Budo World

The Budō Crisis

In 1871, a few years after the Meiji Restoration, feudal domains were abolished and new prefectures were established instead. The bushi, who used to receive stipends from the domain they belonged to, found themselves without employment and income. The bushi, bearers of the martial traditions, thus disappeared with the feudal system of the Tokugawa shogunate (warrior-farmer-artisan-merchant). Also, in 1876 the “haitōrei” edict was promulgated, and carrying swords in public, the symbol of the bushi class, became prohibited. Kenjutsu, which had been the predominant martial art was no longer deemed viable. Modern weapons and tactics devised by Western countries were imported, and traditional Japanese martial arts became obsolete. Thus, Japanese martial arts faced a major crisis for survival.