- マス・コミュニケーション研究 (ISSN:13411306)
- vol.88, pp.97-115, 2016-01-31 (Released:2017-10-06)
This study aims to examine speech before and after the enforcement of the assembly ordinance. The current study hopes to reveal the political and academic aspects of speech, within both the printed word and oral forms, in relation to the Movement for Civil Rights and Freedom of the 1880s. Speeches were delivered in meetings across the country under the influence of the Diet-establishing movement. The Government of Japan enacted the assembly ordinance in an attempt to prevent the movement. This law targeted political speech, not academic speech, and as such, a problem occurred with what was deemed a "political" subject. In addition, there was a vague range in terms of application of the law and arbitrary enforcement standard. Those who wanted to make a speech found a way to circumvent political speech in terms of form. Therefore, people made academic speeches, held social gatherings, and meetings to comment on newspapers, instead of giving political speeches. However, political speeches were, in fact, delivered in these "non-political" meetings. Police often cracked down on these meetings. Differences between the political and the academic forms led to discussions on the rights and wrongs of speech based on the publications at the time. In particular, in meetings for commentary on newspaper articles, the police did not prohibit the publication of newspapers, but prohibited speech related to newspaper content. The court in the first trial brought in a verdict of not guilty, but the Supreme Court later gave a guilty verdict. This demonstrated the ambiguity of political speech in the law. At the same time, it indicated that people were being arrested for speaking about newspaper content although the same content had already been circulated in print. The administration banned the use of schools as platforms for speeches, and teachers from making them.