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Initial Steps toward a Constitutional State

HOME > Initial Steps toward a Constitutional State > a. Conceptions of the Form of Government circa the Meiji Restoration > SAKAMOTO Ryoma's Conception of the Form of Government

a. Conceptions of the Form of Government circa the Meiji Restoration

1-2 SAKAMOTO Ryoma's Conception of the Form of Government

In 1867 (Keio 3), GOTO Shojiro, advised the previous daimyo, YAMAUCHI Yodo (Toyoshige) of the Tosa domain (now Kochi prefecture, on the island of Shikoku), to support the Taisei Hokan (restoration of political power to the Emperor) based on the kogi seitairon (political theory focused on the parliamentary system). On that occasion, SAKAMOTO Ryoma compiled his so-called Senchu Hassaku (literally Eight Point Program Composed Abroad Ship), that is, proposals to save Japan from its current situation upon consultation with GOTO. Besides calling for the imperial restoration, the document contains various proposals that served as the foundation of the new Meiji government that succeeded, including the establishment of an assembly, a governmental bureaucracy, diplomacy, a selection of a constitution, and a military system. Later in the same year, the Tosa domain submitted the Taisei Hokan to the Tokugawa Shogunate that was also based on SAKAMOTO's "Senchu Hassaku".

The Shin Seifu Koryo Hassaku (Eight Point Program for a New Government) seen here was Sakamoto's draft proposal for a system of government based on the Senchu Hassaku, and was presented to the high officials of the Tosa domain. It has been said that the substituted words mean YAMAUCHI Yodo or the last shogun TOKUGAWA Yoshinobu, etc. But the common view is not still decided. The City of Shimonoseki's Chofu Museum in Yamaguchi prefecture possesses another copy of the document in its collection.

Shin Seifu Koryo Hassaku (Eight Point Program for a New Government)

Shin Seifu Koryo Hassaku (Eight Point Program for a New Government)
  • 1867 (lunar November, Keio 3)
  • Papers of ISHIDA Eikichi, #1
  • National Diet Library
  • Included in the "Boyucho"
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