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Home Ministry (Naimushō) offices, Tokyo, pre-1923

The Home Ministry (内務省 Naimushō ?) was a former Cabinet-level ministry established under the Meiji Constitution that managed the internal affairs of Empire of Japan from 1873-1947. Its duties included local administration, police, public works and elections.

Contents

History

After the Meiji Restoration, the Home Ministry was established as government department in November 1873 [1], initially as an internal security agency to deal with possible threats to the government from disgruntled ex-samurai. Under the organization of the Meiji government, prefectural governors were appointed by the central government, and came under the jurisdiction of the Home Ministry.

Until the establishment of the first cabinet government of Japan, the head of the Home Ministry was referred to as the "Home Lord" and functioned as the Head of Government.

Okubo Toshimichi was the first Head of the Home Ministry as Home Lord. When Yamagata Aritomo became the first Minister for Home Affairs, he organized the Ministry into sections responsible for general administration, local administration, police, public works, public health, postal administration, topographic surveys, religious institutions and the national census. The administration of Hokkaidō and Karafuto Prefectures also fell under the jurisdiction of the Home Ministry.

The Home Ministry also initially had the responsibility for promoting local industry [2], but this duty was taken over by the Department of Agriculture and Commerce in 1881. In 1890, the Railroad Ministry and in 1892, the Communications Ministry were created, removing these functions from the Home Ministry. The public health functions were separated into the Ministry of Health in 1938.

On the other hand, with the establishment of State Shinto, a Department of Religious Affairs was added to the Home Ministry in 1900. Following the High Treason Incident, the Tokko special police force was also created in 1911.

Through the passage of the Peace Preservation Laws, the Home Ministry was able to use its security apparatus to suppress political dissent and the curtail the activities of the socialists, communists and the labor movement.

The Recreation and Amusement Association was created on August 28, 1945 by the Japanese Home Ministry and a civilian organization through joint capital investment (50 million yen each), officially to contain the sexual urges of the occupation forces, protect the main Japanese populace from rape and preserve the "purity" of the "Japanese race". The official declaration of 19 August 1945 stated that "Through the sacrifice of thousands of "Okichis" of the Shōwa era, we shall construct a dike to hold back the mad frenzy of the occupation troops and cultivate and preserve the purity of our race long into the future..."[3] The RAA's own slogan was "For the country, a sexual breakwater to protect Japanese women" (お国のために日本女性を守る性の防波堤 ?).

After World War II, in October 1945, the scope of activities of the Home Ministry were severely limited by the American Occupation authorities. The American authorities felt that the concentration of power into a single ministry was both a cause and a symptom of Japan's pre-war totalitarian mentality, and also felt that the centralization of police authority into a massive centrally controlled ministry was dangerous for the democratic development of post-war Japan.

The Home Ministry was formally abolished on 31 December 1947, and its functions dispersed to the Ministry of Home Affairs (自治省 jijishō), now the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Ministry of Health and Welfare (厚生省 Kōseishō),now the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, National Public Safety Commission(国家公安委員会 Kokka Kōan Iinkai), Ministry of Construction (建設省 Kensetsushō), now Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.[4],

Listing of Lords of Home Affairs

Name Dates
1 Okubo Toshimitsu Nov 1873 - Feb 1874

Listing of Ministers of Home Affairs

Name Dates
1 Yoshikawa Akimasa Feb 1904 - Sep 1905
2 Kiyoura Keigo Sep 1905 - Jan 1906
3 Hara Kei Jan 1906 - Jul 1908
4 Hirata Tosuke Jul 1908 - Aug 1911
5 Hara Kei Aug 1911 - Dec 1912
6 Oura Kanetake Dec 1912 - Feb 1913
7 Hara Kei Feb 1913 - Apr 1915
8 Okuma Shigenobu Apr 1914 - Jan 1915
9 Oura Kanetake Jan 1915 - Jul 1915
10 Okuma Shigenobu Jul 1915 - Aug 1915
11 Ichiki Kitokuro Aug 1915 - Oct 1916
12 Goto Shimpei Oct 1916 - Apr 1918
13 Mizuno Rentaro Apr 1918 - Sep 1918
14 Tokonami Takejiro Sep 1918 - Jun 1922
15 Mizuno Rentaro Jun 1922 - Sep 1923
16 Goto Shimpei Sep 1923 - Jan 1924
17 Mizuno Rentaro Jan 1924 - Jun 1924
18 Wakatsuki Reijiro Jun 1924 - Jun 1926
19 Hamaguchi Osachi Jun 1926 - Dec 1926
20 Adachi Kenzo Dec 1926 - Mar 1927
21 Hamaguchi Osachi Mar 1927 - Apr 1927
22 Suzuki Kisaburo Apr 1927 - May 1928
23 Tanaka Giichi - May 1928
24 Mochizuki Keisuke May 1928 - Jul 1929
25 Adachi Kenzo Jul 1929 - Dec 1931
26 Nakahashi Tokugoro Dec 1931 - Mar 1932
27 Inukai Tsuyoshi - Mar 1932
28 Suzuki Kisaburo Mar 1932 - May 1932
29 Yamamoto Tatsuo May 1932 - Jul 1934
30 Goto Fumio Jul 1934 - Mar 1936
31 Ushio Keinosuke Mar 1936 - Feb 1937
32 Kawarada Kakichi Feb 1937 - Jun 1937
33 Baba Eiichi Jun 1937 - Dec 1937
34 Suetsuga Nobumasa Dec 1937 - Jan 1939
35 Kido Koichi Jan 1939 - Aug 1939
36 Ohara Naoshi Aug 1939 - Jan 1940
37 Kodama Hideo Jan 1940 - Jul 1940
38 Yasui Ejii Jul 1940 - Dec 1940
39 Hiranuma Kiichiro Dec 1940 - Jul 1941
40 Tanabe Harumichi Jul 1941 - Oct 1941
41 Tojo Hideki Oct 1941 - Feb 1942
42 Yuzawa Michio Feb 1942 - Nov 1942
43 Tojo Hideki (Acting Minister) Nov 1942 - Jan 1943
44 Yuzawa Michio Jan 1943 - Apr 1943
45 Ando Kisaburo Apr 1943 - Jul 1944
46 Odachi Shigeo Jul 1944 - Apr 1945
47 Abe Genki Apr 1945 - Aug 1945
48 Yamazaki Iwao Aug 1945 - Oct 1945
49 Horikiri Zenjiro Oct 1945 - Jan 1946
50 Mitsuchi Chuzo Jan 1946 May 1946
51 Omura Seiichi May 1946 - Jan 1947
52 Uehara Etsujiro Jan 1947 May 1947
53 Kimura Kozaemon Jun 1947 - Dec 1947

References

  • Beasley, W.G. (2000). The Rise of Modern Japan: Political, Economic, and Social Change since 1850. Palgrave MacMillian. ISBN 0312233736.  
  • Samuels, Richard J (1996). Rich Nation, Strong Army:National Security and the Technological Transformation of Japan. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0312233736.  
  • Sims, Richard (2001). Japanese Political History Since the Meiji Renovation 1868-2000. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0312239157.  

Notes

  1. ^ Beasley, The Rise of modern Japan, pp.66
  2. ^ Samuels, Rich Nation Strong Army. pp.37
  3. ^ Herbert Bix, Hirohito and the making of modern Japan, 2001, p. 538, citing Kinkabara Samon and Takemae Eiji, Showashi : kokumin non naka no haran to gekido no hanseiki-zohoban, 1989, p.244 .
  4. ^ Beasley, The Rise of modern Japan, pp.229

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