It was my husband's conviction that in writing about Japanese government he could not take it for granted that the average American college student has that background of information which he brings to the study of the political institutions of almost any Western country. Consequently, he thought that his discussion of Japan's government must of necessity be much simpler and a great deal less scholarly than the sections in this series dealing with European and American politics. Indeed, he decided at the very outset that he would make no attempt to ferret out new facts. Because of his own interests in both Japanese political thought and in Japanese social history, however, and also because of his birth and some twenty years of residence in Japan, he felt, when requested to write about the Japanese government, justified in doing so because he believed he might be able to make a contribution, not to the facts, but to the interpretation of the facts relating to Japanese political institutions.
In the last section, which discusses the development of the Japanese government from the promulgation of the Imperial Constitution in 1889 to the present, there arose naturally the difficult problem of what to include and what not to include. This does not purport to be a history of Japan during that period; hence it seemed justifiable to make a general rule of including only those developments which had a direct and immediate reference to the government and its problems. Much that exercised a strong influ-