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1868

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Keiô 4 (慶応四年)/ Meiji 1 (明治元年) (change on 1868/9/8)

Timeline of 1868

  • Keiô 3/12/9 (3 Jan) Tokugawa Yoshinobu officially steps down as Shogun, and the Imperial Court declares the Restoration of the Monarchy.(Ôsei Fukko)
  • 1868/1
    • 1 The government is organized into seven Divisions (ka), with the Division of Rites at the top of the hierarchy.
    • 1/3 The Battle of Toba-Fushimi.
    • 1/6 Tokugawa Yoshinobu returns to Edo.
  • 1868/2
    • 2 The Divisions of the government are replaced with eight Offices (kyoku), with the Office of Rites at the top of the hierarchy.
    • 2/15 Sakai Incident
    • 2/23 Shogitai occupys Kanei-ji temple.
  • 1868/3
  • 1868/4
  • The new government bans woodblock prints depicting recent skirmishes and battles with a pro-shogunate bias.
    • 4/11 Edo castle surrenders.
    • 4/25 120 Japanese migrate to Hawaii.
  • 1868/int.4
    • int.4 The Offices of the government are dissolved and replaced with Ministries, of which the Jingikan is supreme.
    • int.4/17 About 4000 Christians arrested in Nagasaki.
    • int.4/27 The Meiji government releases Seitaisho
  • 1868/5
  • 1868/6 Shogunate lands, hatamoto lands, and some small domains are reorganized into ken and fu, while the remaining domains are renamed han.
  • 1868/7/17 Edo is renamed to Tokyo in an Imperial Edict.
  • 1868/8
  • 1868/9/22 Aizu surrenders.
  • 1868/9/20-10/13 The Meiji Emperor makes his first great Imperial Progress from Kyoto to Tokyo, a three week journey with an entourage of 3300 men.
  • 1868/10/13 The Meiji Emperor arrives in Tokyo for the first time.
  • 1868/10/25 Enomoto Takeaki occupies Goryokaku.

Other Events of 1868

  • Photographer Felice Beato publishes his Photographic Views of Japan.
  • Currency exchange is undertaken in Ryûkyû; each copper mon is replaced with 32 iron mon, causing a sudden and dramatic rise in prices.
  • The end of the shogunate brings with it a massive exodus from Edo; the city's population does not recover to 1868 levels until around 1890.
  • One hundred forty-eight Japanese arrive in Hawaii aboard the British ship Scioto, under contracts as sugar plantation workers, after being shipped out of Yokohama without authorization. Arriving in the first year (gannen) of the Meiji period, they come to be known as gannenmono.
  • The terms han and bakufu are used in an official context for the first time.
  • The port of Kobe (aka Hyôgo no tsu) is opened to Western trade.
  • Nagaoka castle is torn down.
  • The Nien Rebellion in China ends.
  • Shirakawa castle is burnt down in battle.
  • The Tsukiji Hotel, the first official guesthouse for foreigners constructed by the Meiji government, is completed.

Births and Deaths

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