Industrial History, Meiji Japan Through Woodblock Prints (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1989) 2. 12 CHAPTER THREE: WESTERNIZATION IN PROGRESS: A CHANGING CITYSCAPE An analysis of the choice and treatment of subject matter of the Enlightenment prints reveals a contrived construct of Meiji Tokyo. Western-style structures dominate their compositions, trumpeting their importance as symbols of the new era. In order to resurrect the mores of the prosperous Tokyo as depicted in the cityscapes, a close analysis of the prints will illustrate that the Enlightenment prints propagated more than bunmei kaika; they promoted an economically positive, commercially successful Tokyo. In contrast, in the cityscapes of Kobayashi Kiyochika, the modern architecture was merely a backdrop for pedestrian activity. Here, human interaction in the new age seemed to have priority over industrial achievements. This is not to say that Kiyochika's views of Tokyo were the opposite of the Enlightenment prints, but they most certainly offer another interpretation of the new capital Absent from both kaika nishiki-e and Kiyochika's prints are Tsukioka Yoshitoshi's images of revolt. Yoshitoshi's images were not concerned with economics nor commercialization, but rather, the turbulent Zeitgeist of this period of Westernization. Mixing Tourism with Commerce The Enlightenment prints of the 1870s are, on the graphic visual surface, portraits of buildings. Upon closer analysis, these portraits reveal a subtext of the prosperity gained from Western modernization. There were two kinds of new buildings, those designed by Japanese and those conceived by hired foreign experts. The latter were stately, authentic, and grand in scale, but the former, characterized in the early Meiji, 1868-1872, a mongrel East-West combination. The apex of the 1870s culminated with prints of Ginza street scenes. A prime example of the hybrid style was Shimizu Kisuko II's Tsukiji Hotel, depicted in 13 Utagawa Kuniteru II's triptych, Tokyo Tsukiji Hoterukan of 1869 (Fig. 2). This structure was Kisuko II's attempt to adapt Japanese building methods to elements of Western architecture. As Japan's first Western-style hotel, this symbol of civilization attracted crowds of Japanese sightseers and spawned a flurry of color prints in 1869 and 1870, many distributed like posters by the management of the hotel.8 The Tsukiji Hotel in Kuniteru IPs print depicts a solid two-story brick building with a view across the bay of Edo. It was reported to have verandahs and blinds, 102 bedrooms, a billiard room, and a dining room9 — in short, a type of building that the citizens of Tokyo had never seen before. The Hotel was an eclectic mixture of Western design and Japanese material. The Western architectural elements are seen in the symmetrical plan of the structure with a wide verandah and a central bell tower. The Hotel was basically Japanese in structure, having a timber frame construction, dark tiled outer walls patterned in the traditional style with white interstices, and a tiled roof. These latter elements are found also in the structures outside of the Hotel gates. Kuniteru II's print lacks the presence of foreigners, despite its ostensible purpose to house visitors and facilitate trade with foreigners. Two gates appear on the Hotel grounds proper in the foreground. Whether within or beyond the gate, the figures look predominantly Japanese. A mixture of dress ranges from the traditional Japanese kimono to a hybrid of Japanese and Western clothing. There is no distinction between public and private spaces. Within the walls of the Hotel is commercial activity, in terms of kimono-dressed figures carrying wrapped goods to and from the Hotel grounds. Figures interact as if conducting business transactions. This flurry of activity spills over to the streets of Tsukiji. Adjacent 8Meech-Pekarik, The World of the Meiji Print, 11. 9Paul Waley, Tokyo Now & Then: An Explorer's Guide (New York: Weatherhill, 1984) 104. 14 to the Hotel walls in the left portion of the triptych, Kuniteru II has created a long series of shops, among which are horse stables. Kuniteru II seemed to have depicted the Hotel as it was intended to be — the locus of trade between the Japanese and Western community. The Hotel stood as an early testimony to the competence of the Japanese ability to adopt foreign methods. On another level, this print and prints of this sort can be interpreted as an image that promoted commerce and activity in the new foreign settlement. In the end, the Tsukiji district failed to develop as an open market and few houses were built on the settlement. Ironically, although both the American and Spanish consuls had apartments in the Hotel in 1870, it was never highly esteemed by the foreign community and by the end of that year the large building already had a semi-deserted appearance. The Hotel was temporarily closed in 1871 and burned to the ground in the devastating fire that leveled a large portion of Tokyo (including Ginza) in the spring of 1872. It was never rebuilt. The other pseudo—Western structure also designed by Shimizu Kisuko II was Japan's first bank, known as Mitsui House when it was completed in 1872 in the Nihonbashi district north-west of Tsukiji. Utagawa Kuniteru II made this structure the center of attention in his 1872 print titled Famous Scenes in Tokyo: True Picture of a Five Story Building at Kaiun Bridge (Fig. 3). Another symbol of the country's aspirations for higher productivity, it was a five-story wooden building faced with stone, embellished with rows of bronze columns on the two open galleries lining the facade, and a central tower similar to that of the Tsukiji Hotel. The Mitsui family were the first of the zaibatsus to have commissioned modern architecture for their businesses. They established themselves in Nihonbashi in the seventeenth century but the economic reforms the Meiji government fostered their growth into the powerful cartel that they are today. 15 The state of monopolization of Japanese capitalism was sired by a variety of forces beginning in the 1870s, including expanded industrial production, aggressive domestic and overseas policies of the government and the legacy of traditional business ethics. The central agents of the monopolization process were the giant financial clans or cliques, known as zaibatsu, concentrated in the larger cities, mainly Tokyo. As the following list shows, their controls covered industry and finance, and extended beyond to political life as well: Zaibatsu companies Kind of cartel10 Mitsui and Mitsubishi Banking and finance Asano and Mitsui Cement industry Oji Paper and Fuji Paper Paper industry (both Mitsui affiliates) Dainihon Jinken Chemicals (bleaches and (Shibusawa affiliate) fertilizers) Mitsui, Mitsubishi, and Fujiyama Sugar Mitsui, Mitsubishi, Sumitomo, Mining Kuhara Furukawa, Kuhara Copper industry Mitsui, Asano, and Shibusawa Steel products From this list, it is apparent why Mitsui was able to build their bank in a Western style. As their holdings show, they dominated the financial, construction, and raw materials industries. The Focus Changes Clearly, in the prints of the Tsukiji Hotel and Mitsui House, First National Bank, the commercial buildings are the center of attention. However, in Kobayashi Kiyochika's View of Edo Bridge, Tokyo dated January 1876 (Fig. 4), the construction achievements of the Meiji period are placed in the background. The view point is from the nearby Arame Bridge that spanned an adjacent canal. In the background is a display of new Meiji landmarks, the Yokkaichi Post Office on l°Takeo Yazaki, Social Change and the City in Japan: From Earliest Times Through the Cultural Revolution (San Francisco: Japan Publications, Inc., 1968) 395. 16 the right and Mitsui House, First National Bank on the left.11 These landmarks remind the viewer of the spatial and temporal location of the setting. Kiyochika emphasizes movement across the bridge by slicing off the action on either end. Such slicing-off action had been pioneered earlier by Hiroshige I. The three figures in the foreground are dressed in traditional Japanese kimono; perhaps the only 'modern' feature that place the women in the Meiji is that they have eyebrows: the practice of shaving the eyebrows and blackening the teeth ended in the early 1870s. The round seal and two rectangles on the bottom left corner of the triptych record the date of publication and the name and address of both artist and publisher. Kiyochika's signature appears in the lower left corner of the center panel. One might assume that the other smaller rectangles in the foreground next to the figures may be their names. The characters instead indicate that the bridge was made of a precious material. This rectangle repeats twice on the composition. In the manner which the composition has been layered, Kiyochika seems to be leading the viewer into the zone of Westernization. The figures are entering the foreground from the left and exiting in the right. The Edo Bridge connects the traditionally clad figures in the foreground to the wide boulevard in the center of modern construction, next to the post office. All that is visible of the pedestrians on the bridge are their purple Western-style cloth umbrellas and the top of a male figure wearing a bowler hat riding a rickshaw. Kiyochika seems to hold an ambivalent attitude towards the modernization movement. Although the star-emblem of the First National Bank flies from the top of its towers, and the entirely Western-style post office conspicuously anchors the end of the Edo Bridge, the attention is not on economics, commerce, the might of the Mitsui zaibatsu, nor on 1 1 Henry Smith II, Kiyochika: Artist of Meiji Japan (Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1988) 22. 17 trade. Kiyochika appeared to be interested in forming a dialogue between the figures and their newly renovated environment. The Edo Bridge metaphorically connects the familiar world of kimonos to the unfamiliar territory of brick and stone construction. The enigmatic figures appear anachronistic in the foreground and unaffected by the great thrust for change. Architecture in Ginza Reflecting the Changes in the Landscape After the fire that swept through Tokyo in 1872, there was an ordinance to have most structures built in the Western style, and the Enlightenment prints documented the result of this building boom. In the 1870s, Western-style architecture was almost exclusively in the district north-west of Tsukiji and sandwiched between Nihonbashi and Shinbashi — Ginza. The Meiji government was anxious to improve the appearance of the city in accordance with Western standards and after the disastrous fire of 1872, notified all parties concerned that all buildings constructed in central Tokyo were required to make use of brick or stone architecture. The second catalyst for this face-lift was the completion in 1872 of the railway line, the country's first, from Yokohama to Tokyo. On 13 September of that year the first train pulled in at Shinbashi station. Ginza thus became, by virtue of its proximity to Shinbashi, the gateway to the city. Reconstruction plans aimed as much at fire prevention as at appearance. The city streets were modeled on those of Paris, while London's architectural designs were the guide for reconstructed buildings. Both Utagawa Kuniteru II's View of Brick and Stone Street Construction along the Main Street ofGinza, Tokyo, September 1873 (Fig. 5), and Utagawa Hiroshige Ill's Scenic View of Tokyo Enlightenment: Picture of Stone Construction at Kyobashi and Prosperity of Brick and Stone Shops on Both Sides ofGinza Street, December 1874 (Fig. 6) are panoramic views of the Ginza district. These titles proclaim what was considered 18 important — the architecture. They state that the new brick and stone buildings are symbols of the prosperity and the Enlightenment. If anything, the titles imply that there is prosperity only because of the stone construction — the result of Westernization. The Enlightenment prints show that although the goal was to modernize not Westernize, it became apparent that the two were the same. Solid and conspicuous, Western architecture in Ginza lent authority to the new regime. The most characteristic Enlightenment prints are those street scenes that begin to appear in late 1873 and 1874 after the total renovation of this district. The intent was that the city of Tokyo would make itself over on the Ginza model; however, practice tended in the other direction. In many cases, only the street front was a face of red brick. Very soon there was cheating, in the form of reversion to something more traditional.12 The appearance of Westernism disguised wooden building methods. Pictures from the Meiji inform us that the Bricktown, as it was called, lasted longest in what is now the northern part of Ginza. The most striking new evidence of Tokyo enlightenment are the gas lamps lining the bridge and entire boulevard in Hiroshige Ill's rendition of the main street of Ginza. Eighty-five lights were provided along both sides of this street in 1873.13 These gas lamps, a great source of astonishment because they turned night into day, are absent from Kuniteru II's image of the main street. Before planned development, Ginza had been no more than a humble road on the outskirts of Edo. Capitalizing on the surge of interest in Western goods and fashions, Ginza gradually captured Nihonbashi as the main shopping district. The Ginza merchants were greatly aided by the government's efforts in creating a modern, Western facade in the area. The Ginza area was developed somewhat 1 2 Edward Seidensticker, Low City, High City: Tokyo from Edo to the Earthquake (New York: Alfred A. Knopf 1983) 59. 