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This article is about the Imperial Household of Japan before the 1880s. For other uses, see Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan.
Pre-modern Japan
Imperial seal of Japan
Part of a series on the politics and
government of Japan during the
Nara and Heian periods

Chancellor / Chief Minister
Minister of the Left Sadaijin
Minister of the Right Udaijin
Minister of the Center Naidaijin
Major Counselor Dainagon
Middle Counselor Chūnagon
Minor Counselor Shōnagon
Eight Ministries
Center Nakatsukasa-shō  
Ceremonial Shikibu-shō
Civil Administration Jibu-shō
Popular Affairs Minbu-shō
Military Hyōbu-shō
Justice Gyōbu-shō
Treasury Ōkura-shō
Imperial Household Kunai-shō

The Naidaijin (内大臣?), usually translated as Inner Minister—also known as the Minister of the Center (内大臣 uchi no otodo?)—was a significant post in the Imperial Court as re-organized under the Taihō Code.[1]

Pre-Meiji period official[edit]

The role, rank and authority of the naidaijin varied, however, throughout pre-Meiji history.

In the ritsuryō system, the Minister of the Center was inferior only to the Minister of the Left and the Minister of the Right.

Meiji period official[edit]

The office developed a different character in the Meiji period. In 1885, the title was reconfigured to mean the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan in the Imperial Court.[2] In that year, the office of prime minister or chief minister of the initial restoration government was the Daijō-daijin, Sanjō Sanetomi. In December, Sanjō petitioned the emperor to be relieved of his office; and he was then immediately appointed Naidaijin, or Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal.[3]

The office of the Privy Seal was identical with the old Naidaijin only in the sense of the Japanese title—not in terms of function or powers.[4]

Post-Meiji period official[edit]

The nature of the office evolved in the Taishō and Shōwa periods. The title was abolished on November 24, 1945.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 425.
  2. ^ Dus, Peter. (1988). The Cambridge History of Japan: The Twentieth Century, pp. 59, 81.
  3. ^ Ozaki, p. 86.
  4. ^ Unterstein (in German): Ranks in Ancient and Meiji Japan (in English and French), pp. 6, 27.
  5. ^ Glossary | Birth of the Constitution of Japan