Value Assumption Change Behind Japanese Democracy

The Japanese people obtained democracy by harnessing faith and belief that each individual owns sovereignty. It is a legacy of our ancestor who pursued freedom, peace, and equality over more than hundred years. All respect, sympathy, and honor go to those people.

If we observe how this had happened from a microscopic view, we find that there was a value assumption shift in pushing Democracy in Japan.

Sherry Diestler defines “value assumptions are beliefs about what is good and important that form the basis of our opinions about issues and decisions.” 1 She also says that disagreements of opinion are all about diverse value priorities based on individual experience from a microscopic perspective. Value of freedom, peace, and equality (elements of democracy) harshly crashed with advocate of imperial rule by the group of samurais in the end of Edo Period. And we call this “revolution.”

After almost 700 years of reign by several Shogunates, the Meiji Restoration took 26 years to revolutionize the country and build our Diet system to obtain “freedom” from the old regime. After 20 years, Taisho democracy took place to lead General Election in 1925 that brought peace to more citizen. Finally in 1945, female obtained election rights to form “equality” in this country. 2

Value assumption change plays an important role in promoting social movements.

1.Becoming a Critical Thinker, P.40

2.“Japanese Modern History of Social Hierarchy,” Banno Junji