1 3 Y a z a k i 348. 19 artificially as the consciously decorated entrance to Tokyo, with the new international relations in mind. It was also intended to serve as a medium for the introduction of Western culture. A contrast shows that the commercial activity expected to take place in Tsukiji Hotel was different from that in Ginza. The Tsukiji Hotel was built for foreigners to stay while in Tokyo, so that the Japanese could go to them to engage in trade. Ginza was rebuilt for the Japanese to purchase Western goods. The confidence the Japanese had in themselves from the time of the building of the Hotel to rebuilding Ginza soared within a few years. Ginza was intended to be and was depicted in the Enlightenment prints as a show case of the industrial achievements of the Japanese. With the keenly refined mercantile instinct of the Japanese and the advanced state of the retail trade in Edo-period Japan, Ginza soon became the site of shops that befitted its role as the symbol of Western culture in Tokyo. Many of the stores that developed in the Ginza of the 1870s still exist today. The list given here indicates the stores' function as a receptacle of Western commodities, as each of the specialties of the particular stores were largely imported or Western in style. Name of store Kind of goods handled14 Aoki Kutsu-kaban-ten Shoes and brief cases Itoya Bunboguten Stationery and office supplies Jujiya Gakkiten Musical instruments Tamaya Tokeiten Watches and clocks Kintaro Ganguten Toys Sato Hoshokuten Jewelry Kondo Shoten Books Kimuraya Bread and cakes Kyobunkan Shosekiten Books Mikimoto Shinjuten Cultured pearls Yamano Gakkiten Musical instruments Kurimoto Undoguten Sporting goods Cafe Lion Coffee house and restaurant Taishodo Tokeiten Watches and clocks 1 4Yazaki 441. 20 Sekignchi Yohinten Sano Tabiten Kyukyodo Daimaruya Gofukuten Shogetsu Yoshokuten Daikokuya Shokiiryohinten Cafe Tiger Morinaga Candy Store Kikusui Nagai Tabakoten Tenshodo Honten Takahashi Stekkiten Miuraya Yoshu Shokuryo-ten Haberdashery Japanese socks Stationery and perfumes Dry goods Western-style restaurant Foodstuffs Coffee house and restaurant Confections Pipe and tobacco supplies Watches and Jewelry Walking sticks Foodstuffs and liquors Pride of place goes to the bakery Kimuraya, which opened up a branch in Ginza in 1874 and found an appreciative customer for its bean jam bread in the Emperor.15 All of these stores located in the Ginza represented the latest in foreign goods. More than merely portraits of buildings, these Enlightenment prints were documenting the economics of the Ginza as a microcosm of Meiji Japan by depicting the retail shops housed in Western architecture. In truth, Ginza may not have been as glamorous as Hiroshige III, Kuniteru II, and others would have us believe. The street and architecture scenes are idealized and pubhc-spirited. The new buildings were slow to fill.1 6 Apparently, everyone wanted to look at the buildings but not many wanted to live in them. The structures, although attractive, were badly built. They were damp, stuffy, vulnerable to mildew, and dangerous, or at any rate, they were believed to be damp and dangerous, with good reason, considering the unsuitabihty of inexpertly built brick buildings in a country of damp summers and periodic earthquakes. This issue of the inhabitability of the modern structures did not pre-occupy Hiroshige III or Kuniteru II. In Hiroshige Ill's Scenic View of Tokyo Enlightenment (Fig. 6), there are occupants in the second floor. As for Kuniteru IPs view (Fig. 5), 15Waley 90. 16Seidensticker 61. 21 only the second balcony from the left is occupied by curious Japanese common-folk looking down to the boulevard below. Although both Hiroshige III and Kuniteru II claim to depict the main street of Ginza, clearly they are working from different vantage points. At the foreground of Hiroshige Ill's image is the Kyobashi bridge, and the vanishing point, a cartouche labels Shinbashi Station. The triptych format allows Hiroshige III to show the breadth of the main street; however, the Kyobashi bridge and Shinbashi Station, in actuality, are separated by about seven long blocks. Such is poetic license. Kuniteru II begins in the foreground of True View of the Brick and Stone Street Construction (Fig. 5) with a nondescript block. The three cartouches in the background are almost illegible. He too, uses Shinbashi Station, as the vanishing point for the composition; rather, he depicts a train. The cartouche farthest left in the right panel labels a somewhat familiar Western-style building. Although the characters are illegible, the building resembles the Yokkaichi Post Office in Kiyochika's 1876 print View of Edo Bridge in Tokyo (Fig. 4). Kiyochika's post office appears as a free—standing structure. However, Kuniteru II sandwiches the structure amongst other modern buildings in Ginza. Both buildings have three main columns supporting the central trapezoid encasing a clock and the spire on the roof bears some resemblance. Japan adopted the British postal system in 1870 but the country's first post office, designed by Hayoshi Tadayuki, a young government engineer, was not completed until 1874. Kuniteru II must have completed the structure in his imagination when creating the 1873 print. In both prints only the first few shops in the foreground are rendered with some clarity. The character denoting "tea" is on the sign above the door in the center panel of Scenic View of Tokyo Enlightenment (Fig. 6). The entrance to the shop is obscured 22 by trees so it is difficult to ascertain whether it sold tea leaves or was a restaurant. None of the inconsistencies apparent in the prints concerned the Enlightenment print artists and publishers who recognized the profits that could be made from the fresh source of imagery and who capitalized on the prevalent Westernization movement. These images articulated the triumph of Western modernization and industrialization. Their main thrust reflected the underlying motive behind all of the Meiji government's policies — the revocation of the extraterritorality treaties with the West. To attain this end involved demonstrating to the Westerners that Japan had reached cultural parity. These portraits of buildings promoted more than the desire for modernization, but rather the capitalist consumer activity that fueled the process. Commercialism occured on two levels. On the one hand, the prints promoted economic activity by illustrating prosperous streets lining the boulevard. On the other hand, the prints themselves were part of the exchange. Artists and publishers provided customers with what they wanted to see. The rapid production of prints, despite the quality of the carving, meant increased profits. The Dark Side of the City: Scenes of Rebellion in the Captial Profits, commercialization, industry, and Westernization were not part of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi's view of Tokyo. Domestic politics and contemporary events charged his prints of the 1870s. Yoshitoshi in 1874 produced his account of the events in Ueno Park, north of Nihonbashi, in his triptych Todai sannozan senso no zu (The Battle of Sannozan at Toeizan Temple in Ueno) (Fig. 7). The violence of the transition from Tokugawa to Meiji rule that was absent in Enlightenment prints is here in this print. Such a print was made possible only because the Tokugawa laws against the representation of current events were no longer 23 enforced. Yoshitoshi was the first artist to break the long-standing ban. This powerful triptych is one of the earliest examples of a print showing a contemporary event without disguising it in anyway. Yoshitoshi's interpretation of the battle at Ueno shows a mass of fighting soldiers set against a background of flames and billowing smoke. The design is filled with panic and unsettling in its red confusion. By depicting a bloody event that had taken place six years before, Yoshitoshi took upon himself the burden of exorcising the trauma of recent events by making images of them and presenting them to the public. He brought to the surface the suppressed doubts and latent fears of his countrymen, the process of Westernization, the transition from Tokugawa to Meiji rule. While Enlightenment print artists were illustrating the details of Westernization and Kiyochika was using the Meiji landmarks as a backdrop for his ambivalent figures, Yoshitoshi was coping with the internal emotional issues of the changes. In contrast to the figures on the balcony of Western—style architecture, or the demure women on the Arame Bridge, Yoshitoshi's soldiers are either engaged in battle and drenched with blood. The scene at Ueno is set late in the day, in a landscape of macabre black trees, when its individual combatants have become exhausted. One is famished, in the center panel, eating with bloody hands. The two warring armies are undifferentiated in the dark. The event in Yoshitoshi's Todai sannozan senso no zu (Fig. 7) was the prelude to an almost full-scale civil war in 1877. No group had contributed more to the restoration of the Meiji emperor than the samurai of the Satsuma Province on the western island of Kyushu under their leader, Saigo Takamori. To the Japanese in the early Meiji period, he was regarded as a symbol of the values of the samurai class, and was a hero to many Japanese. Saigo found himself increasingly disenchanted by the greed and self-interest of the politicians he had 24 helped put in power. In 1876, he retired to his estates in Kyushu and began to train his own private army. A few thousand government officials resigned with him to live according to their own standards. The Tokyo government could not ignore such provocation. While Saigo waited, hoping to avoid civil war, the government had time to prepare overwhelming forces against him. The rebels were gradually pushed back over a period of several months, making a last stand in Kagoshima in September 1877. Saigo was wounded and carried to a small house, where he committed seppuku, the ceremonial suicide only samurais could perform, in the traditional manner. Yoshitoshi designed several triptychs depicting Saigo's life and death, one of them being Saigo Takamori seppuku no zu (Fig. 8) of 1877. The cartouche in the upper right panel purportedly tells of the actual event. The inscription in the cartouche gives the flavor of the way these incidents were reported and appreciated in their time. Saigo, Kirino, and the other leaders of the rebels retreated to the mountains in Hyuga after the fall of Nobeoka Castle. On the eighteenth of August, they suddenly emerged from Enodake Mountain, broke like an avalanche through the besieging government force, and escaped over mountains and gorges without roads through to Mitai. They entered Kagoshima in disarray, but the famous rebel leaders were neither killed nor surrendered. Saigo secretly escaped on a fishing boat with Kirino and Murata. However, the Navy had a tight blockade on Kagoshima Bay. Giving up all hope, Saigo resolved to die and committed suicide by disembowelment. It was 9:30 a.m. on 24 September 1877, according to the telegraph from Kagoshima prefecture.17 There may be a general political reference in this print, as Saigo is looking over his shoulder toward the Western ships of the navy in the distance under a thunderstorm, which could refer to the encroaching Western influence which he opposed. Yoshitoshi apotheosized the general: brave, noble, resolute in the face of 1 7Roger S. Keyes, Courage and Silence: A Study of the Life and Color Woodblock Prints of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi: 1839-1892, diss., Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities, 1982, (Ann Arbor: UMI, 1982) 156-157. 25 death, steadfast upon the seas of misfortune. Saigo wanted to hold on to the traditional samurai virtues: courage, generosity, lack of ostentation and a contempt for money. His growing conservatism led to a clash with the government, whose leaders were interested in modernization and reform. Contrasting the kaika nishiki-e with Yoshitoshi's prints of revolt draws a parallel to the comical print by Utagawa Yoshifuji — Imported and Japanese Goods: Comic Pictures of a Playful Contest of Utensils (Fig. 1). Ostensibly, the Enlightenment prints represented all that was new and modern. Kiyochika's prints neither promoted nor refuted the Westernization process. The battle prints of Yoshitoshi upheld the old samurai virtues and their conservative agenda. These disparate images show that the road to modernization, the goal of attaining the same level of "enlightenment" with the West was clear; however, the means to be adopted posed a very much greater problem. The Enlightenment prints supported widespread modernization — on the surface, by adapting foreign architecture and commercial methods. