Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan

Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan

The nihongo|Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan|内大臣| Naidaijin was an administrative post not of cabinet rank in the government of the Empire of Japan. The Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal was responsible for keeping the Privy Seal of Japan and State Seal of Japan.

The office of "Naidaijin" (literally "Inner Minister") was an ancient title predating the Taihō Code of 701. Fujiwara no Kamatari was the first person appointed to the post in 669. After the appointment of Fujiwara no Michitaka in 989, the office became permanently established, ranking just below that of "Udaijin" (Minister of the Right) and "Sadaijin" (Minister of the Left).

The modern office was established in 1885, after the Meiji government established the cabinet; however, the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal was separate from the cabinet, and acted as a direct advisor to the Emperor. He was also responsible for the administration of imperial documents such as rescripts and edicts. Petitions to the emperor and the court were also handled by the Lord Keeper's office, as well as the responses.

The office of the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal was identical with the old "Naidaijin" only in name. [http://www.unterstein.net/or/docs/JapanPeers.pdf]

In 1907, the post was expanded to become the "Naidaijin-fu" (Office of the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal) with a chief secretary, three secretaries and six assistants in order to handle the increased workload with the passing of the "genrō".

After the start of Emperor Showa's reign in 1925, the office and position of the Lord Privy Seal became increasingly important, at the expense of the office of the prime minister. Political infighting within the Diet of Japan further boosted the power of the Lord Privy Seal. The Lord Privy Seal was able to strictly control who was allowed to have an audience with the emperor, as well as the flow of information. This made the final Lord Privy Seal Marquis Kido Kōichi in effect even more powerful than the prime minister.

After World War II, the Office of the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal was officially abolished on 24 November 1945. [http://www.ndl.go.jp/constitution/e/etc/glossary.html National Diet Library | Office of the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal] . However, the function itself was abolished with the promulgation of the new constitution in November 1946. Thus, former Grand Chamberlain Hisanori Fujita was the last Lord Keeper. [John Dower, Embracing defeat, 1999, p.320]

List of Lord Keepers Privy Seal

ee also

*Lord Privy Seal
*Keeper of the seals

Notes

External links

* National Archives of Japan [http://jpimg.digital.archives.go.jp/jpg_prg/jgmWeb?%TmpFileDisp%env=jpeg2k_images/photo/suumitsuin/suumitsuin_001_e.env ...Click link for photograph of meeting of Privy Counsel (1946)]


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