The Journal of Japanese Studies
The Meiji political novel was closely connected to contemporary changes in techniques for the representation of history. Suehiro Tetchōís novel Setchūbai (Plum blossoms in snow, 1886) shares many of the concerns of the historiography of its time, in particular the desire to explain the place of 1868 in Japanese history. The novel positions 1868 as a step in the establishment of democracy in Japan, to be followed by the founding of a liberal parliament in 1890. At the same time, the novelís philosophy of history disqualifies fundamental dissent from the reformist programs espoused by the Meiji government and liberals alike.
33, Number 2 (Summer