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Yoshitoshi depicted Saigo Takamori, who had helped put the Meiji government in power but disagreed with their methods of achieving fukoku-kyohei. Juxtaposing these images illustrates the complex economic and political issues that had yet to be resolved in the first decade of Meiji rule. 26 CHAPTER FOUR: MARKERS OF TECHNOLOGY: LOCOMOTION AND INDUSTRY The Enlightenment print artists took as their subjects the tangible symbols of bunmei kaika: Western-style architecture, new modes of transportation and industrialization. Second only to depictions of buildings were prints of trains and railroads, emblems of the nation's amazingly rapid modernization. These prints, in their exuberance, reflecting the rhetoric of the times, can be seen as a tribute to what the Japanese had accomplished in a matter of only a few short years. Locomotion was part of the Meiji government's aggressive program in building a modern infrastructure. Their motive was fukoku-kyohei, "to prosper the nation and strengthen its defenses." Construction of railways and factories went hand in hand. Beneath these images of bustling train stations and harmonious workers are the motives and abuses of industrialization. During the 1870s, the period of transformation to modernity, poverty, monotony, and pollution must have been the lot of the majority. Shrouding his images of industry in darkness, Kobayashi Kiyochika provides a glimpse into the brutal and contradictory aspects in the transformation to modernity. A New Mobility On the part of the Japanese there was a strong desire that their society should be transformed to Western standards. However, desire was not everything; what was needed to realize the transformation to modernity was material means. This came in the form of foreign loans and Western experts. Of all the achievements, the railroad best exemplified this marriage of desire and the means to carry it out. Shosai Ikkei's 1872 print, Picture of Steam Engine Traffic at Shiodome (Fig. 9), re-named Shinbashi, is a typical image of the time, showing both the station and train traffic. Construction of this railway, financed in 27 London, began in 1870. The very earliest service, in the summer of 1872, was from Shinagawa, just beyond the limits of the city, to Yokohama. The Tokyo terminus was opened in the autumn with great celebration. The grand opening, an event that had been looked forward to by the public since 1870 when the project was first announced, was inaugurated by the Emperor. He set off for Yokohama in a first-class carriage designated exclusively for his use. At both stations he gave laudatory speeches. Exalting in the success of this opening day, the foreign press professed an optimism that this project might be the forerunner of schemes along similar lines: until all Japan is so closely united by the iron roads ... that prosperity and wealth may increase, and the country become so compact and homogeneous that it shall become also very great and powerful. With all we have seen in Japan during the last three years...we cannot but feel that for the land we live in ~ there is a good time coming.18 Shinbashi Station was designed by R. P. Bridgens, an American and one of several hundred foreign experts working for the Meiji government by 1872. Like other brick and stone structures in Tokyo, it was a two-story edifice of wood faced with stone. Projecting from between its two wings was a long covered shed for protection from the elements of passengers arriving and departing. Clearly, the locomotive had no competition, in terms of speedy transport, in Meiji Japan. In Utagawa Yoshifuji's print Imported and Japanese Goods (Fig. 1), where elements of East and West are engaged in battle, the train is seen in the background entering the center of the composition from the right. There is nothing obstructing its way; there is no competition. The cartouche above the engine, pulling no cars, indicates that it is a steam locomotive. Like the train, the rickshaw figure in the left panel has no problem beating the antiquated palanquins. These two means of transport gave Tokyo citizens, and later people 18The Far East, October 16, 1872, in Meech-Pekarik, The World of the Meiji Print, 88. 28 in the outlying areas, a sense of mobility they had never known. Shosei Ikkei and Utagawa YosWfuji's print, in essence, depicts the new-found liberation of movement that was not possible under Tokugawa rule. The lack of roads in the Tokugawa period was not the sole hindrance to travel. The Shogunate had maintained a series of road barriers and a system of permits on what travel routes existed. All of this changed almost overnight in the Meiji period. The government actively encouraged travel with a program of road and railroad construction. Out of nowhere appeared rickshaws, carts, wagons, and the like, and before the end of the Meiji, people thought nothing of journeys that would have defied the imagination a generation before. The development of transportation facilities was one the major achievements of the Meiji period and a very necessary element in Japan's modernization. Improved transportation facilities meant increased tourism within Japan. People who came to the capital from the country were surprised at the appearance of the streets. On November 28, 1874, the following letter appeared in the Yubin Hochi Shinbun: I am from the country, and for the first time in a long time I have recently come to Tokyo on business. I found wide streets like the one at Nihonbashi divided into three and bricks spread along the division. The middle section was wide, and the sections on the side narrow. I asked someone in the neighborhood of Nihonbashi why the people there had spread brick in the street, and he told me they were to mark the separation between the lane for horse carts and the ones for people. He said that the raised section in the center was for horse carts and rickshaw, while the narrow sections on the sides were for people to walk on. The whole thing, he told me, was planned by the government. On hearing this I understood at once.19 The streets and the traffic are the scenes found in the prints of Ginza street and also in Utagawa Yoshitora's Vehicles on the Streets of Tokyo (Fig. 10), dated 1870. This triptych shows how the speed and motion of the wheel and its various manifestations were synonymous with progress. The vehicle Yoshitora singles out 1 9Shibusawa Keizo, Japanese Life and Culture in the Meiji Era, trans. Charles S. Terry (Tokyo: Obunsha, 1958) 155. 29 for special emphasis is the rickshaw, literally "man-powered vehicle" and perhaps the most momentous transport invention in the Meiji period. Though often attributed to an American missionary in Yokohama named Goble, it is now generally accepted as the creation of Izumi Yosuke.20 This invention was a quantum improvement over the basket-chair palanquin that had served as the universal conveyance throughout Japan in earlier times. The most unusual vehicle is the steam engine at the top of the center panel. The first steam engine was not in use in Japan until 1872, but this did not deter Yoshitora. This print of vehicular traffic symbolized not only the newly-gained freedom of Japanese citizens to travel without barriers, but they were also symbols of power. These vehicles and especially the steam engine were seen by the Meiji government as the quickest way to achieve the modernization of their country. If the railroad caused great jubilation, it also brought opposition. The opposition seems to have been strongest amongst some members of the bureaucracy21 who disapproved of such ease of access from Yokohama of its foreigners to the royal seat in the capital. If a railroad must be built, the consensus was that it should run northwards, where it could be used against the most immediate apparent threat, the Russians. Between Tokyo and Yokohama, just south of the capital, the railroad was re-routed to run inland; for strategic reasons the army had opposed the most convenient route. The appearance of the railway stations caused changes in the towns they were built in, especially those outside of Tokyo. Each station became the point from which passenger buses, rickshaws, and freight wagons operated. When a station was built, hotels and shops were built in front of it, and silk, ice, and tea 20Keizo 143. 21Seidensticker 49. 30 factories, to name but a few, sprang up in the vicinity. However, the appearance of a new station in any district meant economic changes, and many people harbored misgivings about railway construction. In some communities, they organized an opposition movement for fear that the railway would cause an influx of burglars.22 In addition, there were also concerns that the railroad would carry off their wealth to another city. Some of these misgivings may have given rise to Kobayashi Kiyochika's 1879 print, View ofTakanawa Ushimachi Under a Shrouded Moon (Fig. 11). This print shows a train2 3 on its way out of Tokyo to Yokohama. As indicated in the title, the actual point shown is at Ushimachi, traditionally the site of a barrier marking the formal point of entrance to the city of Edo from the south. Unlike Shosei Ikkei's sunny print of trains pulling into Shinbashi Station (Fig. 9), Kiyochika's print of the locomotive thundering through the night has a haunting mood. The only signs of human life are the ghostly shadows of the engineers and passengers through the windows. Red beams project from the headlight of the locomotive, while a shower of red sparks erupts eerily from the smoke stack; in the sky above, the moon struggles to break through the clouds. Yet in spite of Kiyochika's haunting image, the railway would come to be the most celebrated symbol of Meiji modernization. The challenge of the Western imperialistic order precipitated, in the first instance, a major political revolution, which resulted in an extensive program of institutional reform in the 1870s. What is important to emphasize, in terms of the causation of subsequent economic growth, is that the government itself 2 2Keizo 220. 2 3According to Henry Smith II, Kiyochika's train is unusual because it is pulled by an American style locomotive rather than by one of the imported English ones for which the tracks were designed. 31 adopted progressive economic policies. The state loomed large, partly because of the weakness and general confusion of the private sector. Fostering Industrial Growth The government was primarily involved in laying the foundations necessary for economic development. In the first decade or so of the Meiji period, the government developed both the social and the industrial infrastructure. It invested heavily in public works: railways, shipping, communications, ports, lighthouses, to list but a few. The government also invested a high percentage of national revenues in importing Western technology and expertise and in the establishment of model factories. Japan's early economic transformation was achieved through the subsidizing of industry by agriculture, which is another way of saying that industrialization was achieved by the exploitation of the peasantry. The government had no other significant potential sources of revenue to tap; to have introduced taxation necessary to develop light or heavy industry at this early stage would have been counter-productive. The government needed to invest and foster the growth of these industries in order to achieve the objectives of fukoku-kyohei. Manufactured silk goods played a crucial role in Western societies; silk was de rigueur for the upper bourgeoisie — silk shirts, silk handkerchiefs, silk gowns, silk ties, silk scarves. Precisely at the time that Japan was opened to foreign trade, silkworms, sources of raw silk, were in desperate demand. Tea was another commodity which Japan exported, though it represented less in obtaining foreign revenue than silk. Foreign demand for raw silk and tea stimulated agricultural diversification, which in turn contributed to agricultural growth, leading to high revenues which the government used for investing in industrial development. The 32 textile industry was the leading sector. It was these economic developments that fueled enthusiasm for the production of Enlightenment prints depicting silk reeling factories. Utagawa Yoshitora's print of a Picture of an Imported Silk Reeling Machine at Tsukiji in Tokyo (Fig. 12) depicts the Ono Silk Filature in Tsukiji. Thread-making was the foremost industrial activity supported by the export of silk, and the importation of reeling machinery was an important innovation. The Ono Silk Filature in Tsukiji was one of the earliest establishments in this field. In 1871, it started manufacturing silk thread with machines imported the year before.24 Its location was chosen for the sake of convenience in trade with foreign traders living at Tsukiji. In Yoshitora's print, young women work in a bright, spotlessly clean space, with the long sleeves of their traditional kimonos tied up with red cord. They appear to be harmoniously performing their tasks. The Yoshitora print may have been intended to advertise the Ono company's new machinery in the face of sudden competition from the much larger and more efficient government-sponsored plant that opened at Tomioka in Gumma Prefecture in 1872.25 It cannot be emphasized enough that silk was the major industry generating foreign capital and therefore its place in the Japanese economy was assured. Because it was so important, the government was loath to interfere and safety standards were lax. Yoshitora locates his female workers in a clean factory. In practice, neither ventilation, nor heating were to be found in any Meiji textile factory, as these, from the employers' perspectives, did not generate profits, but on the contrary, cost money. In other words, Yoshitora, in his enthusiasm for depicting bunmei kaika, and the benefits of modernization did not 2 4 E . Patricia Tsurumi, Factory Girls: Women in the Thread Mills of Meiji Japan (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1990) 4. 2 5George A. DeVos, "Achievement Orientation, Social Self-Identity, and Japanese Economic Growth," in Modern Japan: An Interpretive Anthology, ed. Irwin Scheiner (New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1974) 152. 