Privy Council of Japan
The Privy Council of Japan was an advisory council to the Emperor of Japan that operated from 1888 to 1947. Modeled in part upon the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, this body advised the throne on matters of grave importance including: proposed amendments to the Constitution of the Empire of Japan proposed amendments to the 1889 Imperial Household Law matters of constitutional interpretation, proposed laws, ordinances proclamations of martial law or declaration of war treaties and other international agreements matters concerning the succession to the throne declarations of a regency under the Imperial Household Law. On the advice of the cabinet; the Privy Council had certain executive functions. However, the council had no power to initiate legislation; the Privy Council of Japan was established by an imperial ordinance of Emperor Meiji dated 28 April 1888, under the presidency of Itō Hirobumi, to deliberate on the draft constitution. The new constitution, which the emperor promulgated on 11 February 1889 mentioned the Privy Council in Chapter 4, Article 56: "The Privy Councilors shall, in accordance with the provisions for the organization of the Privy Council, deliberate upon important matters of State when they have been consulted by the Emperor."
The Privy Council consisted of a chairman, a vice chairman, twelve councilors, a chief secretary, three additional secretaries. All privy councilors including the president and the vice president were appointed by the emperor for life, on the advice of the prime minister and the cabinet. In addition to the twenty-four voting privy counselors, the prime minister and the other ministers of state were ex officio members of the council; the princes of the imperial household over the age of majority were permitted to attend meetings of the Privy Council and could participate in its proceedings. The president had extraordinary power, as it was he who called and controlled the meetings of the Council; the Council always met in secret at the Tokyo Imperial Palace, with the emperor in attendance on important occasions. The Council was empowered to deliberate on any matters upon. Assessments on the importance of the Privy Council vary from claims that it was the single most powerful agency in the Meiji government, to allegations that it was insignificant in terms of national politics.
During its early years, many members of the Privy Council were members of the elected government. After the Privy Council challenged the government by attempting to reject several government decisions, by attempting to assert itself on certain foreign policy issues, it became clear that the balance of power was with the elected government; the Privy Council was thenceforth ignored, it was not consulted when Japan decided to attack the United States in 1941. The Privy Council was abolished with the enforcement of the current postwar Constitution of Japan on 3 May 1947. Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan Beasley, William G.. The Rise of Modern Japan. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-23373-6. Colgrove, Kenneth W.. The Japanese Privy Council. ASIN: B00086SR24. Gordon, Andrew. A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-511061-7. Jansen, Marius B.. The Making of Modern Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674003347; the Japan Yearbook.
Tokyo: The Japan Year Book Office..
Japanese nationalism is the nationalism that asserts that the Japanese are a monolithic nation with a single immutable culture, promotes the cultural unity of the Japanese. It encompasses a broad range of ideas and sentiments harbored by the Japanese people over the last two centuries regarding their native country, its cultural nature, political form and historical destiny, it is useful to distinguish Japanese cultural nationalism from political or state-directed nationalism, since many forms of cultural nationalism, such as those associated with folkloric studies, have been hostile to state-fostered nationalism. In Meiji period Japan, nationalist ideology consisted of a blend of native and imported political philosophies developed by the Meiji government to promote national unity and patriotism, first in defense against colonization by Western powers, in a struggle to attain equality with the Great Powers, it evolved throughout the Taishō and Shōwa periods to justify an totalitarian government and overseas expansionism, provided a political and ideological foundation for the actions of the Japanese military in the years leading up to World War II.
During the final days of the Tokugawa shogunate, the perceived threat of foreign encroachment after the arrival of Commodore Matthew C. Perry and the signing of the Kanagawa Accord, led to increased prominence to the development of nationalist ideologies; some prominent daimyō promoted the concept of fukko. The terms were not mutually exclusive, merging into the sonnō jōi concept, which in turn was a major driving force in starting the Meiji Restoration; the Meiji Constitution of 1889 defined allegiance to the State as the citizen's highest duty. While the constitution itself contained a mix of political Western practices and traditional Japanese political ideas, government philosophy centered on promoting social harmony and a sense of the uniqueness of the Japanese people; the extreme disparity in economic and military power between Japan and the Western colonial powers was a great cause for concern for the early Meiji leadership. The motto Fukoku kyōhei symbolized Meiji period nationalistic policies to provide government support to strengthen strategic industries.
