Taishō Period (1912 – 1926)
Begun with the death of the Emperor Meiji and the ascendance of his mentally and physically infirm son, the Emperor Taishō, the brief Taishō Period saw Japan continue its military involvement in East Asia when it seized German-occupied areas of China during World War I (1914 – 1918). Japan was subsequently required to relinquish many of its gains at the Treaty of Versailles.
Despite the increasing hunger for colonies and the continuing occupation of Korea and Taiwan, the emperor’s incapacity resulted in most governing power shifting from the imperial court and elder statesmen to the Diet (kokkai). As a result, the Taishō Period saw a rise in the power and influence of political parties, and a spurt of democracy that contrasted with the autocratic reforms of the Meiji Period and the rampant militarism of the early Shōwa Period.