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Research

What's happening?

Durham University offers an exciting year-round calendar of lectures, seminars and exhibitions. Events are open to the public, so take the opportunity to engage with current debates, explore some of our beautiful buildings and grounds, expand your knowledge or learn more about our cultural artefacts.

The Emperor’s New Clothes: Transforming 19th Century Japan

20th June 2018, 10:00 to 9th September 2018, 17:00

An exhibition celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration in Japan.

The Meiji Restoration in 1868 was a major turning point in Japanese history. It marked the beginning of decades of extraordinarily rapid and momentous change.

Japan had been a mainly agricultural country with little technological development. It had largely isolated itself from the outside world for the previous 200 years. The new regime expelled the military government that had controlled Japan and restored direct rule to the 15 year old Emperor. The young Emperor was advised that the only way to establish Japan as a world power was to adopt Western systems of government, military, industry, trade, and even clothing.

This exhibition explores how Japan transformed into the modern nation we see today through the use of artefacts, woodblock prints and images from the Meiji Era. It also explores the lasting impact of the Meiji Restoration on Japanese economic and technological success.

This exhibition has been created by students studying for the MA in Museum and Artefact Studies at Durham University.

Contact oriental.museum@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.