Tuesday, 18th February 2014
In General Japan News,
Meiji documents discovered in Kyoto
A storehouse in Kyoto has become the subject of much debate between Japanese scholars after an extraordinary collection of government documents dating back to the Meiji era (1868 - 1912) was discovered there.
Among the items, there are 61 secret messages believed to be harbouring some sort of code, including the recording of an exchange between politicians including statesman Tomomi Iwakura, who was a key figure during this fascinating period of history.
Suguru Sasaki, a professor emeritus of Kyoto University specialising in modern Japanese history, said that a number of documents were found on the site in 2011, although their significance is only just being unveiled to the public after careful examination.
"They deserve to be designated as important historical assets, as they are believed to be related to documents on the Meiji government’s decision-making processes, which are important cultural assets," he added.
The Meiji period is of particular interest to scholars as it represents the time in which Japan adapted from being an isolated feudal society to its modern form.
Written by Mark Smith