Meiji 6 (明治六年)
Timeline of 1873
- 1873/1/1 (Jan 1) Gregorian calendar replaces the lunar calendar.
- 1873/2/7 An edict is issued explaining that killing in the name of revenge is illegal and that only the government reserves the right to punish murderers (i.e. to exact justice).
- 1873/3/3 A group of Ryukyuan officials led by Prince Ie Chôchoku arrive back in Ryûkyû after being informed in Tokyo of the abolition of their kingdom.
- 1873/3/8 Four Japanese seafarers from Oda Prefecture (modern-day Okayama Prefecture) are robbed and nearly killed by Taiwanese aborigines. They are rescued by an aborigine chief and return to Japan via Shanghai; official thanks are sent by the Meiji government for their safe return.
- 1873/5/5 Edo castle is destroyed in a fire; the Emperor and Empress take up residence at the mansion of the Kishû Tokugawa clan, which is then designated the Akasaka Temporary Palace.
- 1873/6 Foreign Minister Soejima Taneomi visits Beijing.
- 1873/6/21 Japanese Diplomatic Minister in China Yanagihara Sakimitsu, along with Soejima and others, meet with Chinese authorities to discuss the Taiwan Incident of 1871.
- 1873/7 Urasoe ueekata, serving as a representative of Ryûkyû, seeks to meet with Soejima but finds he is absent.
- 1873/8 Yonabaru ueekata meets with Foreign Minister Soejima following the latter's return from China. Soejima confirms that authority over internal affairs, as well as diplomatic relations with China, remains in the hands of the Ryûkyû government, and is not determined by the Japanese Foreign Ministry.
- 1873/8/27 The Italian Diplomatic Minister resident in Japan, Comte Litta, writes to Soejima requesting that the rights granted to France, Holland, and the US in treaties signed by those countries with the Ryûkyû Kingdom be extended to Italians as well. Soejima replies that he must confer with the authorities in Ryûkyû han.
- 1873/10/8 A particularly famous and well-known set of photo portraits of Emperor Meiji, the last official photos of the emperor, is taken by photographer Uchida Kuichi.
Other Events of 1873
- Akô castle is demolished.
- Amagasaki castle is torn down.
- The ban on Christianity is formally lifted.
- Charles de Long is succeeded as US Minister to Japan by John Bingham.
- Durham Stevens is appointed secretary of the United States Legation in Tokyo.
- Eta Funayama kofun is first excavated.
- Imabari castle is demolished.
- The system of having three licensed kabuki theatres in Edo (now Tokyo), an arrangement in place since 1714, is abolished.
- Kameyama castle is demolished.
- Kaminoyama castle is demolished.
- Kanazawa castle is demolished.
- Kôfu castle is demolished.
- Second Kyoto Exposition of art is held; it is organized for the first time at the Kyoto Imperial Palace.
- The Land Tax Ordinance of 1873 provides de jure property rights to farmers along with tax obligations.
- Military conscription is established.
- The Ministry of the Interior is established.
- Muslim rebellions in southwest China, ongoing since 1855, are suppressed.
- Okazaki castle is demolished.
- Samurai are permitted to commute their stipends into twenty-year bonds.
- Seikanron: the leaders of the Imperial government are divided over the issue of invading Korea. Saigô Takamori, along with a number of others opposed to the final decision to not invade, resign from their positions in the government.
- Shibata castle is demolished.
- Soma Kazue moves to Tokyo with his wife.
- Takasaki castle is torn down.
- Takatori castle is torn down.
- Usuki castle is torn down.
- Japan exhibits at the 1873 Vienna Exposition. This is the first time the Meiji government participates in a World's Fair.
- The term bijutsu (fine arts) is first adopted and used.
- Yokosuka castle is torn down.
Births and Deaths
- Painter Kawai Gyokudô is born (d. 1957).
- Liang Qichao is born (d. 1929).
- Shimomura Kanzan is born (d. 1930).
- Prince Shô Jun (d. 1945) is born.
- Utagawa Sadahide dies (b. 1807).