Dajokan Nisshi

Dajokan Nisshi

Numbers 1-10, Keio 4 (1868)


Dajokan (Great Council):
Dajokan Nisshi (Gazette/Journal of the Great Council/Council of State), Kyoto (1868) and Tokyo (late 1868 forward), Murakami Kanbee - printer in Kyoto and Suwaraya Mohee - printer in Edo (Tokyo), Keio 4 (1868) through Meiji 10 (1877), 8vo (6 1/8 x 8 7/8 in - 15.5 x 22.5 cm), paper wraps, text entirely in Japanese, string tied, folded pages, high quality laid paper, woodblock printed, issued periodically, generally several issues per month. The first issue was published February 23, 1868 (Keio 4) and the last issue January 23, 1877 (Meiji 10). The front cover of each issue states the issue number and the year and month of issuance.

This periodical represents the first official effort to publish government ordinances by the Dajokan. It was first issued by the newly established Dajokan (Great Council/Privy Council) under the Keio era emperor and continued until 1877 through the early years of the Meiji era emperor. The Dajokan served as the executive cabinet and exercised the powers vested in the emperor and acted in his name. These gazettes chronicle the actions of the Dajokan. In the past actions of the nature taken by the Dajokan were of limited distribution and generally in manuscript form. This publication represented an important change and the issues were widely distributed in printed form (woodblock) to officials of the central and local governments as well as educators. The Dajokan Nisshi represents a key publication in the printed body of Japanese law in the Meiji era.

The first year of the Meiji era overlapped the last year of the Keio (4) era. Mutsuhito, the Meiji Emperor, assumed the throne in 1867, during the third year of the Keio era. However, the change in the name of the era from Keio to Meiji took place on October 23, 1868. Meiji 2 started January 1, 1869. While I have not confirmed it, it appears that the change on the front cover (reflecting Meiji rather than Keio) took place in October, 1868. I believe that the numbering restarted with the first issue of each year. It is clear that the numbering did not run consecutively from 1868 through 1877.

The following colophons are in these issues:


  • Murakami Kanbee (Kyoto)
  • Suwaraya Mohee (Edo)


Issues 1-10, Bound Into One Book

#1  Keio 4 (1868.2), Type I Colophon

Click here for complete issue

#2  Keio 4 (1868.2), Type I Colophon

Red seal on back cover
Click here for complete issue

    (#3-10, images of cover and first page only)

#3  Keio 4 (1868.2), Type I Colophon

#4  Keio 4 (1868.3), Type I Colophon

#5  Keio 4 (1868.3), Type I Colophon

#6  Keio 4 (1868.3), Type I Colophon

Red seal on back cover

#7  Keio 4 (1868.3), Type I Colophon

#8  Keio 4 (1868.3), Type I Colophon

Red seal on back cover

#9  Keio 4 (1868.4), Type II Colophon

#10  Keio 4 (1868.2),Type II Colophon

Summary, Numbers 1-19

Folded page count does not include front and back covers.


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