33 acknowledge the insalubrious atmosphere and oppressive working conditions. In this period of transformation, the conditions of labor in the textile industry were brutally inhumane. The process of industrialization resulted in the alienation of the workers. Female workers responded mainly by escaping or trying to escape, from their place of work. Apart from that no form of organized militancy developed: the girls were too young, too weak, too scattered, and too oppressed to even dream of seeking redress by establishing a concerted movement. The other print of industry in the 1870s does not show the clean and harmonious work place of Yoshitora's Picture of an Imported Silk Reeling Machine at Tsukiji in Tokyo (Fig. 12). Only Kobayashi Kiyochika, in his haunting print of View ofTakanawa Ushimachi under a Shrouded Moon (Fig. 11), and his fiery Manufacturing Pots and Kettles in Kawaguchi (Fig. 13) of 1879, gives any indication that modernization and industrialization were not as positive as the Enlightenment prints have depicted. Kiyochika actually visited the foundry to make the sketch on which this view is modeled.26 Nowhere else in Meiji-period prints can such a direct and dramatic expression of men at work be found. In Kiyochika's view, a group of men in the center draw molten iron from the furnace, to be poured into the molds readied to the right. At the left, a row of shadowy figures pumps the bellows, while below stands an overseer. Scattered about are finished pots and kettles. The technology appears to be of traditional origin, revealing that industrial development in Japan did not rely entirely on Western example.27 Through the use of perspective and chiaroscuro, Kiyochika translates the heat, toil, and sweat of heavy industry into the composition. 2 6Henry Smith II 47. 2 7Frederick Baekeland, Imperial Japan: The Art of the Meiji Era (1868-1912) (Ithaca: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art: Cornell University Press, 1980) 123. 34 Self-Help: The New Work Ethic By the 1870s, the notions that improvement of the nation was possible through determined effort, and that the times required this if Japan was to maintain its independence were universal. The Westerners themselves had given evidence of what could be done through determination and scientific application. The ubiquitous pages of Samuel Smiles' Self-Help, first translated by Nakamura Masanao28 in 187029, brought to the fore the lesson of progress through effort and survival of the progress. Self-Help describes the changes that occurred as the ideals of self-advancement through education and salaried employment spread from its samurai origins to the general populace. In early 1871 many members of the samurai class, especially government officials and educators, were lining up — even camping out overnight ~ to buy copies Saikoku risshi hen, a rendering by Nakamura Masanao of Self-Help by the English author Samuel Smiles. From its famous first line, "Heaven helps those who help themselves," it was an attack on hereditary wealth and power.30 This introduction was only the beginning of the popularity of Self-Help. Reprints were still commercially viable as late as 1921 and 1938. To enumerate those Meiji figures who used Saikoku risshi hen in their own writings, praised, it, or cited its influence on their lives would be to list the Meiji intellectual, academic, and journalistic world. When Saikoku risshi hen first appeared as a best seller in 1871, neither the political issues nor the social classes to which Self-Help had been addressed existed in Japan. There was no industrial bourgeois, no industrial labor force, no 2 8Nakamura Masanao was an eminent Confucian scholar and the first well-known Japanese to become a Christian. 2 9There were numerous translations of Self-Help into foreign languages of which Japanese was but one. 3 0 E a r l H. Kinmonth, The Self-Made Man in Meiji Japanese Thought: From Samurai to Salary Man (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981) 16. 35 franchise, and no parliament (the Diet was not established until the 1880s). The issue of legislated aid versus self-help had no meaning in Japan. What then was the appeal of Self-Help! For the translator, Nakamura Masanao, the chief attraction of Self-Help was Smiles' assertion that national progress is the sum of individual industry, energy, and uprightness, as national decay is of individual idleness, selfishness, and vice. The relation between individual and a national character expressed here was not part of an injunction against tampering with the free play of natural forces in the marketplace, nor was it seen as an argument against legislated aid to the working class. This was part of the formula for the achievement of national prosperity, security, and world peace. Beginning in August 1871, after the publication of Saikoku risshi hen the government began to take steps that had the effect of realizing the pledges made in the Charter Oath. Samurai and aristocrats not holding government office were permitted to follow any occupation they chose. Whether the popularity of Saikoku risshi hen had any direct influence in bringing about this change is impossible to document. Nevertheless, it must be noted that in the months immediately before these reforms were announced, Saikoku risshi hen was probably read and debated among government officials and educators. Even the Emperor Meiji was exposed to Saikoku risshi hen. Kato Hiroyuki, advisor to the Emperor at this time gave a series of lectures to Meiji, using Saikoku risshi hen as his text.31 Nevertheless, nationalism and official sponsorship cannot begin to account for the popularity of Saikoku risshi hen in the early Meiji period, let alone explain its staying power. The base for its popularity must be sought in its audience. Smiles' work was a compilation of lectures which he gave in 1845 to a study group organized by workmen in the city of Leeds. When he was approached by a group of young workmen to "to talk to them a bit" he responded with a series 3 1Kinmonth 33. 36 of lectures entitled "The Education of the Working Classes."32 Nakamura did not explicitly state for whom Saikoku risshi hen was written, but the title is suggestive of an educated audience. Almost untranslatable into English, it might loosely be rendered as "Lofty Ambitions in Western Countries." Reading Saikoku risshi hen demanded a level of literacy that was largely but not exclusively a possession of the samurai. Only wealthy peasants and wealthy merchants among the mass of commoners would generally have had the literacy to read it. Just as the slogan fukoku-kyohei, calling for wealth and power, was moved from domain to national level in application, so the advice which Smiles advanced ~ hard work, thrift, concentration on the serious, avoidance of romance, and imagination — implied that their country, poor boy in the family of nations, could become a land of prosperity and power. These were the values that struck a chord with Nakamura and his audience. Stewart Culin wrote in 1919, in the Brooklyn Museum Quarterly of an exhibit of the British Museum's copy of Self-Help illustrated and dated 1878. There were ten prints exhibited of famous inventors and industrialists from the United States and Europe.33 The copy contained descriptions and illustrations, in Japanese, of these inventors. "They were made, presumably, in Tokyo and sold as presents for boys enclosed in an envelope commonly in sets of five or ten."34 Among the prints reproduced in Culin's article was an image of Josiah Wedgewood (Fig. 14). The description in the upper left corner describes the potter, as a cripple with one leg, examining the wares the laborer is placing upon the shelves. From the list of inventors and industrialists, the British Museum copy of Self-Help held 3 2Samuel Smiles, The Autobiography of Samuel Smiles, LL.D. Edited by Thomas Mackay (London: Dutton, 1905) 131-134. 3 3The ten notable figures in the collection were: Thomas Carlyle, Bernard Palissy, Sir Richard Arkwright, Sir Joshua Reynolds, James Watt, Josiah Wedgewood, John Heathcoat, Benjamin Franklin, Vaucauson, and John James Audubon. 3 4Stewart Culin, "Japanese Color Prints Illustrating Samuel Smiles' Self-Help," Brooklyn Museum Quarterly 6.2 (1919): 116. 37 these individuals up to be the leaders of modern industry. Their collective biographies were designed to motivate the reader to achieve the same level of success. Since industrial power seemed to be a foundation of Western strength, the adoption of an industrialization policy was an integral part of the strategy in creating economic and political independence, with Western-style institutions capable of competing with the West on its own terms. However, this was achieved at tremendous price. Even though the Meiji government facilitated mobility with the country by building roads and railways, the latter were used only by those who could afford the fare. The majority of the population was not unlike the figures in Shosei Ikkei's Picture of Steam Engine Traffic at Shiodome (Fig. 9), peering at the new wondrous means of locomotion through the fence. The idyllic images of transportation and industry were idealized. The pollution of the trains and oppression of the working class in factories were subjects that were never taken up by Enlightenment print artists. Images of industrial hardships are rare because the populace wanted to be reminded that they should be proud of their progress. The Enlightenment prints instilled the necessary sense of confidence in the transformation to modernity by producing positive images of industrialization. 38 CHAPTER FIVE: TASTE FOR CHANGE: LIFE IN T H E CITY The writings and criticism of the leading thinkers led to the beginnings of social and political reforms in the 1870s. The thrust of their views stemmed from the national desire to not only be sovereign but to be economically competitive with the Western nations. Most of these leading Enlightenment scholars were part of the diplomatic envoys to the West just prior to the Meiji Restoration. In the West, they saw the support for industrialization and modernization. At home, they advocated morality and self-advancement through hard work and education. It was their views that guided the urban classes to mobilize towards the national goal of fukoku-kyohei. The new spaces of urban life, factories, and train stations,were all imported institutions forged by a new emerging class. Returning again to the street scenes of Utagawa Hiroshige III and Kuniteru II, this chapter will focus on the prominently nameless figures in a mixture of Japanese and Western clothing by analyzing who they were and what they read. Fukuzawa Yukichi, together with other leading intellectuals, moved beyond mere observations about the West. It was this group who began contemplating issues of how to achieve modernity beyond mere imitation, namely fostering a "spirit of civilization" that would lead to independence. The polyphony of their voices lay beneath the bustling images of True View of the Brick and Stone Street Construction along the Main Street of Ginza, Tokyo (Fig. 5) and Scenic View of Tokyo Enlightenment: Picture of Stone Construction at Kyobashi and Prosperity of Brick and Stone Shops on Both Sides of Ginza Street (Fig. 6). The Intelligensia of the 1870s: The Meirokusha From the early 1870s the heated controversy over fundamental issues of Westernization had been in process. Numerous discussion clubs formed in Tokyo debated the latest ideas from abroad and their application in Japan. Of these 39 groups the Meirokusha,35 founded in 1873 by Mori Arinori, was the most significant, since many of its members were to become influential in the world of thought and education. Included in its membership were Fukuzawa Yukichi, founder of Keio University; Kato Kiroyuki, later president of Tokyo University; Nishimura Shigeki, tutor to the Emperor; Nishi Amani, later principal of Tokyo Normal College; and Nakamura Masanao, founder of Tokyo Women's Normal School.36 Most of the society's thirty-three members were samurai intellectuals who acquired knowledge of Western languages during the late Tokugawa era and ascended to prominence in the early Meiji period when Japan turned its eyes westward in search of ways to modernize the nation quickly. This unique group of men, born and educated in Tokugawa, served as an important link between traditional society and the new, modern age they so strongly promoted. One of these self-confident intellectuals was Mori Arinori, founder and first president of the society. Mori, who began his tenure as Japan's first envoy to the United States, conceived the idea of forming a society of leading Japanese intellectuals while in the United States from 1871 to 1873. To promote modern education, Mori felt it advisable to join with others of like mind; six months after he returned home the Meirokusha was formally established. Its bylaws stressed the society's role in "furthering education in Japan" and established bimonthly meetings for the purpose of exchanging views "to broaden knowledge and illuminate understanding."37 Many who joined the society were physicians, Confucian scholars, merchants and samurai bureaucrats. Despite diverse ages and social background, these men shared a very similar intellectual experience. All the 3 5The name of the organization, Meirokusha, or "Meiji Six," comes from the date of its commencement, the sixth year of the Meiji era, 1873. 3 6 H a l l 289. 