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Imperial Diet
This multicolored print shows the second temporary Imperial Diet building. It was built in 1891 in Hibiya Uchisaiwaichō, central Tokyo, to replace the first temporary Imperial Diet building, which was destroyed by a fire. Its style combined elements of Japanese traditional architecture with Western elements attributable to its German architect. Imperial Diet sessions were held in this building 48 times before it too burned down, in 1925. The present National Diet building was constructed in Nagatachō, Metropolitan Tokyo, in 1936.
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Imperial Order to Dispatch Mission Head Plenipotentiary Itō to Europe to Study Constitutional Forms of Government
This document is the 1882 imperial order commanding Itō Hirobumi (1841–1909) to visit Europe to study the constitutional systems of various European countries. A separate document presents a concrete list of 31 different items to be studied, including each country's constitution, royal family, legislature, cabinet, judiciary, and system of local government. On March 14, 1882 (Meiji 15), Itō set sail from Yokohama. He spent 14 months in Europe, traveling around Prussia (Germany), Austria, Britain, Belgium, and other countries. In Prussia he was influenced by the lectures of such ...
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Privy Council Meeting
This woodblock print, dated October 1888, depicts a meeting of the Japanese Privy Council, which was established in 1888 for the purpose of deliberating drafts of a constitution. The idea of writing a constitution had been discussed, both within and outside the government, from the very outset of the Meiji era (i.e., from 1868), which returned Japan to imperial government after the Tokugawa shogunate. However, the detailed work on a draft constitution that led directly to the Meiji constitution did not begin in earnest until around 1886 (Meiji 19 ...
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National Diet Library