Alternative History

The Keiō Restoration (慶応維新) was a series of events in which Japan was recentralized. It was named after the era in which it began. The central figures were the Tycoon (or shōgun), Tokugawa Yoshinobu, and the Emperor, Kōmon (Kōmei *here*).

The Restoration started much as it did *here*. However, it went different after February 3, 1867. *Here*, that was the date on which the Kōmei Emperor died and the Meiji Emperor came to the throne. *There*, the Kōmon Emperor did not die. The Emperor worked closely with the Tycoon. The Tycoon was granted, along with the title of shōgun, the additional title of kampaku, giving him a court rank.

While the Emperor regained some power, the Tycoon remained quite powerful. Foreign affairs were exclusively the province of the Tycoon, while domestic affairs were shared between the Emperor and the Tycoon. The old administrative structure of the provinces was restored, though several cities were given autonomy.

The United States had an influential role in the development of Japan during this critical period. The Kōmon Emperor and Tycoon Yoshinobu issued a Constitution for Japan which established a federal system, in which each state (kuni, translated "province" *here*) was governed by a hereditary daimyō and an elected legislature. At the federal level, there was a two-chambered Congress (Kokkai, translated "Diet" *here*). The House of Representatives consisted of members elected by the people of the states. The Senate, on the other hand, consisted of two members appointed by each of the daimyō (later, chosen by the legislatures of the states).

The Restoration did not occur without violence. Many daimyō objected to the weakening of their authority, while on the other hand, there were those who wanted to remove the Tycoon from power.

The final result of the Restoration was a centralization and modernization of Japan, and the beginnings of the Japanese Empire. In addition, the Emperor regained some power, although not as much as was claimed by many of the leaders of the Restoration.