Only with a strong economic base could Japan afford to build a strong, modern military along Western lines, only with a strong economy and military could Japan force a revision of the unequal treaties, such as the Kanagawa Accords. Government policies laid the basis of industrialist empires known as the zaibatsu; as a residue of its widespread use in propaganda during the 19th century, military nationalism in Japan was known as bushidō. The word, denoting a coherent code of beliefs and doctrines about the proper path of the samurai, or what is called generically'warrior thought', is encountered in Japanese texts before the Meiji era, when the 11 volumes of the Hagakure of Yamamoto Tsunetomo, compiled in the years from 1710 to 1716 where the character combination is employed, was published. Constituted over a long time by house manuals on war and warriorship, it gained some official backing with the establishment of the Bakufu, which sought an ideological orthodoxy in the Neo-Confucianism of Zhu Xi tailored for military echelons that formed the basis of the new shogunal government.
An important early role was played by Yamaga Sokō in theorizing a Japanese military ethos. After the abolition of the feudal system, the new military institutions of Japan were shaped along European lines, with Western instructors, the codes themselves modeled on standard models adapted from abroad; the impeccable behaviour, in terms of international criteria, displayed by the Japanese military in the Russo-Japanese War was proof that Japan had a modern army whose techniques and etiquette of war differed little from that of what prevailed among the Western imperial powers. The Imperial Rescript for Seamen and Soldiers, presented Japan as a "sacred nation protected by the gods". An undercurrent of traditional warrior values never wholly disappeared, as Japan slid towards a cycle of repeated crises from the mid-Taishō to early Shōwa eras, the old samurai ideals began to assume importance among more politicized officers in the Imperial Japanese Army. Sadao Araki played an important role in adapting a doctrine of seishin kyōiku as an ideological backbone for army personnel.
As Minister of Education, he supported the integration of the samurai code into the national education system. In developing the modern concepts of State Shintoism and emperor worship, various Japanese philosophers tried to revive or purify national beliefs by removing imported foreign ideas, borrowed from Chinese philosophy; this "Restoration Shintōist Movement" began with Motoori Norinaga in the 18th century. Motoori Norinaga, Hirata Atsutane, based their research on the Kojiki and other classic Shintō texts which teach the superiority of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu; this formed the basis for State Shintōism, as the Japanese emperor claimed direct descent from Amaterasu. The emperor himself was therefore sacred, all proclamations of the emperor had thus a religious significance. After the Meiji Restoration, the new imperial government needed to modernize the polity and economy of Japan, the Meiji oligarchy felt that those goals could only be accomplished through a strong sense of natio
The Kazoku was the hereditary peerage of the Empire of Japan, which existed between 1869 and 1947. Following the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the ancient court nobility of Kyoto, the Kuge, regained some of its lost status. Several members of the kuge, such as Iwakura Tomomi and Nakayama Tadayasu, played a crucial role in the overthrow of the Tokugawa shogunate, the early Meiji government nominated kuge to head all seven of the newly established administrative departments; the Meiji oligarchs, as part of their Westernizing reforms, merged the kuge with the former daimyōs into an expanded aristocratic class on 25 July 1869, to recognize that the kuge and former daimyō were a social class distinct from the other designated social classes of shizoku and heimin. Itō Hirobumi, one of the principal authors of the Meiji constitution, intended the new kazoku peerage to serve as a political and social bulwark for the "restored" emperor and the Japanese imperial institution. At the time, the kuge and former daimyō consisted of a group of 427 families.
All members of the kazoku without an official government appointment in the provinces were obliged to reside in Tokyo. By the end of 1869, a pension system was adopted, which displaced the kazoku from their posts as provincial governors and as government leaders; the stipends promised by the government were replaced by government bonds. Under the Peerage Act of 7 July 1884, pushed through by Home Minister and future first Prime Minister Itō Hirobumi after visiting Europe, the Meiji government expanded the hereditary peerage with the award of kazoku status to persons regarded as having performed outstanding services to the nation; the government divided the kazoku into five ranks explicitly based on the British peerage, but with titles deriving from the ancient Chinese nobility: Prince, the equivalent of a Duke Marquess Count Viscount Baron There were several categories within the kazoku. The initial rank distribution for kazoku houses of kuge descent depended on the highest possible office to which its ancestors had been entitled in the imperial court.
