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Yatsuka Hozumi Edit Profile

穂積 八束

Lawyer , scholar

Yatsuka Hozumi was a legal scholar of the Meiji and Taisho periods.

Background

Yatsuka Hozumi was born on 20 March 1860. He was a son of a samurai of the domain of Uwajima in Shikoku and the younger brother of Hozumi Nobushige.

Education

He studied at the official school of the domain and later Tokyo Imperial University. After his graduation in 1884, he went to Germany to study public law. He attended the universities of Berlin, Strassburg, and Heidelberg, and was particularly influenced by Professor P. Laband, becoming a supporter of the principle of absolute monarchy.

Career

Upon his return to Japan, he became a professor of Tokyo Imperial University, lecturing on constitutional law.

Works

  • Other Work

    • His works include Kempo taii and others.

Views

In 1891 a controversy arose over the promulgation of the civil code that had been drafted some time earlier by the French lawyer Boissonade. Hozumi published an article warning that the promulgation of the civil code would destroy the traditional Japanese concepts of loyalty and filial piety and led the movement to postpone the date of its enforcement. As a result, the civil code was subjected to revisions that emphasized the authority of the father as head of the family and preserved many traditional customs and attitudes concerning the superiority of the family over the individual.

He later joined in a controversy with Minobe Tatsukichi and Uesugi Shinkichi, both scholars of constitutional law and professors of Tokyo University, concerning the nature of the imperial institution. Hozumi supported Uesugi in the latter’s view of the divine right of the emperor, attacking Minobe’s view of the emperor as an “organ of the state.” In addition to his teaching position, Hozumi held the position of court councilor and member of the bureau for the investigation of the imperial household system.