Kokkagakkai (Society for the Science of the Nation) (国家学会)

Kokkagakkai is a study group at law school of the University of Tokyo (the predecessor of the Faculty of Law at the University of Tokyo) founded in February 1887. Today, it publishes "Kokkagakkai-zasshi"(journal of Kokkagakkai) as an organ.

Independence of 'Department of Political Science'

Independence of 'political science' in academic research of modern Japan was closely related to the background of foundation of Kokkagakkai. That is to say, in the University of Tokyo (it was consisted of 4 faculties: Faculty of Law, Faculty of Letters, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Medicine) that was the only higher education institution in early Meiji period, major course of political science was under the control of Faculty of Letters together with economic science as 'Department of Political Economy, Political Science', but it was transferred to Faculty of Law in December 1885, and reformed into 'Department of Political Science' of the Faculty of Law at the University of Tokyo under the Imperial University Ordinance promulgated in March 1886. In accordance with that, the study of political science was separated from 'Bungakukai' which it had belonged to, and became independent as 'Kokkagakkai' in February 1887 and first published "Kokkagakkai-zasshi" as an organ in March of the same year.

Hegemony of German studies
However, as for the factor of foundation of it, not only internal circumstances at the University of Tokyo previously noted, but also that Hirobumi ITO who almost completed a draft of the Constitution of the Empire of Japan at that time advised to Koki WATANABE (president), 'The study on the science of the nation should be immensely encouraged, and we extremely need to inform people of underlying principle and implementation of constitution widely.' were deeply related to. That is, as a result of the failed Meiji-14 coup of 1881, British, American and French studies of law were eliminated from national schools and their base was shifted to five top private law schools, so the government tried to make the government school (=Todai [the University of Tokyo]) a fort of German study of law and the science of the nation in rivalry with private schools (According to Yoshio SAKATANI's reminiscence, as for this point, speculation that government officials tried to repress Liberalism and infuse German doctrine of the science of the nation into our country was spread at that time). Therefore, the foundation of Kokkagakkai is generally regarded as 'determination of German studies dominance in Japanese academism' (Takeshi ISHIDA).

To the study on 'jungakuri' (pure theories)

Because of this situation, Kokkagakkai at the beginning had close ties with politicians and bureaucrats outside the University, and its members were not only scholars and instructors of the University but also celebrities outside the University who were 'important people specializing in the science of the nation and supported the idea of the group' including Ito, Shigenobu OKUMA, Kaoru INOUE, Kowashi INOUE, Eichi SHIBUSAWA and so on. As a result, in Kokkagakkai, there were a faction that emphasized spread and enlightenment of the science of the nation and German studies centering on the constitution about management and other faction that emphasized 'jungakuri' against it. However, the latter faction (Kiheiji ONOZUKA and others) gradually held a majority, and Kokkagakkai was purified into a researcher group in the Todai law school (Faculty of Law) about public law, political science and economics (Later, Society for the Study of Social Policy [Japan, 1897] was differentiated as a group specializing economics). It has been a foundation from 1943 up to today.

Because of the relation with Ito previously noted, the copy right of the "Kenpo Gikai" (Commentaries on the Constitution), a official commentary on the Constitution of the Empire of Japan and the Imperial House Law was donated by the author Ito to the Kokkagakkai in 1889, and it was published by Kokkagakkai in the same year, becoming a basic fund. Publications are "Meiji Kensei Keizai Shiron"(Essay on History of Meiji Constitutional Government, Economics)(1919) published to mark the 30th anniversary of the foundation, "Kokkagaku Ronshu"(Collection of the Science of the Nation)(1937) as the 50th anniversary, "Shin Kenpo no Kenkyu"(Study on the New Constitution)(1947) published after the war, "Kokka to Shakai"(Nation and Society)(1987) as the 100th anniversary and so on, but recently major publication is an organ "Kokkagakkai-zasshi".

[Original Japanese]