Thus, the heirs of the five regent houses of the Fujiwara dynasty all became princes, the equivalent of a European duke, upon the establishment of the kazoku in 1884. The heads of eight other families all with the rank of seiga, the second rank in the kuge, became marquesses at the same time; those family with the rank of daijin became counts. Other appointments to the two highest ranks in the kazoku - prince and marquess - from amongst the kuge were made to reward certain kuge families for their roles in the Meiji Restoration, for taking a prominent role in national affairs or for their close degree of relationship to the Imperial family, thus the head of the seiga-ranked Sanjo house became a prince in 1884. In recognition of his father's role in the Meiji Restoration, Iwakura Tomosada, the heir of noble Iwakura Tomomi and whose family had been in the fourth tier of kuge nobility with the rank of urin was ennobled as a prince in 1884. Nakayama Tadayasu, the Meiji Emperor's maternal grandfather and from an urin-ranked family, was ennobled as a marquess.
The head of the Shō family, the former royal family of the Ryūkyū Kingdom, was given the title of marquess. When the Korean Empire was annexed in 1910, the House of Yi was mediatized as an incorporated and therefore subordinate kingship. Excluding the Tokugawas, the initial kazoku rank distribution for the former daimyō lords depended on rice revenue: those with 150,000 koku or more became marquesses, those with 50,000 koku or more become counts, those with holdings rated below 50,000 koku became viscounts; the head of the Tokugawa clan, Tokugawa Iesato, became a prince, the heads of primary Tokugawa branch houses became marquesses, the heads of the secondary branches became counts and the heads of more distant branches became viscounts. The head of the Matsudaira branch was raised to the rank of marquess from the rank of count in 1888. In 1902, the former shōgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu was created a prince, the head of the Mito shinpan house was raised to the same rank, prince, in 1929. Of the other former daimyō clans, the heads of the Mōri and Shimazu clans were both ennobled as princes in 1884 for their role in the Meiji Restoration.
The heads of the main Asano, Kuroda, Nabeshima, Hachisuka and Maeda clans became marquesses in 1884. Notably, the head of the main family line of the Date clan, which had ruled the extensive Sendai Domain, was only ennobled as a count and was thus denied a hereditary seat in the House of Peers. In 1891, the head of the Date-Uwajima family, a cadet branch of the clan which had remained loyal to the Emperor during the conflict, was raised to t
Flag of Japan
The national flag of Japan is a rectangular white banner bearing a crimson-red disc at its center. This flag is called Nisshōki, but is more known in Japan as Hinomaru, it embodies the country's sobriquet: Land of the Rising Sun. The Nisshōki flag is designated as the national flag in the Law Regarding the National Flag and National Anthem, promulgated and became effective on August 13, 1999. Although no earlier legislation had specified a national flag, the sun-disc flag had become the de facto national flag of Japan. Two proclamations issued in 1870 by the Daijō-kan, the governmental body of the early Meiji period, each had a provision for a design of the national flag. A sun-disc flag was adopted as the national flag for merchant ships under Proclamation No. 57 of Meiji 3, as the national flag used by the Navy under Proclamation No. 651 of Meiji 3. Use of the Hinomaru was restricted during the early years of the Allied occupation of Japan after World War II; the sun plays an important role in Japanese mythology and religion as the Emperor is said to be the direct descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu and the legitimacy of the ruling house rested on this divine appointment and descent from the chief deity of the predominant Shinto religion.
The name of the country as well as the design of the flag reflect this central importance of the sun. The ancient history Shoku Nihongi says that Emperor Monmu used a flag representing the sun in his court in 701, this is the first recorded use of a sun-motif flag in Japan; the oldest existing flag is preserved in Unpō-ji temple, Kōshū, older than the 16th century, an ancient legend says that the flag was given to the temple by Emperor Go-Reizei in the 11th century. During the Meiji Restoration, both the sun disc and the Rising Sun Ensign of the Imperial Japanese Navy became major symbols in the emerging Japanese Empire. Propaganda posters and films depicted the flag as a source of pride and patriotism. In Japanese homes, citizens were required to display the flag during national holidays and other occasions as decreed by the government. Different tokens of devotion to Japan and its Emperor featuring the Hinomaru motif became popular during the Second Sino-Japanese War and other conflicts; these tokens ranged from slogans written on the flag to clothing items and dishes that resembled the flag.