3 7William Reynolds Braisted, trans., Meiroku Zasshi: Journal of the Japanese Enlightenment (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1976) ix. 40 members, with possibly three exceptions, had immersed themselves in both Confucian and Western philosophies.38 A few hundred prominent men and a few women dominated the social, political, and economic life of Meiji Japan. It would be a mistake to consider the Meiji elite as self-sacrificing servants of their nation — nearly all had strong personal ambitions which they pursued with great vigor. But most were able to combine their vision of a strong and prosperous Japan with a personal view of the role they should play in that future. The Meirokusha was no exception. As the nation's leading intellectuals it was their responsibility to introduce Western civilization to their countrymen and instruct them how to become concerned, independent-minded, spirited citizenry. They called for a cultural revolution which would bring the Japanese people to the level of "civilization" ~ a word they often used — equal to that of the most advanced Western nations. Only when this was accomplished would Japan become fully independent. The most important contribution of the Meirokusha as a group to the enlightenment movement was undoubtedly its journal, the Meiroku Zasshi. While the average circulation of 3000 for each issue during the journal's first year seems small in a nation of thirty million, Japanese historians point out that the circulation of such a leading Tokyo newspaper as the Nichi Nichi Shinbun was then only 8000.39 Presumably, the Meiroku Zasshi reached the intellectual elite of the capital. The journal was first advertised in March 1874 to appear twice monthly. Measuring 4 1/2 by 6 3/4 inches,40 the issues averaged twenty pages each and were printed with wood blocks on double sheets bound butterfly fashion in the traditional (wahon) manner. 3 8Braisted ix. 3 9Braisted xx. 4 0Braisted xxi. 41 With few exceptions, the contributors to the Meiroku Zasshi strove for a prose style that would be more widely understood than the highly artificial traditional literary styles, yet sufficiently dignified to retain the respect of scholars. Clearly, the reform in writing style was aimed at targeting a wider audience. Fukuzawa Yukichi was one of the most celebrated of the contributors to the Meiroku Zasshi.41 His refusal of the society's presidency, however, was an indication of the rather strained relations that existed between him and others (namely Mori Arinori) in the society.42 In the society's organ, the Meiroku Zasshi, members penned articles on "How to Change the Character of the Japanese People," "Theory on Nourishing the Spirit," and "Two Items Which Are Necessary for Moral Government." In their advocacy of a morality to uplift and unify the nation, these Confucian humanists were neither iconoclastic nor were they simply mouthing the "Eastern Ethics, Western Technique" argument of the late Tokugawa era. The Meirokusha's critiques addressed what was or was not "best for the nation" and limited their criticism of Japanese government and society throughout the Meiji era. Civil rights, parliamentary government, and freedom of the press were all debated in the context of what would make the nation stronger. Promoting civilization and enlightenment was a prerequisite to building a strong and independent nation, and virtually every Meirokusha member believed that the most essential element in furthering civilization was education. They had confidence that if the Japanese people acquired a sound moral education and the quality universities and technical schools to construct a strong modern nation, Japan could soon take her place among the most advanced countries of the world. 4 1Fukuzawa gleaned first-hand knowledge of the West when he was a student of Dutch learning in Osaka in the 1850s and later when he went to the United States in 1860, and Europe in 1867. 4 2When he founded Keio University, he and his Keio followers published their own journal, the Minken Zasshi (People's Journal) contemporaneous with the Meiroku Zasshi. 42 Whether working within or outside the government they further believed that, as Japan's leading intellectuals, it was their responsibility not only to help build the structures but also to furnish the content necessary for their countrymen's enlightenment. Fukuzawa's "Spirit of Civilization" While the Meirokusha was still in the throes of organizing in January 1874, Fukuzawa published his essay in which he called on scholars in Western studies to follow his example by resigning from government and undertaking to guide the people in private; therein he laid the chasm between his followers and the members of the Meirokusha who advocated that they bring reform from within the government. Fukuzawa held that Japan could not achieve equality with the East unless her traditionally subservient people were instilled with a spirit of independence sufficient to challenge and stimulate the government, and that only scholars in Western studies acting in private life could sweep away servility in the people and despotism in government. Schools, industries, armies and navies, he wrote in 1872, are the mere external forms of civilization. They are not difficult to produce. All that is needed is the money to pay for them. Yet there remains something immaterial, which must pervade the whole nation and its influence is so strong that without it none of the schools or the other external forms would be of the slightest use. This supremely important thing he called "the spirit of civilization."43 According to Fukuzawa, once people were thinking on the right lines — were imbued, in other words, with the proper spirit of civilization; only then would the material things which were so dazzling an aspect of Western civilization appear, spontaneously and uninvited. The sense of "spirit" that Fukuzawa advocated was one 4 3Carmen Blacker, The Japanese Enlightenment: A Study of the Writings of Fukuzawa Yukichi (London: The Syndics of the Cambridge University Press, 1969) 31. 43 characterized chiefly by independence. It was because the Western nations had cultivated a spirit of independence, initiative and responsibility, he averred, that they had been able to develop their sciences and therefore to become strong and prosperous and self-confident. It was for lack of such a spirit that the Japanese had fallen behind ~ and the blame for this deficiency he attributed to Chinese learning. Two hundred and fifty years of orthodox Chinese learning, and the stratified feudal system of which it was the philosophical justification, had entirely smothered any spirit of independence with which the Japanese might naturally be endowed. For Fukuzawa, the new spirit therefore was the best possible means of guaranteeing the safety and integrity of Japan from rapacious and unscrupulous foreigners. "To defend our country against foreigners," Fukuzawa wrote in 1873, "we must fill the whole country with the spirit of independence, so that noble and humble, high and low, clever and stupid alike will make the fate of the country their own responsibility and will play their parts as citizen."44 Civilization could therefore be invoked for a variety of reasons: as a simple, direct and expedient method of avoiding foreign exploitation and derision; as a long-term moral justification of such expedient method, and at the same time a recondite way of saving face. It is this very "spirit" that Fukuzawa speaks of that inspired the formulation of a modern Tokyo, as seen in the Enlightenment prints. Many Japanese entirely failed to cultivate the new "spirit," and against them the writers of the Enlightenment directed their arguments. There were those who failed to do so through hostility, who remained convinced Confucian believers in Eastern ethics, undazzled by the glamour of Western science. There were also the lower classes who did exactly as their superiors told them simply because they had never learnt to do anything else. But there were also those who 44Blacker 33. 44 had responded in too eager and volatile a way to the government's lead in Westernization, who in the first place professed themselves to be eager seekers of the "spirit of civilization," but who persisted in associating it with nothing further than the external forms. There were those also who accepted, uncritically and undiscriminatingly, all aspects of Western civilization, material or immaterial which came to their attention. Neither of these last two groups of people, the scholars of the Enlightenment maintained, had even begun to understand the proper "spirit" of civilization. In other words, the earlier writings on the West, including the works of Fukuzawa, promoted modernization along Occidental means. By the 1870s, the same intellectuals began to advocate a deeper understanding of the ramifications of the civilization movement. Mere imitation would not achieve the ultimate national goal of fukoku-kyohei. Unfortunately, the Enlightenment prints provided evidence of imitation of Western culture. The architecture, construction, modes of transportation and imported fashions are visible in the prints, but the motivations behind them are open to speculation. On the graphic surface of the Enlightenment prints, bunmei kaika is represented in all walks of life. However, civilization was not so simple that it could be attained merely by copying indiscriminately things and practices which were new and Western. One was civilized not because one ate pork,45 or carried a Western umbrella, or wore one's shoes on tatami, or brought one's dog into the house. Attitudes were not civilized because they were Western, according to Fukuzawa, but because they were "reasonable." Rationality was the only criterion by which to judge whether 4 5Meat was not consumed by the Japanese prior to the 1850s, as Buddhism was the national religion and a vegetarian diet was the norm. However, the staple in the diet was still grain. Despite the attention given to the new custom of eating meat and to the foreign-style restaurants that were opened in the 1870s, for most Japanese the diet varied little from that of the Tokugawa period. One reason for the lack of change is that housewives, who were responsible for both the purchase and the preparation of food, ate out very seldom and therefore had little opportunity to learn what the new foods were, or if they did hear of them they had no idea how to prepare them. 4 5 Western customs should be adopted and Japanese ones rejected. The material goods in themselves, however new and Western they might be, were no indication of civilization. Equally in conflict with the spirit of civilization, however, were those enthusiasts who, under government stimulus, had become so besotted with Western civilization as to lavish undiscriminating praise on everything Western which came to their notice. These kaika-sensei, "teachers of civilization," Fukuzawa declared, were fundamentally very little different from the old fanatical haters of the West. They were merely believing in the new with the same belief that they had believed in the old — with an uncritical acceptance that was entirely contrary to the independent spirit of civilization. The Enlightenment prints, on the surface, advocated an acceptance of things foreign. However, through a study of the social mores of the 1870s, it becomes clear that the kaika nishiki-e were but only one view of bunmei kaika. A Middle Class Emerging from Bunmei Kaika The rigid division of social classes, where samurai led by the daimyo sat atop the feudal structure, followed by peasant farmers, artisans, and merchants, who were motivated strictly by profit and considered a degraded class, was dismantled in the Meiji. The people had to find a new definition of themselves within Japanese society. With the new institutional reforms and economic prospects that the modernization movement brought, they found themselves re-ordered along Western socio-economic terms. In the 1870s, those that were in positions of power were all familiar with , if not educated in Western politics, economics, law, finance, and industry. At the top of the new social structure were still the high ranking samurai. They were the young reformers from the Choshu and Satsuma clans who fought 46 for the restoration of the Emperor. In the Meiji government, they held positions in the areas of finance, law, industry, and defense. Alongside government bureaucrats were the bankers, businessmen and industrialists. The zaibatsu houses of Mitsui and Mitsubishi financed many of the government policies. The artists and merchants in the Tokugawa structure belonged to the Meiji middle class. Focusing on the social dynamics of urban Tokyo, there was a growing number of "salaried men." The growing opportunities, with the new railways, factories, and institutions resulted in a new urban class to be the economic basis of the industrial revolution. Among this emerging class was the ever growing population of consumers. These were the "spenders" who were titillated by the new imports and the status that those goods implied. Furthermore, they received their guide and encouragement from the leading Enlightenment scholars. Fukuzawa and the Meirokusha society advocated self-advancement through hard work and education. The national goal of fukoku-kyohei, "rich country and strong military," was carried out by the emerging consumer middle class. This emerging class would be the new consumers of urban society. A flood of imported articles swept on to the Japanese market which had not yet been fully organized for distribution.46 Only those few who had been abroad and had become familiar with Western manners had been shown how to use foreign-made goods. Now high officials of the government, rich merchants, wealthy farmers and leaders of the new society were beginning to purchase them. At first, these goods were sought as status symbols. Gradually as they came into wider circulation throughout the country, they were recognized as commodities of great use in daily life. A newspaper in 1878 reported that foreign-made goods were on sale even in 4 6Mine Yasuzawa, "Changes in Lifestyle in Japan, Pattern and Structure of Modern Consumption," Consumer Behavior and Economic Growth in the Modern Economy, ed. Henri Baudet and Henk van der Meulen (London: Croom Helm, 1986) 182. 