Hosokawa Junjiro (細川潤次郎)

Junijiro HOSOKAWA (March 11, 1834 - July 20, 1923) was a feudal retainer from Tosa Domain and Rangakusha (a person who studied Western sciences by means of the Dutch) during the end of the Edo Period, and also a jurist, educator, and baron during the Meiji and Taisho Period. His politically important posts to be mentioned were only Shiho-taifu (a post of Ministry of Justice) and a membership of the House of Peers, but he is appreciated as highly as Shinpei ETO in the introduction of the modern law.

Biography and Personal Profile

He was born in a Confucian scholar's family serving Tosa Domain and made excellent grades in a hanko (domain school), and he was interested in the internal and external tension circumstances at the end of the Edo Period, and learned Western studies in Nagasaki and then studied hard in the Navy Training Center in Edo. At this time, he got acquainted with Manjiro NAKAHAMA and started to learn English. After returning to Japan, Toyo YOSHIDA recognized his talent and he taught Western studies as Jidoku (imperial tutor) of Yodo YAMAUCHI and also as an instructor at a hanko (domain school). He participated with Takachika FUKUOKA and others in compiling the new laws of Tosa Domain, 'Kainan-seiten' (Political Laws of the Sea South) and 'Kainan-ritsurei' (Law Examples of the Sea South).

He served the Meiji government and participated in making drafts of Press Regulations, Publication Regulations, and the Family Registration Law. His deep knowledge of law was recognized and he entered the Minbusho (the Ministry of Popular Affairs). It was Hosokawa who proposed a regulation allowing commoners to have a family name in 1870. Then, he transferred to Kobusho (the Ministry of Industry), a branch of the Minbusho. In 1871, he went to the United States for the purpose of inspecting the San Francisco Exhibition, and stayed there to study. After coming back to Japan, he served the Ministry of Education and then Genroin (the Chamber of Elders), and was appointed as a member of 'National Constitution Research Committee' with Sakimitsu YANAGIWARA, Bisei FUKUBA, Nobuyuki NAKAJIMA, and other members. In this committee, he showed his ability as 'an expert of law drafting,' and he played an active role as mastermind of drafting the Criminal Law, the Criminal Procedure Law, the Crimnall Law of Japanese Army and Navy, the Draft of Regulations in the Japan Sea, the Medical Affairs Act, and the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act. In 1881, he became Shiho-taifu (a post of Ministry of Justice). Later, he served as a privy councilor, a member of the House of Peers, and a chairman of the House of Peers, but his political passion faded away as Japan prepared a modern legal system, and he left the political world early and tried to find 'his second life' in education.

He successively worked in different positions such as principal of Women's Higher Normal School and director of the Gakushuin School Corporation while he devoted himself to the presidency of compiling "Kojiruien" (Dictionary of Historical Terms) and also the introduction of new printing and agricultural technologies, and in his later years the title of doctor (literature) and membership of the Japan Academy were awarded to him.