Public perception of the national flag varies. Both Western and Japanese sources claimed the flag was a powerful and enduring symbol to the Japanese. Since the end of World War II, the use of the flag and the national anthem Kimigayo has been a contentious issue for Japan's public schools. Disputes about their use have led to lawsuits; the flag is not displayed in Japan due to its association with ultranationalism. To some Okinawans, the flag represents the events of World War II and the subsequent U. S. military presence there. For some nations that have been occupied by Japan, the flag is a symbol of aggression and imperialism; the Hinomaru was used as a tool against occupied nations for purposes of intimidation, asserting Japan's dominance, or subjugation. Several military banners of Japan are based including the sunrayed naval ensign; the Hinomaru serves as a template for other Japanese flags in public and private use. The exact origin of the Hinomaru is unknown, but the rising sun seems to have had some symbolic meaning since the early 7th century.
In 607, an official correspondence that began with "from the Emperor of the rising sun" was sent to Chinese Emperor Yang of Sui. Japan is referred to as "the land of the rising sun". In the 12th-century work, The Tale of the Heike, it was written that different samurai carried drawings of the sun on their fans. One legend related to the national flag is attributed to the Buddhist priest Nichiren. During a 13th-century Mongolian invasion of Japan, Nichiren gave a sun banner to the shōgun to carry into battle; the sun is closely related to the Imperial family, as legend states the imperial throne was descended from the sun goddess Amaterasu. One of Japan's oldest flags is housed at the Unpo-ji temple in Yamanashi Prefecture. Legend states it was given by Emperor Go-Reizei to Minamoto no Yoshimitsu and has been treated as a family treasure by the Takeda clan for the past 1,000 years, at least it is older than 16th century; the earliest recorded flags in Japan date from the unification period in the late 16th century.
The flags belonged to each daimyō and were used in battle. Most of the flags were long banners charged with the mon of the daimyō lord. Members of the same family, such as a son and brother, had different flags to carry into battle; the flags served as identification, were displayed by soldiers on their backs and horses. Generals had their own flags, most of which differed from soldiers' flags due to their square shape. In 1854, during the Tokugawa shogunate, Japanese ships were ordered to hoist the Hinomaru to distinguish themselves from foreign ships. Before different types of Hinomaru flags were used on vessels that were trading with the U. S. and Russia. The Hinomaru was decreed the merchant flag of Japan in 1870 and was the legal national flag from 1870 to 1885, making it the first national flag Japan adopted. While the idea of national symbols was strange to the Japanese, the Meiji Government needed them to communicate with the outside world; this became important after the landin
Japanese militarism refers to the ideology in the Empire of Japan that militarism should dominate the political and social life of the nation, that the strength of the military is equal to the strength of a nation. The military had a strong influence on Japanese society from the Meiji Restoration. All leaders in Japanese society during the Meiji period were ex-samurai or descendants of samurai, shared a set of values and outlooks; the early Meiji government viewed Japan as threatened by western imperialism, one of the prime motivations for the Fukoku Kyohei policy was to strengthen Japan's economic and industrial foundations, so that a strong military could be built to defend Japan against outside powers. The rise of universal military conscription, introduced by Yamagata Aritomo in 1873, along with the proclamation of the Imperial Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors in 1882 enabled the military to indoctrinate thousands of men from various social backgrounds with military-patriotic values and the concept of unquestioning loyalty to the Emperor as the basis of the Japanese state.
Yamagata like many Japanese was influenced by the recent striking success of Prussia in transforming itself from an agricultural state to a leading modern industrial and military power. He accepted Prussian political ideas, which favored military expansion abroad and authoritarian government at home; the Prussian model devalued the notion of civilian control over the independent military, which meant that in Japan, as in Germany, the military could develop into a state within a state, thus exercising greater influence on politics in general. Following the German victory in the Franco-Prussian War, the Army Staff College and the Japanese General Staff paid close attention to Major Jakob Meckel's views on the superiority of the German military model over the French system as the reason for German victory. In response to a Japanese request, Prussian Chief of Staff Helmuth von Moltke sent Meckel to Japan to become an O-yatoi gaikokujin. In Japan, Meckel worked with future Prime Ministers General Katsura Tarō and General Yamagata Aritomo, with army strategist General Kawakami Soroku.
