The purposes of this project are to examine systematically the dominant theories of peasant uprisings in 19^<th>-century Japan, and, through this examination, to explore the mechanisms of popular movements in the period of large-scale social change. The longitudinal and cross-section data were collected both at the national and regional levels, and then analyzed systematically using statistical techniques. Major findings are :
1, Class conflict theory, the hitherto dominant interpretive scheme, does not apply well to the 19^<th>-century peasant uprisings in Japan. Nor does political opportunity structure theory, currently among the most popular interpretations of social movements, apply well to the phenomenon under study.
2, Peasant unrest in 19^<th>-century Japan, and social movements in times of large social change in general, could be better understood by using what might be termed "structural-system approach, " which emphasizes the structural relationship between the state and the collective movement actors in specific historical settings and their ideological characters.
3, Social movements in the periods of large-scale social change in general appear to be the ones that try to preserve the existing traditional rights rather than establishing new rights. In this sense, they are "retrospective, "not"progressive.
It Should also be emphasized that the above findings are the results of systematic examination of the collected data and thus can be stated as generalized statements. This is the merit of the present study which previous studies on Japanese peasant uprisings have not been able to demonstrate. Also important is the collection and establishment of longitudinal and cross-sectional data regarding 19^<th>-century peasant uprisings in Japan, which will aid us in proceeding further research on this subject.