47 the countryside and that people were willing to purchase them in spite of prices being much higher than in towns and cities.47 Blankets, umbrellas, clocks, lamps, cotton and woolen fabric and sugar were a few of the popular items among imported consumer goods. A British merchant who much earlier had imported umbrellas from England, had to send them back home because the circumstances were not yet favorable for their sale, yet, after the Restoration, the demand for imported umbrellas was overwhelming: six million umbrellas were imported in 1872.48 The Western umbrella replaced the samurai sword as a badge of status in the 1870s. Their preference over the traditional Japanese ones of bamboo sticks with oil-coated paper can be seen in their abundant presence in True View of the Brick and Stone Street Construction along the Main Street ofGinza (Fig. 5) and Scenic View of Tokyo Enlightenment (Fig. 6), where modish pedestrians stylishly display their umbrellas on clear days. A comparison between the Japanese and Western umbrella appears in Utagawa YosMfuji's Imported and Japanese Goods (Fig. 1), where in the lower right corner, the two are engaged in battle and the foreign-made umbrella stands triumphant. Thus, various kinds of commodities, which were to improve the living conditions of the Japanese people, were imported in ever increasing quantities, until indigenous industries were established to produce these goods at home to supply the consumers. A new social mobility enabled members of the emerging consumer class to change their way of life, in so far as they could afford to do so. Most of those in the lower social strata still kept to their traditional lifestyle, although some changes occurred in the course of economic development. Income differentials between the social classes affected the level and the course of the changes in lifestyle. The 4 7Yasuzawa 183. 4 8 J u l i a Meech, Rain and Snow: The Umbrella in Japanese Art (New York: Japan Society, Inc., 1993) 125. 48 upper classes always took the lead in adopting the new fashions of living, the lower followed in due course, as their income increased. The Emperor's New Clothes The Westernization of dress provides the most evident glimpses of the changes in the lifestyle of the Japanese, as the changing fashions were recorded in all of the Enlightenment prints. The Emperor himself appeared in Western dress as early as 1870. However, woodblock printed images of the Emperor Meiji were not prevalent until the 1880s.49 One of the ironies of the Meiji Restoration was that the Emperor, who initially resisted the intrusion of the West, now became one of its foremost supporters and acted as a guide to his people on the road to Westernization. The camera, one of the items that penetrated Japanese society, was a symbol of the new enlightenment; a symbol of Western learning and the epitome of modernity. A photograph of the Emperor, captured in Western military dress, by a new invention proved to be a powerful message (Fig. 15). Using the imperial figure to publicize the new regime was a shocking departure from tradition. In the past, the Emperor never made public appearances, and imperial portraits were commissioned only as private dedications. The message and medium was sanctioned from above. The Emperor's new clothes, as seen in the photograph, were a powerful endorsement for Westernization. Following the Emperor's example, those who had been abroad allowed themselves to be seen in public in Western-style clothing. But the wholesale adoption of Western fashions came with the new uniforms for military personnel. 4 9 Julia Meech-Pekarik accounts for the lack of royal portraits in the 1870s by observing that the subject matter of the Enlightenment prints shifted from depictions of domestic progress and announcing the latest in imports and new technology during the 1870s, to the portraits of the royal family and the social elite as enlightened models of Western manners and style in the 1880s. Representations of architecture and industry in the first decade of the Meiji disseminated information about the West. Once some degree of bunmei kaika was achieved, attention focused on instilling pride and confidence in the achievements. Interestingly enough, early images of the Meiji Emperor were photographs. 49 Other uniforms were adopted to identify occupational groups, such as policemen, mailmen, and firemen. In Hiroshige Ill's view of Ginza (Fig. 6), a policeman in uniform stands in the far left panel. The carriage driver in the center panel is befitted in full Western garb. High schools and colleges also introduced uniforms for the students. Businessmen, bankers, doctors, teachers, and the leaders of the new society, as well as high officials began to wear Western-style suits. Clothing carries messages that reflect its society and era, messages that are silently and efficiently broadcast to other members of society, all of whom are culturally equipped to read its codes at a glance. Its capacity to convey information is enormous. Clothing is generally a prime indicator of class, rank, and status in any culture. Delineation of rank was probably the most important social function of clothing in pre-modern Japan. Clothing was certainly one of the most important ways a person could identify with civilization and enlightenment. The kaika nishiki-e of street scenes as well as train stations are filled with Japanese people exercising their sense of freedom for the first time in three hundred years. Among the reforms that the Meiji Restoration brought was the end of the sumptuary laws; people of the 1870s had a choice of fabric and styles. In 1643, the Tokugawa Shogunate had issued a proclamation that clothing styles were to be regulated by the government in such a way as to make an individual's social status evident from his apparel. Only court nobles and members of the military class were privileged to select their clothing material from a long and luxurious variety of figured silks, satins, and elaborate brocades. All other were forbidden to use fancy sashes or trimmings. Now, in the Meiji, new fashions that were adopted reflected a changing social attitude. Without the confines of government regulations, people voiced their views of supporting the bunmei kaika movement. The only restriction was that of cost. With modernization and Westernization, there emerged the beginnings of a capitalist society. The 50 educated ruling elite donned Western-style clothing, because they could afford to, and they took pleasure in displaying their knowledge of the West. Aspiring to the national goal of modernization, the ranks of the merchants, professionals, and civil servants, adopted Western fashions to reveal their new-found wealth and status. There is a range of individuals from those wearing an entire Western outfit, to one wearing a coat or cape with kimono but carrying a Western umbrella in Hiroshige Ill's view of Ginza (Fig. 6). A member of the peasant class, a rickshaw puller wears traditional Japanese attire. Frock coats and bowler hats for men and corseted waists and bustles for women were more than mere fashion ~ they proclaimed their wearers a new breed of Japanese, persons fully the equals of Europeans and Americans. High button shoes, red flannel shirts, hats, and capes — all worn with kimono — were thrown together into eclectic and exuberant outfits. The kaika nishiki-e documented the streets of Ginza and Tokyo train stations filled with an emerging consumer class donning on the latest imports and hybrid mixtures. However, as Western clothing had to be imported in the 1870s, only the elite, members of the nobility, ex-samurai, and government officials would have been able to purchase them. For the emerging middle class, such luxury was not available. A few pieces, never entire outfits, were acquired at a time. Before the new consumer middle class purchased their "enlightened" clothing, they turned to Fukuzawa Yukichi as a source of advice. Fukuzawa published Seiyo ishokuju (Western Clothing, Food, and Homes) in 1867, just before the Meiji Restoration as a detailed and illustrated woodblock-printed guide to Western customs and manners. Written in a simple and readable style, his advice was aimed at young samurai of low rank, who like himself, were eager to rise in the hierarchy of the emerging new Japan. Fukuzawa teaches his readers how to eat and dress in the Western style. In Seiyo ishokuju, each illustration has Chinese characters as well as Japanese phonetic symbols for an approximation of English 51 pronunciation (Fig. 15). To get a sense of the information provided and style in which it has been written, the full text on clothing is provided here in translation: Seiyo ishokuju (Western Clothing, Food, and Homes) CLOTHING Most undershirts and underpants are made of knit fabric, but some are made of flannel. People prefer to wear flannel underwear during winter. Top shirts are made of flax fabric and are worn every day. Flannel shirts are usually worn while traveling or during a voyage at sea. Since they are made of wool, they do not show the dirt. Collars are made of ramie [a rigid, durable material made from bark fiber]. Paper collars are also available. Although the paper kind is less expensive, it has to be disposed of after one day's use. One must always wear a collar with Western clothes. Wearing a Western suit without a collar is just like wearing the Japanese under-kimono without its collar. It is simply improper. Regular shoes are worn by Westerners just like Japanese leather-soled sandals. Boots are worn either in rainy weather or when riding a horse. Slippers are worn only inside the house. A shoe horn is used by placing it at the heel of the foot to slip into the shoe. A long coat is always worn by persons of high standing. A short coat, usually worn by lower-class men such as craftsmen, is also worn by distinguished persons when relaxing at home. They sometimes wear a short coat even outside the house. On the other hand, the lower classes sometimes wear long coats, too. In short, people wear anything (without rules) depending on their taste. In general, the French wear long coats, whereas Americans and the British do not really care what they wear on top as long as they wear clean underthings, and therefore even distinguished people wear short coats. For formal occasions however, the long coat is worn by military officials as a "uniform" with gold and silver ornaments, depending on rank. There are numbers other kinds of coats but it is impossible to cite them all here. The most popular material for coats is wool but cashmere, which is a mixture of wool and silk, as well as flannel and white ramie are also used. A top hat is worn by an aristocrat, while a man of lower rank wears a round one. However, it does not necessarily mean that men of high social rank never wear round hats. Just as in the case of coats, those of high social rank have the freedom of wearing whatever pleases them. In general, one should keep in mind that a top hat is worn with a long coat and a round hat with a short coat. Although flat caps are commonly worn by ordinary men, they are intended mainly for military officers, who attach gold and silver ornaments to the front. The design of these ornaments varies depending on the rank of the person wearing the cap. Some caps are 52 trimmed with gold or silver. If you see someone wearing a cap with gold and silver decoration, it is advisable to assume that he is an officer. Umbrellas are all made of silk. There are none made of paper in the Japanese manner. An umbrella, when folded, can also be used as a cane. The preceding is a summary of Western clothing. As for the proper order of dressing, one puts on the undershirt first, then the underpants and the shirt. If one puts on each item following the illustrations in proper order, finishing with the overcoat, then the set of clothing will be complete. Western clothes have pockets in various places inside where one can keep all small belongings. A handkerchief, for example, should be kept in the pocket of the coat, money in the pocket of the trousers. A watch should be put inside the pocket of the waistcoat and its chain should be put through a buttonhole. The following is the proper way to go to the toilet: to urinate, simply unbutton the front of your trousers. To defecate, however, you must unbutton your suspenders front and back; putting them back on again is quite clumsy and troublesome.50 However, despite Fukuzawa's exhaustive directions, the change to Western clothing was neither sudden nor totally successful. There is an authenticated story of a high court official being met one bitterly cold New Year's Day, in the early 1870s, in what he believed to be full European costume. "He had on a very old, battered silk hat, a dress coat, a shirt, and — that's all. He was not aware that trousers were de rigueur."51 An original combination of East and West (such as the newest style of felt hat from Paris combined with a Japanese kimono) is seen in Scenic View of Tokyo Enlightenment (Fig. 6). Although social standing can be read in the clothing people wore, as the policeman and carriage driver and the well-to-do class can be seen in Western garments in Hiroshige Ill's representation, basic clothing did not change significantly for most Japanese during the second half of the nineteenth century, notwithstanding the great popularity of Western goods in the large cities. In the 50Meech-Pekarik, The World of the Meiji Print, 65-68. 