Meckel made numerous recommendations which were implemented, including reorganization of the command structure of the army into divisions and regiments, thus increasing mobility, strengthening the army logistics and transportation structure with the major army bases connected by railways, establishing artillery and engineering regiments as independent commands, revising the universal conscription system to abolish all exceptions. A bust of Meckel was sited in front of the Japanese Army Staff College from 1909 through 1945. Although his period in Japan was short, Meckel had a tremendous impact on the development of the Japanese military, he is credited with having introduced Clausewitz's military theories and the Prussian concept of war games in a process of refining tactics. By training some sixty of the highest-ranking Japanese officers of the time in tactics and organization, he was able to replace the previous influences of the French advisors with his own philosophies. Meckel reinforced Hermann Roesler's ideal of subservience to the Emperor by teaching his pupils that Prussian military success was a consequence of the officer class's unswerving loyalty to their sovereign Emperor, as expressly codified in Articles XI-XIII of the Meiji Constitution.
The rise of political parties in the late Meiji period was coupled with the rise of secret and semi-secret patriotic societies, such as the Genyōsha and Kokuryukai, which coupled political activities with paramilitary activities and military intelligence, supported expansionism overseas as a solution to Japan's domestic issues. Japan felt looked down on by Western countries during the late 19th century; the phrase fukoku kyōhei was created during this time and shows how Japanese officials saw imperialism as the way to gain respect and power. With a more aggressive foreign policy, victory over China in the First Sino-Japanese War and over Russia in the Russo-Japanese War, Japan joined the imperialist powers; the need for a strong military to secure Japan's new overseas empire was strengthened by a sense that only through a strong military would Japan earn the respect of western nations, thus revision of the unequal treaties. During the 19th century, Great Power status was considered dependent on resource-rich colonial empires, both as a source of raw materials for military and industrial production, international prestige.
Due to the lack of resources in Japanese home islands, raw materials such as iron and coal had to be imported. The success of Japan in securing Taiwan and Korea had brought Japan agricultural colonies. In terms of resources, the Japanese military looked towards Manchuria's iron and coal, Indochina's rubber, China's vast resources. However, the army was at variance with the zaibatsu financial and industrial corporations on how to manage economic expansion, a conflict affecting domestic politics. Forming part of the basis for the growth of militarism was the freedom from civilian control enjoyed by the Japanese armed forces. In 1878, the Imperial Japanese Army established the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff office, modeled after the Prussian General Staff; this office was independent of, equal to the Ministry of War of Japan in terms of authority. The Imperial Japanese Navy soon followed with the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff; these General Staff offices were responsible for the planning and execution of military operations
Ministry of Greater East Asia
The Ministry of Greater East Asia was a cabinet-level ministry in the government of the Empire of Japan from 1942 to 1945, established to administer overseas territories obtained by Japan in the Pacific War and to coordinate the establishment and development of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. The Ministry of Greater East Asia was established on 1 November 1942 under the administration of Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō, by absorbing the earlier Ministry of Colonial Affairs and merging it with the East Asia Department and South Pacific Department of the Foreign Ministry and the East Asia Development Board, which looked after affairs in Japanese-occupied China. Theoretically, the ministry had political and administrative responsibilities in a vast 4.4-million-square-kilometer area under Japanese influence, with a population of over 300 million inhabitants. In reality, wartime conditions meant. Aside from the first Minister of Greater East Asia, Kazuo Aoki, all succeeding ministers held the portfolio of the Foreign Minister.
The Ministry of Greater East Asia was abolished on 26 August 1945 by order of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers after the surrender of Japan brought an end to Japan's overseas holdings. Greater East Asia Conference Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere Japanese colonial empire List of territories occupied by Imperial Japan Beasley, W. G.. Japanese Imperialism 1894-1945. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-822168-1. Lebra, Joyce Chapman. Japan's Greater East Asia Co-prosperity in World War II. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-638265-3. Myers, Raymond; the Japanese Colonial Empire, 1895-1945. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-10222-8. WW2DB: Greater East Asia Conference "Foreign Office Files for Japan and the Far East". Adam Matthew Publications. Accessed 2 March 2005
"Kimigayo" is the national anthem of Japan. Its lyrics are the oldest among the world's national anthems, with a length of 11 measures and 32 characters "Kimigayo" is one of the world's shortest, its lyrics are from a waka poem written by an unnamed author in the Heian period, the current melody was chosen in 1880, replacing an unpopular melody composed eleven years earlier. While the title "Kimigayo" is translated as "His Imperial Majesty's Reign", no official translation of the title or lyrics has been established in law. From 1888 to 1945 "Kimigayo" served as the national anthem of the Empire of Japan; when the Empire was dissolved following its surrender at the end of World War II, the State of Japan succeeded it in 1945. This successor state was a parliamentary democracy and the polity therefore changed from a system based on imperial sovereignty to one based on popular sovereignty. Emperor Hirohito was not dethroned, "Kimigayo" was retained as the de facto national anthem; the passage of the Act on National Flag and Anthem in 1999 recognized it as the official national anthem.
