The Difference Dictonary

E.A. Mallory (1785-1902) - An amazingly long-lived New England hat manufacturer.

Matrix - The stone in which a fossil is imbedded.

The Meiji restoration - Early in 1868, Keiki, the last shogun or military ruler of Japan, was forced to resign his post, and the Meiji emperor, backed by the conservative daimyos of Satsuma and Choshu, assumed control, restoring to Japan a sense of national unity. The country was at that time torn apart by political violence, widespread unemployment, food riots, and fear of the well-armed foreigners who had insisted on entry to Japan. In the course of the Meiji emperor's 44-year reign, the country abolished feudalism, adopted Western technology, education, and legal reforms, and took its place as a world power.
Meiji technological advances depicted in Japanese postage stamps

Meirokusha - "Meiji 6 Society." An intellectual society proposed by statesman Mori Arinori in 1873 (the sixth year of the Meiji era) for the purpose of Civilization and Enlightenment. It played a leading role in introducing and popularizing Western ideas during early Meiji. It numbered among its thirty-three members some of the most prominent educators, bureaucrats, and thinkers of 19th century Japan, most of whom had studied both jugaku (Confucian studies) and yogaku (Western learning). As Japan's first envoy to the United States (1871-1873), Mori was impressed by the activities of American educational societies and by Horace Mann's views on universal education. It is probable that he conceived the idea of Meirokusha while in the United States. Its purpose: to promote Western learning and establish models of ethical behavior in Japan. Its means to that end took three different forms: to study and emulate the West's moral strength; to institute social welfare programs, constitutional government, and universal education; to pragmatically combine the special strengths of the Japanese with Western attitudes and institutions. Although it continued to meet up to around 1900, the society's influence sharply declined after it ceased publishing its journal due to the passing of the Press Ordinance and the Libel Law in 1875.

Mikado - An ancient name for the Emperor of Japan, widely used in the West in the 19th Century and popularized by Gilbert and Sullivan in their operetta "The Mikado," but not used in Japan, where the emperor was and is customarily referred to as Tenno, "Son of Heaven."

Viscount Mori Arinori (1847-1889) - Prominent educational statesman, diplomat, and outspoken proponent of Western thought and social practices in early Meiji. From a samurai family in the Satsuma domain, he was secretly dispatched by the domain under the alias of Sawai Tetsuma to Britain in 1865, where he studied naval surveying, mathematics, and physics for two years. Crossing to America in 1867 at the invitation of his close British mentor, Laurence Oliphant, he spent a year with the Brotherhood of the New Life, a spartan utopian colony at Brocton, New York. He returned to Japan in 1868. He was forced to resign from his government post in 1869 after prematurely proposing the abolition of sword-wearing. The most famous of the Meiji education minsters, he was an advocate of religious freedom and secular education, favoring abandonment of the Japanese language in favor of English and the social (but not political) emancipation of women. He also had a life-long career in the Foreign Office and was Japan's first envoy to Washington (1871-1873). In 1875, he founded Hitotsubashi University. He was assassinated by a Shintoist fanatic in 1889, on the very day the Meiji constitution went into effect.

Museum of Practical Geology, Jermyn St. - One of the earliest of the great National Museums, demolished in 1936.

Music-making machines - The 19th century saw a Cambrian proliferation of musical snuff-boxes, mechanical music-players, and automata orchestras, even a musical bustle, reportedly presented to Queen Victoria. (It played 'God Save the Queen' when the wearer sat down.) The early part of the century brought the Panharmonicon, a mechanical orchestra. It was followed by the Appolonicon and the Euterpion, which were elaborate barrel organs, and another set of automata, the Orchestrion, which astonished the British public at the exhibition of 1851. Most of these were controlled through the use of a revolving barrel with pins or pneumatic devices employing perforated cards or rolls of paper. The music was produced from organ pipes, reeds, metallic combs, drums, bells, cymbals, triangles, and strings struck with a hammer. Appliances to automate the pianoforte also were common from the close of the 18th century, early ones utilizing a barrel-and-pin mechanism. Perforated pieces of cardboard or rolls of paper, storing the music in the same way weaving instructions are stored for a Jacquard loom, were introduced in the first half of the 19th century. The Pianola, patented by an American in 1897, played music stored on rolls of punched paper.

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The Difference Dictionary was first published
in slightly different form in Science Fiction Eye, Issue #8.
Text copyright 1990, 1996, 2000, 2003,
by Eileen K. Gunn.

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