2000 年 32 巻 2 号 p. 1-13
It was for aim of this paper to study the role which Eujutsu (martial arts) served in the liberty and people's rights movement organized at Meiji earlier period in Japan.
I will show the result found with this paper in the following.
1. Bujutsu as a political culture
The liberty and people's rights movement was the political movement that succeeded problems of revolutin of Meiji Restoration, and this had continued from 1874 that they demanded establishment of democratically elected House (Diet) to about 1890 of Diet establishment. The main activities of this movement's peoples were announcements of their principles on journals and speeches in their address meetings at first. However, Meiji government issued several laws and ordinances which regulated holding of address and publication of journals, and oppressed their movement. The side of association of the democratic movement produced a unique political culture that unified athletic meets, a social gathering and address meeting in order to evade the crackdown. And the associations of the democratic movement frequently took Bujutsu, especially Kenjutsu in the athletic meets.
Many of the forms of these Bujutsu performances were collective conflicts. And the performances amplified “mob mentality” of peoples anticipating in the democratic movement, and raised an emotion of revolting against the government.
2. Bujutsu for training “champions” of the liberty and people's rights movement
A lot of associations of the democratic movement took Bujutsu in order to not only amplify the “mob mentality” but also train “champions” of the democratic movement that fight for their associations and this nation. In other words they were going to train the talent which have spirits for political conflict.
Because we know that 2055 number associations at least promoting the movement for democatic rights existed in all over Japan, we can suppose that enormous peopls trained Bujutsu with the movement.
On the history of Bujutsu in Japan as before, we know that the Bujutsu were encouraged in police at after 1877. However, the measures of encouraging Bujutsu in police should be considered in relation with this liberty and people's rights movement as the antagonism axis. In addition, it may be said that the hosts of Bujutsu trainers adding the police side and the democratic movement side built basis for Bujutsu to spread after. We will not be able to think the reason that “Dainippon Butokukai” (general control association of Bujutsu) established in 1895 could get enormous members during short period except for thinking in this way.