Meiji, Emperor of Japan and the Imperial Family, 1900

- Image ID: M2HXAK
Science History Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: M2HXAK
Entitled: ""Group portrait of Meiji, Emperor of Japan and the imperial family."" Emperor Meiji (November 3, 1852 - July 30, 1912), or Meiji the Great, was the 122nd Emperor of Japan, reigning from February 3, 1867 until his death on July 30, 1912. He presided over a time of rapid change in the Empire of Japan, as the nation quickly changed from an isolationist feudal state to a capitalist and imperial world power, characterized by the Japanese industrial revolution. At the time of Meiji's birth in 1852, Japan was an isolated, pre-industrial, feudal country dominated by the Tokugawa shogunate and the daimyo, who ruled over the country's more than 250 decentralized domains. By the time of his death in 1912, Japan had undergone a political, social, and industrial revolution at home (Meiji Restoration) and emerged as one of the great powers on the world stage. The New York Times summed up this transformation at his funeral in 1912, with the words: "the contrast between that which preceded the funeral car and that which followed it was striking indeed. Before it went old Japan; after it came new Japan." His personal name, which is not used in any formal or official context, except for his signature, was Mutsuhito. E.R. Dumont, 1904.