Cover image for The autobiography of Ozaki Yukio: the struggle for constitutional government in Japan
The autobiography of Ozaki Yukio: the struggle for constitutional government in Japan
Ozaki, Yukio, 1858-1954.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Gakudō jiden. English
Publication Information:
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
xviii, 455 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Personal Subject:
Electronic Access:
Table of Contents
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS885.5. O9 A3 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Ozaki Yukio, who was returned to his seat in the Japanese Diet twenty-five times, served in that body from its inception in 1890 to 1953. He was several times a cabinet member and, for ten years, mayor of Tokyo. A strong advocate of representative government, he both witnessed and propelled Japan's transformation from a late feudal society to a modern state. His autobiography, available in English for the first time, gives an insider's account of key episodes and leaders over seven decades of Japanese history.

Ozaki's political life spanned the Meiji rise to power and Japan's defeat in World War II, and he played a significant role in each phase of that epic. As a young reporter, he gained preeminence with incisive calls for supremacy in East Asia. A European trip that showed him the devastation of World War I converted him to advocacy of arms reduction and international cooperation. He watched with dismay as Japan encountered isolation and military disaster. Known for the courage of his convictions, he became a marked man, carrying a death poem in his pocket. His sturdy independence survived the American Occupation, as he deplored his associates' readiness to heed occupation dictates.

Ozaki's story reverberates with the immediacy of his personal knowledge of every major Japanese political figure for three-quarters of a century. It is the account of a man who made history as well as writing it. His story is the story of modern Japan. Through it, readers will gain first-hand knowledge of Japanese constitutional history, one with rich relevance for contemporary Japanese politics.

Author Notes

Jujiko Hara is a professional interpreter.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This is a fascinating account of Japanese politics by one who was intimately involved at every stage and who knew all the major (and minor) political personalities. Fujiko Hara, a professional interpreter, has given us a wonderful translation of the autobiography of her grandfather, Ozaki Yukio, a towering figure in Japanese political history whose career spanned the entire period of modern constitutional government. Ozaki was an elected member of the Japanese parliament from its inception in 1890 until 1953 and simultaneously mayor of Tokyo for a period before WW I. He spent his life fighting for constitutional government in Japan. Although a quixotic struggle at times, his efforts came to symbolize and embody the concept of parliamentary government under rule of law. His portraits and vignettes of Japan's political leaders are revealing, and his description of the formation of political parties and their rivalries gives life to modern Japanese history. The late Marius Jansen provided editorial assistance to Hara and contributed notes and a foreword, placing Ozaki and his contributions in historical perspective. This fine book is highly recommended for undergraduates and graduates. M. D. Ericson University of Maryland University College

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. vii
Translator's Notep. ix
About the Translationp. xi
Forewordp. xiii
Chapter 1 The Birth of Constitutional Government in Japanp. 3
Chapter 2 In Preparation for a National Parliamentp. 43
Chapter 3 Around the Time of the Security Ordinancep. 86
Chapter 4 The Early Days of the Parliamentp. 118
Chapter 5 From the Matsukata-Okuma Government to the Okuma-Itagaki Governmentp. 155
Chapter 6 The Birth of the Seiyukaip. 188
Chapter 7 The Era of the Russo-Japanese Warp. 224
Chapter 8 The Movement to Protect Constitutional Governmentp. 264
Chapter 9 The Okuma Cabinet Erap. 282
Chapter 10 The State of Domestic and Foreign Policy after the Warp. 311
Chapter 11 The Suffrage Movement and Arms Controlp. 330
Chapter 12 From Taisho to Showap. 349
Chapter 13 Japan in the Stormp. 375
Chapter 14 The Pacific War and Its Aftermathp. 407
Indexp. 439