"Kimi" has been used either as a noun to indicate an emperor or one's lord since at least the Heian period. For example, the protagonist Hikaru Genji of the Tale of Genji is called "Hikaru no Kimi" or "Hikaru-gimi", but before the Nara period, the emperor was called "ōkimi". In the Kamakura period, "Kimigayo" was used as a festive song among samurai and became popular among the people in the Edo period. In the part of the Edo period, "Kimigayo" was used in the Ōoku and Satsuma-han as a common festive new year song. In those contexts, "kimi" never meant the emperor but only the Tokugawa shōgun, the Shimazu clan as rulers of the Satsuma-han, guests of honor or all members of festive drinking party. After the Meiji Restoration, samurai from Satsuma-han controlled the Imperial Japanese government and they adopted "Kimigayo" as the national anthem of Japan. From this time until the Japanese defeat in World War II, "Kimigayo" was understood to mean the long reign of the emperor. With the adoption of the Constitution of Japan in 1947, the emperor became no longer a sovereign who ruled by divine right, but a human, a symbol of the state and of the unity of the people.
The Ministry of Education did not give any new meanings for "Kimigayo" after the war. The Ministry did not formally renounce the pre-war meaning of "Kimigayo". In 1999, during the deliberations of the Act on National Flag and Anthem, the official definition of Kimi or Kimi-ga-yo was questioned repeatedly; the first suggestion, given by Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka, stated that kimi meant the "emperor as the symbol of Japan", that the entire lyrics wish for the peace and prosperity of Japan. He referred to the new status of emperor as established in Article 1 of the Constitution of Japan as the main reason for these suggestions. During the same session, Prime Minister Keizō Obuchi confirmed this meaning with a statement on June 29, 1999: "Kimi" indicates the Emperor, the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people, whose position is derived from the consensus-based will of Japanese citizens, with whom sovereign power resides. And, the phrase "Kimigayo" indicates our State, which has the Emperor enthroned as the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people by the consensus-based will of Japanese citizens.
And it is reasonable to take the lyric of "Kimigayo" to mean the wish for the lasting prosperity and peace of such country of ours. Parties opposed to the Liberal Democratic Party, in control of the government at the time Obuchi was prime minister objected to the government's meaning of kimi and "Kimigayo". From the Democratic Party of Japan, members objected due to the lack of any historical ties to the meaning; the strongest critic was Kazuo Shii, the chairman of the Communist Party of Japan, who claimed that "Japan" could not be derived from "Kimigayo" because the lyrics only mention wishing for the emperor for a long reign. Shii objected to the use of the song as the national anthem because for a democratic nation, a song about the emperor is not appropriate; the lyrics first appeared in a poetry anthology, as an anonymous poem. The poem was included in many anthologies, was used in a period as a celebration song of a long life by people of all social statures. Unlike the form used for the current national anthem, the poem began with "Waga Kimi wa" instead of "Kimiga Yo wa".
The first lyrics were changed during the Kamakura period, while the rest of the lyrics stayed the same. Because the lyrics were sung on formal occasions, such as birthdays, there was no sheet music for it until the 19th century. In 1869, John William Fenton, a visiting Irish military band leader, realized there was no national anthem in Japan, suggested to Iwao Ōyama, an officer of the Satsuma Clan, that one be created. Ōyama agreed, selected the lyrics. The lyrics may have been chosen for their similarity to the British national anthem, due to Fenton's influence. After selecting the anthem's lyrics, Ōyama asked Fenton to create the melody. After being given just two to three weeks to compose the melody and only a few days to rehearse, Fenton debuted the anthem before the Japanese Emperor in 1870; this was the first version of "Kimigayo". This was discarded because the melody "lacked solemnity", according to the Japanese gov