Genroin (the Chamber of Elders) (元老院 (日本))

Genroin was a legislative organ in the early Meiji era in Japan. It established a new law and revised an old law, but a Bill was given down to the Central State Council (later Cabinet) as the order of the Emperor, and in the case of emergency it approved after the case, so that it did not have powerful authority. The members of construction were called councilor of the senate.

Genroin was established succeeded from the Left State Council (an organ which report a legislative decision to the Central State Council) on April 25, 1875, by the agreement at the Osaka conference in 1875 among Toshimichi OKUBO, Hirobumi ITO, Takayoshi KIDO, and Taisuke ITAGAKI, and the document of the Emperor of the constitutional system given later. At first, it was constituted of a President and a Vice-president, and quota was unlimited, but soon after according to the financial matter the office organization was revised on November 25 in the same year (in 1875), the member was a President, a Vice-president, two secretaries who support them, (abolished in 1886), and other 28 bureaucrats, in total 32 members were admitted as the quota.

The President was appointed to the additional post of Sadaijin (Minister of the left), but no cases were recorded, when Genroin was established the Presidential seat was vacant and the Vice-president Shojiro GOTO acted for the President. Due to the revision in November 1875, a post of secretary was newly established to support the President, Munemitsu MUTSU and Togama KONO were appointed to the secretary. When Prince Taruhito was appointed to the President, an imperial order of drawing up a draft constitution was given to Genroin by the request of Tomomi IWAKURA on September 8, 1876. Based on this, 'draft constitution' was made twice (in October 1876 and in October 1878), but it was not adopted, because the Central State Council savaged it. The discussion at Genroin those days was inactive, so it was teased on 'Public Opinion Magazine' issued on January 20, 1878 that the members who were discussing sincerely were just 4 members who were two secretaries (MUTSU, KONO), Nobuyuki NAKAJIMA and Junjiro HOSOKAWA. Furthermore, as one misfortune followed another, Secretary Munemitsu MUTSU was forced to be a suspect of Risshisha no goku incident in June, and expelled from Genroin, so that on this occasion a side of the Central State Council moved to control the authority of Genroin, then it had to be interfered by the Central State Council later on. After the year of 1880 the quota was ignored practically, it became a kind of waiting post for a prefectural governor and high officials of the government by getting a new post. When it was abolished the quota was increased to 91, the most of them transferred to the House of Noble after the abolition of Genroin.

Genroin was abolished on October 30, 1890, for the establishment of the Imperial Diet.

Main personnel affairs
(vacancy) April, 1875 – May, 1876
Imperial Prince Taruhito May, 1876 – February, 1880
Takato OKI February, 1880 – October, 1881
Munenori TERASHIMA October, 1881 – September, 1882
Tsunetami SANO September, 1882 – December, 1885
Takato OKI December, 1885 – December, 1889
Sakimitsu YANAGIWARA December, 1889 – October, 1890

Shojiro GOTO April, 1875 – March, 1876
(vacancy) March, 1876 – June 1878
Togama KONO June, 1878 – March, 1880
Takayuki SASAKI March, 1880 – October, 1881
Tsunetami SANO October, 1881 – September, 1882
Michitomi HIGASHIKUZE September, 1882 – June, 1889
Sakimitsu YANAGIWARA June, 1889 – December, 1889
Masataka KUSUMOTO December, 1889 – October, 1890


Established November, 1875 – June, 1886

Munemitsu MUTSU November, 1875 – June, 1878

Togama KONO November, 1875 – June, 1878

Sakimitsu YANAGIWARA June, 1878 – March, 1880

Junjiro HOSOKAWA March, 1880 – July, 1881

Naoyoshi YAMAGUCHI March, 1880 – September, 1882

Michitomi HIGASHIKUZE July, 1881 – September, 1882

Masataka KAWASE September, 1882 – June, 1883

Kiyotsuna KURODA September, 1882 – June, 1886

Junjiro HOSOKAWA June, 1883 – June, 1886

[Original Japanese]