Seiyukai(sā`yo͞okī'), Japanese political party, founded in 1900. It was derived, via the Kenseito (see MinseitoMinseito
, Japanese political party. It is usually called the Liberal party in English. Founded by Shigenobu Okuma in 1882 as the Kaishinto, or Progressive party, it was dissolved in 1884, reformed into the Shimpoto, and merged with the Jiyuto (see Seiyukai) in 1898 to form the
..... Click the link for more information. ) from the Jiyuto, organized by Taisuke Itagaki in 1881. Under the astute political leadership of Takashi HaraHara, Takashi (Kei)
, 1856–1921, Japanese statesman, prime minister (1918–21). As secretary-general and later president (1914), Hara established the Seiyukai as the first powerful majority party by compromise with the oligarchs (see genro), distribution of patronage
..... Click the link for more information. , it was the most powerful party in Japan from 1900 to 1921. Hirobumi ItoIto, Hirobumi
, 1841–1909, Japanese statesman, the outstanding figure in the modernization of Japan. As a young Choshu samurai, he was a xenophobe. In 1863 he visited Europe, studied science in England, and became convinced of the necessity of adopting Western ways.
..... Click the link for more information. was its first president, and Kimmochi SaionjiSaionji, Kimmochi, Prince
, 1850–1940, Japanese statesman. He took part in the Meiji restoration, then spent 10 years in France, absorbing many democratic ideas. In 1882 he accompanied his friend and patron, Prince Ito, to Europe to study foreign governments.
..... Click the link for more information. its second, but these great statesmen were more powerful in their own right than as party leaders. The first real party cabinet, marking the decline of the old genrogenro
[ Jap.,=elder statesmen], a group that exercised collective leadership in Japan from the end of the Meiji period until c.1932. After the Meiji restoration (1868), Westernizers from the former Choshu and Satsuma domains came to power, abolishing feudalism and modernizing
..... Click the link for more information. oligarchy, was formed by Takashi Hara in 1918. Party governments prevailed from 1924 to 1932, the Seiyukai cabinets of Giichi Tanaka (1927–29) and Ki Inukai (1931–32) alternating with Minseito governments. After this the influence of political parties steadily declined as that of the militarists increased. Japanese parties have been based more on factionalism and personal loyalty than on divisions of principle. The Seiyukai was generally conservative and acceded to bureaucratic and military control more willingly than the Minseito. After World War II, the Seiyukai reappeared, under the leadership of Kijuro Shidehara, as the Progressive party, the most conservative major political party in postwar Japan. The Progressives were later absorbed into the business-oriented Liberal Democratic partyLiberal Democratic party
(LDP), Japanese political party. It began as the conservative Liberal party, which, under Shigeru Yoshida, became the dominant political force in Japan following World War II. In 1955 the Liberals merged with the newly created Democratic party.
..... Click the link for more information. . The Seiyukai was traditionally identified with the Mitsui financial interests.
See P. Duus, Party Rivalry and Political Change in Taishō Japan (1968).
(in full, Rikken Seiyukai [Association of Political Friends]), a Japanese political party of the big bourgeoisie, mainly the Mitsui and Yasuda companies, and of large landowners. The party was formed by Ito Hirobumi and was active from 1900 to 1940. In July 1940 its members decided to disband the party and became active in the fascist New National Structure.