National Archives of JAPAN

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Imperial rescript for drafting of the constitution

In September in the 9th year of Meiji(1876), the emperor issued an Imperial Edict instructing the Genroin (Chamber of Elders), which had been instituted in the previous year, to draft the national constitution. The Imperial Edict evidenced the desire of the Meiji government to enact a constitution at a comparatively early date. The movement for freedom and popular rights was burgeoning, after petition had been made for immediate establishment of representative government in the 7th year of Meiji(1874). The Genroin set up a committee for deliberation on the subject, and submitted a draft entitled "Proposal for the Constitution of Japan" in the 13rd year of Meiji(1880). This draft, however, was not adopted as the actual blueprint, on the grounds that it was not sufficiently in conformance with the national polity. The government instead decided to make full preparations for enactment of the constitution upon issuance of the imperial rescript for establishment of the National Diet in the 14th year of Meiji(1881). "Kobun Fuzoku no Zu" (Picutures and charts affiliated with Kobun Roku )containing this illustration were designated an as National Important Cultural Properties of Japan in the 10th year of Heisei(1998) together with "Kobunroku" (Compiled Records of the Grand Council of State).

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