5 1 F . H. Balfour, "Court and Society in Tokyo," Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan 3 (1894): 64. 53 views of Ginza (Figs. 5 and 6), rickshaw drivers and other pedestrians are seen in Japanese-styled work clothes. Even in Tokyo, work clothing and garments worn at home were traditional both in style and material. Even if Western-style clothing had been readily available, the full skirts fashionable in the West during the 1870s would have been most impractical in Japanese housing ~ and impossible to manage in Japanese toilets. Western shoes were not much used because they had to be removed when entering a Japanese building, and the high-button styles of this period were difficult to put on and take off. To accommodate their Western clothes, many Japanese altered their fashions in hair and cosmetics. Probably the most noticeable changes in the early Meiji were in hair styles and cosmetics. Men soon began to wear Western haircuts, by cutting off their top knots; women, too, changed their look: as early as 1873 the empress appeared in public with her eyebrows red and teeth unblackened. A number of new items came into common use during this period. When men cut their hair short, they began to wear caps and hats. They also carried Western-style umbrellas and watches, even when their basic garb was the kimono. Imported wool began to come into use for clothing. Men wore wool coats or cloaks, often over the kimono, and women began wearing woolen shawls in winter. Thus, styles changed for men and women alike during the transitional years of the 1870s; while the Western items adopted were mostly in the realm of accessories, new fabrics and new technology for producing fabrics were by and large adapted to the traditional types of clothing. A New Activity of the Consumer Class: Gin-bura Enlightenment prints of cityscapes illustrate the promenading of the emerging middle class. If clothing was indeed a status symbol, then the pedestrians in the prints represent a cross section of Tokyo society. By the 54 1870s, the main street of the Ginza had become a thoroughfare linking Kyobashi to the north, as seen in the foreground of Hiroshige Ill's print (Fig. 6) and the Shinbashi railway terminal to the south, in the background of Kuniteru II's print (Fig. 5). The boulevards, lined with cherry blossoms forever in bloom and willow trees, offered a variegated spectacle. In the prints, we see middle and upper class citizens promenading to shop or to ogle one another. It was a public space in which one could see and be seen. Perhaps Jurgen Habermas' "the bourgeois public sphere," the domain of free sociability and voluntary association in which public culture is forged,52 can be applied to the street scenes of Ginza. In the prints of both Hiroshige III and Kuniteru II, pedestrians are modeling a hybrid of Japanese and Western clothing. It appears that Ginza was designed for the pleasure of the emerging middle class and the elites of Japanese society, where urbane citizens and visitors flocked to shop and show themselves. Everyone went to look at the Ginza, and strolling along the Ginza became a favorite pastime. During the economic boom days of World War I, this custom became entrenched and was known as Gin-bura, "killing time in Ginza." The improved economy had increased the marginal funds of average people who then changed their habits and tastes. Crowds of curious strollers could be seen until late in the evening, and night booths were put up to cater to those engaged in leisurely meandering along the famous street. As already discussed in the chapter on Westernization in Progress, the shops that lined the Ginza sold imported goods; they catered to the new craze for Western clothes, accessories, food, and other material goods. The newly widened boulevards served as public spaces to gaze at the most recent imports. Enlightenment prints document not only the supposed architectural and 5 2David Scobey, "Anatomy of the promenade: the politics of bourgeois sociability in nineteenth-century New York," Social History 17 (1992): 205. 55 transportation achievements, but also the fashions and activities of the growing consumer class, participating in Gin-bura. Today, there is still a remnant of Gin-bura: the main street of Ginza, now called Chuo-dori, is blocked off to all but pedestrian traffic on Sunday afternoons. The Emancipation of Women: Fact or Fancy? In their portrayals, the new women of the modern age are represented in the Enlightenment prints as paragons of Western Victorian virtues. They are garbed in the latest bonnets, boots, and corseted outfits of the time. Yet, Kiyochika, in View of Edo Bridge, in Tokyo (Fig. 4) continued to depict his female figures in the traditional Japanese kimono. Yoshitoshi, like the ukiyo-e masters before him, produced series of images depicting women, among them being Mirrors of Beauties Past and Present and Eight Honorable Ways of Conduct, in which he idealized heroines from the medieval past. Art historians, such as John Stevenson and Roger Keyes have studied Yoshitoshi's images of women in terms of their relationship with him. These images do not contribute or reveal new attitudes towards women in the 1870s. Yoshitoshi kept his women in kimonos, in traditional Japanese settings. Their roles, in the images produced throughout his career, remained the same as the Tokugawa period: women remained lovers, wives, and mothers. In view of government policies toward women, it is evident that the graphic images in the woodblock prints were indeed idealizations. When it came to the issue of women, Fukuzawa and members of the Meirokusha were hypocrites. Although they advocated reforms to the existing male-female relations, they practiced archaic traditions in their private lives. Progressive reforms in the political and economic spheres were instigated within a matter of a few short years; it took generations for reforms to come about for women. Comparisons between the depictions of women in woodblock prints and the contemporary 56 attitudes toward women in modern dress reinforce the premise that there are issues beneath the bright colors of the Enlightenment prints that need to be examined. What was absent from Yoshitora's idyllic genre scene of Picture of an Imported Silk Reeling Machine at Tsukiji, in Tokyo (Fig. 12), with its young women in a bright work space, with the long sleeves of their traditional kimono tied up with red cord was the underside of Japan's industrial revolution. Japanese enterprise was exclusively the creation of Japanese entrepreneurs; these were the Japanese elite who owned industries such as the silk factories. Throughout this period of transformation to modernity, the working classes ~ as indeed was the case with the peasantry ~ were brutally exploited. The vision and determination encompassed a frightening degree of ruthlessness. To the new industrial entrepreneurial elite, the end justified all the means: the treatment of women and children factory operatives, and the onerous taxation of peasants. The factories were merciless in their exploitation of female workers. Young unmarried women from impoverished rural communities made up the majority of the work force in the textile industry and bore the brunt of Japan's massive efforts to catch up with Western nations. Factory owners favored young country girls because they could perform the work but could be paid little and were easily controlled. They were housed in unsanitary, overcrowded and foul-smelling dormitories. They were underpaid, overworked, beaten, and abused. In no aspect does Yoshitora's triptych reflect the horrors of working in the textile industry. The print denies contemporary accounts of how girls and women would rather work in weaving sheds or brothels, than in thread factories. While the female troops in Japan's first industrial army were pioneers in the new machine age toward which Japan's rulers were rushing the country, the silk and cotton factory girls sustained the old agrarian world of the lord and peasant where most of Japan's population still 57 dwelt. On the one hand, the textile factory girls created profits for factory owners; on the other, they enabled their tenant-farming families to continue paying high rent to rural landlords, who, in turn, invested some of the countryside's surpluses in the nations' modernizing efforts.53 The girls and women from samurai or well-to-do peasant homes, who were persuaded to work in national, prefectural, or private filatures during the 1870s were urged by government and private managers alike to "reel for the nation." As the new government leaders moved to amend any social condition that seemed to justify Western criticism of Japan as uncivilized, they were faced with one of the favored patriarchal myths of the nineteenth-century West: that the status of women was an important measure of any society's progress toward civilization. Though the irony of such a claim was obvious to women in the West who were struggling to improve their status in "civilized" societies, the Japanese were very sensitive to the issue and its potential implications. Consequently, though government leaders, most of whom were samurai, were very comfortable with the continuation of the status quo: a "geisha society" where women were subservient to men, they were forced to enact some policies that could answer Western criticism without actually engaging Japanese women in the sweeping social change of the 1870s. It was not a simple assignment. Government initiatives relating to women in the first few years of the Meiji period were both superficial and contradictory; they reveal the difficulty of proposing even limited kinds of change when image rather than substance is the motivation. Scattered among the priorities of developing a modern industry, in the hope of guaranteeing Japan the wealth and power necessary to survive as an independent nation, were various social policies relating to women. But these initiatives were, for the most part, reactions to outside criticism or advice; there is no indication that they were 53Tsurumi 4. 58 the product of a central policy envisaging the participation of Japan's women in the process of modernization. The most notable attempts at reform were in the area of education. In 1872 the government created the Tokyo Girls' School, which offered, for the brief period of its existence (it was closed without explanation in 1877) a demanding curriculum for the young women selected to attend. This school, with its teachers and challenging curriculum, was apparently never intended to be the forerunner of a consistent government policy on education for women.54 Though the government did include girls in the compulsory education plan it put into effect in 1872 ~ apparently actively encouraging a co-educational system— there were no attempts to promote, at the same time, the requisite changes in attitudes to get parents to pay for the education of daughters. In addition, the poverty of many families in the early Meiji guaranteed a much lower attendance for girls than boys. The participation of females in industrial labor has already been examined in Utagawa Yoshitora's Picture of an Imported Silk Reeling Machine at Tsukiji, in Tokyo (Fig. 12). Yet, in view of the predominance of agriculture throughout the Meiji period, it goes without saying that the major function of women continued to be in those areas of agrarian labor. Not until the end of the Meiji era in the twentieth century were a few clerical jobs available to women; otherwise they might have found employment as telephone operators, ticket vendors in railway stations or salesgirls in the urban department stores. In 1873 the Meiji government abolished the yukaku, or "pleasure enclosures," the red-light districts set up during the Edo era. In view of the chaos which ensued, however, with the inmates taking to the streets, the order was rescinded within a year ~ the licensed quarters were finally eliminated only after 5 4Sharon L. Sievers, Flowers in Salt: The Beginnings of Feminist Consciousness in Modern Japan (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1983) 13. 