Cutting-Edge Research
in Kyoto University


Law as a Basis of Modernization in Japan The History of Japanese Law directly reflects the transformation of Modern Japan.

The translation of French civil codes by Mitsukuri Rinsyo in 1874 was
an important beginning to the reformation of modern Japanese law.

In the latter half of the 19th century, Japan experienced a fundamental change, which is generally equated with modernization. The Meiji government sought to catch up with Western powers as quickly as possible, and various changes occurred at a breathtaking pace. Japanese laws also underwent a tremendous transformation. By introducing Western legal systems and concepts, and adjusting them to the indigenous legal order, Japanese law was totally reorganized by the end of the 19th century and served as a key basis for modernization. However, once established, the legal order was not immune to further change. Industrialization, globalization, and cultural development all urged legal responses. My research investigates the development of Japanese law, which directly reflects the history of modern Japan.

Takao Ito, LL.D.
Graduate School of Law / Director of the Kyoto University Archives