Imperial Order to Dispatch Mission Head Plenipotentiary Itō to Europe to Study Constitutional Forms of Government

Description

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 men as Rudolf von Gneist, the jurist and statesman; Albert Mosse, a lawyer who lived in Tokyo in the late 1880s; and Lorenz von Stein, an economist, sociologist, and expert on public administration. Itō had studied in Britain in the 1860s and was a deputy ambassador on the Iwakura mission, which traveled to the United States, Britain, France, Russia, and other European countries in 1871–73. He served four times as Japan’s prime minister, and supervised the drafting of Japan’s first constitution, which became law in 1890.

Date Created

Subject Date

Language

Title in Original Language

立憲政体調査につき特派理事欧洲派遣の勅書

Type of Item

Physical Description

2 books, 23.5 × 33.3 centimeters

Last updated: November 7, 2011