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Pre-modern Japan

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
Pre-modern Japan

Asuka PeriodNara PeriodHeian PeriodKamakura periodKemmu restorationMuromachi periodNanboku-chō periodSengoku periodAzuchi-Momoyama period

Edo Period, 1603–1868

Council of State

Eight Ministries

Meiji Period, 1868–1912 1868–1871


Taishō period, 1912–1926 Shōwa period, 1926–1989 1947

Heisei period, 1989–present

The Naidaijin (内大臣 ?), usually translated as Inner Minister—also known as the Minister of the Center (内大臣 uchi no otodo ?) -- was a significant post in the Imperial court as re-organized under the Taihō Code.[1]


Pre-Meiji period official

The role, rank and authority of the naidaijin varied, however, throughout pre-Meiji history.

In the ritsuryō system, the Minister of the Center was inferior only to the Minister of the Left (左大臣, sadaijin ?) and the Minister of the Right (右大臣, udaijin ?).

Meiji period official

The office developed a different character in the Meiji period. In 1885, the title was reconfigured to mean the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan in the Imperial Court (宮中, kyūchū ?).[2] In that year, the office of prime minister or chief minister of the initial restoration government was the Daijō-daijin, Sanjō Sanetomi. In December, Sanjō petitioned the emperor to be relieved of his office; and he was then immediately appointed Naidaijin, or Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal.[3]

The office of the Privy Seal was identical with the old Naidaijin only in the sense of the Japanese title—not in terms of function or powers.[4]

Post-Meiji period official

The nature of the office evolved in the Taishō and Shōwa periods. The title was abolished on November 24, 1945.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 425.
  2. ^ Dus, Peter. (1988). The Cambridge History of Japan: The Twentieth Century, pp. 59, 81.
  3. ^ Ozaki, p. 86.
  4. ^ Unterstein (in German): Ranks in Ancient and Meiji Japan (in English and French), pp. 6, 27.
  5. ^ Glossary | Birth of the Constitution of Japan




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