Imperial Rescript Establishing a Constitutional Form of Government


A decision was taken at the Osaka Conference, held from January to February 1875, to restore Kido Takayoshi (1833−77) and Itagaki Taisuke (1837−1919) to their posts as sangi (councilors). The two men had resigned, in 1874 and 1873 respectively, in protest against military expeditions against Taiwan and Korea. The Osaka Conference issued the “Imperial Rescript Establishing a Constitutional Form of Government,” spelling out the national policy to create a constitutional political system in Japan. It also prescribed the establishment of the Genrōin (Chamber of Elders), Daishin'in (Supreme Court), and the prefectural governors' council. This document is the draft proposal for that rescript, the wording of which differs very little from the official text. Together with the five-article Charter Oath from 1868, the rescript laid the foundation for the Movement for Civic Rights and Freedom in Japan.

Last updated: June 25, 2015