Mokuyo-kai (Thursday Association) (木曜会)

Mokuyo-kai refers to a faction within the Diet of House of Lords (Japan) in the Meiji Period (July 28, 1897 - January 26, 1913, in addition it was established as a group having a legislative bargaining position in the Diet on March 10, 1898). It was formed by baronial members of an assembly including Takatomi SENGE who left from the Kenkyu-kai (the House of Peers). The name of Mokuyo-kai comes from the former name of the Kenkyu-kai.

After the House of Peers was established, there was a movement in formation of a faction within the Diet in accordance with the rank of a councilor, but it was not for baronial members, so the members in the Mokuyo-kai dispersed into every faction such as the Kenkyu-kai. In the Kenkyu-kai at that time the viscount councilors who were focal members for forming the faction as well as the nominated members of the House of Peers who were sufficient for know-how including Keigo KIYOURA had power, thus baronial members were in a vulnerable position. Some members such as SENGE and Tokinaga SUGITANI were dissatisfied with such circumstances and aimed to mobilize entire baronial members. Then, the Mokuyo-kai was formed by 16 baronial members who were belonging to the Kenkyu-kai just after the mutual vote for titled members in 1897.

With the intense reaction to this, the Mokuyo-kai was recognized as a group having a legislative bargaining position in the Diet through join of baronial members in other factions and nominated members of the House of Peers the following year. Under the mutual vote for baronial members in 1904, the group captured 43 of the 56 seats for a total of 46 members and increased to 53 members (including 6 nominated members) five years later, so it became a medium-sized faction with most of the baronial members and some of the nominated members.

However, the representative of the group, Senge shifted to a politician from Shintoist at Hirobumi ITO's suggestion, so his position was close to the Rikken Seiyukai (Friends of Constitutional Government Party) which Ito formed. Consequently, Senge joined the first Saionji Cabinet as the Minister of Justice in 1908. However, inside of the Mokuyo-kai there were many members who had disapproved of the political party and then after Senge joined the Cabinet, internal disputes broke out. In 1910 ten members left from the Mokuyo-kai as well as others left one after another and consequently 17 members including Okinaga NAKAGAWA formed the Seiko-kai on February 13, so the Mokuyo-kai was disrupted. Yet, both the Mokuyo-kai and Seiko-kai continued to be disrupted and some of those members left from the groups and then the Seiko-kai was dissolved at first in March 1911 and diverged in various factions such as the Independent Party. The Mokuyo-kai which reduced to a total of ten members with capturing only six seats in the mutual vote for baronial members in 1911 was also dissolved and some of the members returned to the Kenkyu-kai and others joined the Doyo-kai.

After that, the circumstances of the baronial members disassembled continued until the Kousei-kai was formed in 1919.

[Original Japanese]