Chokugo (Imperial Rescript) (勅語)

Chokugo means, in principle, the Emperor's verbal expression of his or her intention concerning official matters, and is a type of Shochoku (imperial rescript). Chokugo had continuously been issued mainly since the Meiji Period before enforcement of the Constitution of Japan. Today it is called as 'o-kotoba' (a combination of 'o' as a honorific prefix to be applied before noun or verb and 'kotoba' meaning words) in general. The term Chokugo originated from the fact that the expression of Emperor's intention (imperial decree) had been called Choku (written as "勅" in Chinese) in China.

The written Chokugo is called Chokugo-sho (literally, documented imperial decree). The Chokugo-sho do not include any signature affixed by Emperor in his or her own hand or any countersignature by Minister of State. However, Kyoiku Chokugo (Imperial Rescript on Education) is an exception, which is issued in writing and signed by Emperor himself or herself (without countersignature by Minister of State).

Various Chokugo were issued under the Constitution of the Empire of Japan, such as the one at the opening ceremony of imperial Diet, or the one titled as 'Seishonen gakuto ni tamawaritaru chokugo' (literally, imperial rescript deigned to juveniles and students.'

[Original Japanese]