660BCE 1st Yamato Emperor (according to legend)
1192 1st Shogun
1639 Tokugawa shogun bans foreigners from Japan
1853 Commodore Perry (U.S) steams into Tokyo Bay demanding trade and diplomatic relations with Japan
1854 Perry returns to sign the Treaty of Kanagawa, opening Japan after centuries of isolation
1867 The Tokugawa shogun resigns
1868 The Emperor, just 15, moves the imperial capital from Kyoto to Edo (Tokyo)
1871 40 officials leave Japan on a two year mission to learn more about the outside world
1872 Fundamental Law of Education provides universal education and military service is mandatory
1894 Sino-Japanese War (with China) – Japan claims Port Arthur though is forced to give it to Russia
1904 Japanese navy launches surprise and crippling attack on the Russian fleet in Port Arthur and declares war the next day. The czar moves his Baltic fleet around Africa to Port Arthur and it too is destroyed. After 18 months, the Russo- Read More
660BCE 1st Yamato Emperor (according to legend)
1192 1st Shogun
1639 Tokugawa shogun bans foreigners from Japan
1853 Commodore Perry (U.S) steams into Tokyo Bay demanding trade and diplomatic relations with Japan
1854 Perry returns to sign the Treaty of Kanagawa, opening Japan after centuries of isolation
1867 The Tokugawa shogun resigns
1868 The Emperor, just 15, moves the imperial capital from Kyoto to Edo (Tokyo)
1871 40 officials leave Japan on a two year mission to learn more about the outside world
1872 Fundamental Law of Education provides universal education and military service is mandatory
1894 Sino-Japanese War (with China) – Japan claims Port Arthur though is forced to give it to Russia
1904 Japanese navy launches surprise and crippling attack on the Russian fleet in Port Arthur and declares war the next day. The czar moves his Baltic fleet around Africa to Port Arthur and it too is destroyed. After 18 months, the Russo-Japanese war ends and Japan emerges victorious.

© 2006, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. All Rights Reserved.

Curator Barry Till talks about the changes during the Meiji period that helped Japan emerge into the modern age – things like rickshaws, bicycles, steam ships and trains.

Welcome to the Meiji Section. I’m Barry Till, Curator of Asian Art. In 1868 something fantastic happened in Japan. Japan would change. A young teenager would come to the throne, he became known as the Meiji Emperor. He would bring Japan into the modern age. In 45 years Japan went from being a backward, feudal society into becoming one of the major world industrial and military powers by the time of his death in 1912. In the field of transportation, things greatly changed. Before the Emperor Meiji came to power, people had been walking, using ox-carts, riding horses or using sedan chairs, which were carried by servants. During his time, things like the rickshaw and bicycles were introduced, and trains were brought in from the west. All these new modes of transportation would greatly alter Japanese society.

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
1868 - 1912
JAPAN
© 2006, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. All Rights Reserved.


Image of the imperial lineage from the first emperor Jimmu (middle with bow and arrows) to Meiji emperor and empress.

Image of the imperial lineage from the first emperor Jimmu (middle with bow and arrows) to Meiji emperor and empress.

Toyohara Chikanobu
Gift of Lunds Auctioneers and Appraisers Ltd. Purchase Fund
c. 1878
JAPAN
AGGV 2004.035.001
© 2006, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. All Rights Reserved.


A – Scene with cart and umbrellas; B – Scene with wide street figures, animals; C – Scene with storefronts, farm animal

A – Scene with cart and umbrellas. B – Scene with wide street figures and animals. C – Scene with storefronts and some farm animals

Utagawa Sadahide
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Morris Shumiatcher
19th Century
JAPAN
AGGV 2001.020.003
© 2006, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. All Rights Reserved.


Opening of Tokyo Daiichi University

Opening of Tokyo Daiichi University

Utagawa Kuniteru II
Gift of the Mina M. Mossler Estate
c. 1888
JAPAN
AGGV T2006.004.001
© 2006, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

The following learning objectives have been created with considerable and specific reference to the Prescribed Learning Outcomes (PLOs) for various grades and subjects as outlined by the Ministry of Education for the province of British Columbia. The portions that directly reflect curricula language have been italicized. All applicable texts, websites, and other learning resources are listed in the bibliography under References.

• Students will read an historical overview of the period from 660 BCE to 1904 allowing them to examine the organization and evolution of societies.
• Students will appreciate the enormous shift in cultural identity that occurred with the Meiji era, including the demise of the samurai and an increase in western influence.
• Students will consider what impact those changes may have made on contemporary Japanese culture as a result of cultural borrowing and thereby make connections between historical and contemporary events and issues.


Teachers' Centre Home Page | Find Learning Resources & Lesson Plans