Emperor Meiji, or Meiji the Great, was the 122nd Emperor of Japan according to the traditional order of succession, reigning from February 3, 1867 until his death on July 30, 1912. He presided over a time of rapid change in the Empire of Japan, as t... he nation quickly changed from a feudal state to a capitalist and imperial world power, characterized by Japan's industrial revolution.At the time of his birth in 1852, Japan was an isolated, pre-industrial, feudal country dominated by the Tokugawa Shogunate and the daimyo, who ruled over the country's more than 250 decentralized domains. By the time of his death in 1912, Japan had undergone a political, social, and industrial revolution at home and emerged as one of the great powers on the world stage. The New York Times summed up this transformation at his funeral in 1912, with the words: "the contrast between that which preceded the funeral car and that which followed it was striking indeed. Before it went old Japan; after it came new Japan."During his lifetime, the emperor was known by his personal name Mutsuhito. But upon his death he was given the reign name, Meiji. His personal name is never used in Japan in any official context. As the reigning emperor is referred to as the "Emperor", all deceased emperors are referred to by their given reign name. The correct usage in Japanese is the "Meiji Emperor"