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Taisho Democracy

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Chapter Summary

The period of great change that is called Taisho democracy proved to be one of the busiest times of Hasegawa Nyozekan's life. Taken at face value, and ignoring the undercurrents of authoritarianism present in the Meiji period (for example, the emperorcentered Meiji Constitution), the Taisho period seemed the next step in a natural evolution toward participatory democracy. Participating in Taisho democracy as a liberal journalist, Nyozekan was fascinated with the philosophy of the press and the role of the newspaper in society, and in 1929 he began to write on the subject. The liberalism that informed Nyozekan's support for Taisho democracy came from a variety of sources. The failure of capitalism in Japan meant that democracy failed to find fertile soil, and, for this too, Nyozekan blamed the bureaucracy and the political parties.

Keywords: capitalism; Hasegawa Nyozeka; Japan; liberalism; Meiji Constitution; Taishō democracy



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