Theodor Sternberg

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Theodor Hermann Sternberg (January 5, 1878, Berlin - April 18, 1950, Tokyo) was a German legal philosopher serving as a foreign advisor in Meiji period Japan, where he was an important contributor to the development of civil law in Japan.


Sternberg served as an instructor at Tokyo Imperial University from 1913 to 1918. He also lectured on occasion at Meiji University, and other major Japanese universities, speaking on civil law, criminal law and jurisprudence.

He later served as a consultant to the Ministry of Justice (Japan) (司法省 Shihōshō?) in 1918 and from 1922-1925, where he helped oversee the implementation of the Japanese legal codes.

Literary works[edit]

  • Allgemeine Rechtslehre, 2 Vols. 1904
  • Einführung in die Rechtswissenschaft, 1912
  • Der Begriff der Philosophie, 1933


  • Anna Bartels-Ishikawa: Theodor Sternberg - einer der Begründer des Freirechts in Deutschland und Japan. Duncker & Humboldt, Berlin 1998, ISBN 978-3-428-09228-4 (German)

External links[edit]