59 the Second World War. There were a few elements of modernization. For example, some establishments abandoned the practice of exposing the girls in cages and instead provided photograph albums for the perusal of potential customers. In the mid-1870s hospitals were established in all the major yukaku. Venereal disease, however, remained very much a problem throughout the Meiji era. Otherwise life in the yukaku continued much as before, indeed some hailed them as the last refuge of traditional Japan. In the early Meiji period a number of intellectuals and polemicists urged the abolition of prostitution, though their motivations would appear to have been mainly because of the embarrassment they feared prostitution would cause Japan vis-a-vis the Western powers; once it was discovered that prostitution also existed in Western countries, presumably it became less urgent to close Japanese brothels. Apart from farming, fishing, textiles, employment as domestic servants and waitresses, the few clerical positions noted above, and prostitution, there were no openings for women. They did eventually swell the ranks of the teaching profession. As far as the other professions were concerned, their impact was minimal; this was partly because the education they received was not geared towards professional life, partly because of discriminatory social attitudes, partly because of government legislation, which barred women from entering the civil service and from practicing law. In contrast to the actual circumstances of women's lives, the liberation of women from the traditional Confucianist bondage was a theme stridently taken up by the country's leading intellectuals. Fukuzawa stands out particularly both in terms of the force of his exposition and the prolific literature he wrote on the subject. He virulently attacked the traditional Japanese conjugal relation, namely the samurai pattern, and many of its ills, including the system of concubinage. In announcing the new age of female emancipation, among his many tracts on the 60 subject he wrote a direct refutation of Kaibara Ekken's Onna daigaku (the Great Learning for Women) 5 5 and which he entitled Shin Onna Daigaku, namely the 'New Greater Learning for Women - a work which was banned in girls' high schools while Kaibara's continued to be required reading. The pages of the Meiroku Zasshi which included articles by the period's most avant-garde intellectuals ~ were replete with attacks on the inferior status of the wife in the traditional Japanese family system, on concubinage, on prostitution, and other social ills afflicting Japanese women. Few of these intellectuals put theory into practice. Mori Arinori married his first wife in a Western-style ceremony and based the marriage on a contract which recognized mutual rights, but later divorced her and married his second wife according to traditional samurai custom. It is difficult to see the pro-feminist literature of these early Meiji intellectuals as more than a passing, albeit exuberant, fancy. Fukuzawa, for example, gave his own two daughters a traditional upbringing and married them off without consultation; and in spite of his exhortations for girls' education, he did not open the doors of Keio to female students. However, the hypocrisy of Fukuzawa and other pro-feminist Japanese intellectuals by no means makes them unique of their genre. Perhaps the most prominent feature of the female condition in the Meiji period is the birth rate. Women were producing more babies than ever. In the course of that era there was a demographic increase of almost 60 per cent.56 The average Japanese family counted more than five children, which, among other things, indicates that the average woman was probably spending about a decade of her life in more or less constant pregnancy.57 5 5The Onna Daigaku was a treatise written by the Confucian moralist Kaibara Ekken. It was the most influential and widely read of a number of similar works on the moral duties of women which appeared during the Tokugawa period. 5 6Takie Sugiyama Lebra, Japanese Women: Constraint and Fulfillment (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1984) 159. 5 7Jean-Pierre Lehmann, The Roots of Modern Japan (London: The MacMillan Press, Ltd., 1982) 232. 232. 61 Certainly, however, the draconian and misogynous nature of government legislation and legal codification illustrates not only its conservative character, but also the determination with which it sought to instill in the population unwavering qualities of loyalty and obedience. For the Meiji leadership the quality which came to be the most prized was that of discipline. For a disciplined society to be created, there was obviously no better place to start than in the home; women were not only chained to the cradle, but also responsible for creating the discipline. In the end, despite the words of leading scholars, and the government's awareness for the need to liberate and advance the position of women in society, the status of women did not change. Even though women were depicted in the Enlightenment prints, sharing public spaces with men, little had changed since the Tokugawa period. The new society that emerged from the modernization process was actually organized in two rubrics: the middle consumer class and the ruling intelligentsia that affected the other orders of society. Throughout most of the 1870s, the reins of the government tended to be concentrated in the hands of the young samurai. It was they who ultimately inherited the power to govern. Many of the new elite in most sectors of society ~ entrepreneurs, army officers, bureaucrats, and intellectuals ~ either came from or claimed samurai background. The samurai ethic of public service provided an ideological stimulus to national enterprise. Indeed one of the aspects of Japan's passage to modernity is that a significant social transformation occurred, which in the end facilitated the emergence of a consumer class. While the new national ethic derived from samurai ideology, actual samurai status as such was of little significance. Another important fact of the social transformation of Meiji Japan is that while some samurai 62 undoubtedly enjoyed successful careers in the new society, others faded away. Similarly, as the works of Fukuzawa and the Meirokusha have illustrated, education increasingly became the determinant factor in social mobility: it was far more prestigious and far more influential in terms of career prospects to be a graduate of Tokyo Imperial University, irrespective of social background, than to be able to claim a grandfather of a distinguished samurai family. For these reasons, not too much should be made of the alleged role of the samurai. It seems preferable to refer simply to a new elite, accepting that in the period of social turmoil which existed in the 1870s these tended to be derived from various social backgrounds. Their backgrounds were less important than the activities they engaged in and the values they espoused. 63 C O N C L U S I O N The Enlightenment woodblock prints of street scenes from the 1870s, presenting a collage of Western and Japanese dress, vehicles, and architecture, can be taken as metaphors for the entire society. These idealized images were not issued by the Meiji government, although the prints did promote the state's agenda of fukoku-kyohei — rich nation, strong military. New architecture depicted lining the vast boulevards of the Ginza was the emblem of a Westernized, moreover, a civilized Japan. This view was perpetuated in the numerous kaika nishiki-e. Yet they merely reflected the bright side of an often murky scene of confusion, poverty, and the growing pains of a civilization. The focus of this thesis is drawn from mainly two Enhghtenment prints: Kuniteru II's True View of the Brick and Stone Street Construction Along the Main Street of Ginza, Tokyo (Fig. 5) and Hiroshige Ill's Scenic View of Tokyo Enlightenment: Picture of Stone Construction at Kyobashi and Prosperity of Brick and Stone Shops on Both Sides of Ginza Street (Fig. 6). As both titles resoundingly announce, these prints were views of Tokyo in the 1870s. I argue that they were more than simply scenic views of an ever-changing cosmopolitan city; they were social documents, visual documents showing how the people responded to the changes that the modernization process brought. Isolating images common in both prints into the categories of architecture, technology, and society reveals that the modernization process did not proceed as smoothly as the Enlightenment prints of the 1870s would have us believe. All the Enlightenment prints represented the latest architectural marvels. However, the brick and stone construction was about more than adapting Parisian boulevards and London's structures to the city plan of Tokyo; it was about promoting economic prosperity. The benefits of strengthening domestic economy by flooding 64 the market with foreign material goods was advanced through the depiction of prosperous shops and banks. New government ventures were soon financed by the emerging zaibatsus. This positive outlook of optimism and modernization was not shared by all Meiji printmakers. Tsukioka Yoshitoshi produced prints representing the battle at Ueno park and the rebellion led by Saigo Takamori. His were views of civil unrest and social dislocation in the age of modernity. As his prints clearly show, the Enlightenment prints did not represent the entire mores of the 1870s. Kobayashi Kiyochika's View ofTakanawa Ushimachi under a Shrouded Moon (Fig. 11) also offers a darker interpretation. His response to the new mode of transportation contrasts ominously with Shosai Ikkei's bright, cherry-blossomed image of Shinbashi Station (Fig. 9). The emphasis in this thesis is not to juxtapose disparate images but to argue that the Enlightenment prints were representations of a contrived construct of Meiji Tokyo. They offered a rosy-colored glimpse of the country's mobilization movement towards the government's notion of modernity. Once the oligarchy established its commitment to modernization policies, the question of implementation arose. With the development of new social institutions were growing opportunities in the city for the emergence of the new consumer middle class. It was influenced by the members if the intellegentsia, such as Fukuzawa Yukichi and the Meirokusha, who felt that the path to self-advancement was through hard work and education. The new schools emerging in the early Meiji became agents of cultural and social revolution. The education system took on the burden of imparting a knowledge and understanding of Western culture and thereby preparing this emerging class for occupations in an industrial society. The nameless exuberant figures in the Enlightenment print street scenes were given opportunities within their grasp, once they had the 65 ability and education. The prints reflected the government-promoted spirit of optimism, that there were new avenues of advancement. However, the paths of social ascent, practically speaking, were open only to young men financially able to go to the cities and attain the higher reaches of education. The Enlightenment prints were representations of the way the Japanese elite successfully pursued economic objectives. The evidence of their success was manifested in the new architecture, modes of transportation, industry, and Western-garbed consumers in the cityscapes. What was not represented, and only implied in the prints of Kiyochika and Yoshitoshi, was the underside of modernization and industrialization. Little effort was directed at the redistribution of industrial income: the recognition of trade unions and political movements representing the interests of the lower classes; educational reform; or a sympathetic understanding, at the very least, to women's rights and social conditions. Such attention would have constituted appropriate measures for achieving social objectives commensurate with the economic miracle. Objectives of economic prosperity and social civilization were promoted in the Enlightenment prints. They omitted the government's failure to recognize the imperative need for social progress; this failure made all the political reforms no more than cosmetic in effect. The economic gains of the first phase of the period of modernization were not translated into social amelioration until after the 1870s. What the visual culture of the 1870s reveals is that the transition from the old to the new was not as easy and simple as the Enlightenment prints would like us to accept. The 1870s was a period of tumultuous change, and that the prints illuminate the Japanese responses to the epochal changes of modernization. In this thesis, I have looked at the views of Tokyo beneath the graphic surface of the kaika nishiki-e of the 1870s. The battle in Yoshifuji's Imported and Japanese Goods: Comic Picture of a Playful Contest of Utensils (Fig. 1) epitomizes the 66 incongruities of the collision between traditional Japan and the West. However, the process of modernization was not a decisive battle between the old and new. Exploring the other dimensions of the Enlightenment prints explodes the dichotomous model of a Japan that leaped from the traditional to the modern overnight. The process of modernization that began in the 1870s was a slow process, and one which invited diverse views of the cityscape. 67 68 69 70 71 72 u CD CD e o •kl o a k so 60 e Q o sc o -to OO a 00 09 CP Q CD Q •a Si GO a N e CO 09 s ' m e o o e °9 ^ k 5 CD o k I £ OH ^ a &5 PH 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 8 0 Fig. 14. Josiah Wedgewood. Ca. 1878; rpt. i n Stewart Culin, "Japanese Color Prints Illustrating Samuel Smiles' Self-Help," Brooklyn Museum Quarterly 6.2 (1919): 112. Fig. 15. Attributed to Uchida Kuichi, Emperor Meiji. Ca. 1872; rpt. in Meech-Pekarik, 103. 82 * - * 7 * « / T .*-t rt / . v - a < r *. J . • ' * « * * * / r > ' \ it; 4 •r •) ». -ft * .-». ft «-' «• •x-•> K X * <) >-£3. Fukuzawa Tukichi: Western Clothing, Food, and Homes (Seiyo ishokuju). 3 vols. 1867. Keio University Library, Tokyo. a. undershirt, drawers b. topshirt, flannel shirt c trousers (breeches), suspen-ders, stockings d. waistcoat, collar e. shoes, boots, slippers, shoe-horn / short business coat Fig. 16. 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