Tokyo: Igirisu - H ritsu Gakko, No. 2 Nishikicho Nichome, 1889. 1st Edition in English. xiii, [1 (blank)], 259,  pp. Colophon printed in Japanese. 8vo. 9-1/2" x 6-1/8". Original publisher's printed pale green paper wrappers. Leaf edges untrimmed. Spine sunned. Age-toning & soiling. POI & stamp to t.p. A VG copy. Item #48885
The introductory Notice by Kenzo Takahashi proclaims "...Count Ito has been pleased to honor the Igirisu-Horitsu Gakko (English Law College) by the presentation to it of the copyright of the English translation of his 'Commentaries...' ... We have published the work that it may be a hand book for all, that by sales of it funds may be realized to be applied to the furthering of the interests of this institution..."
The volume's contents comment on the various articles of the Constitution: for the Emperor, the rights and duties of subjects, the Imperial Diet, the Ministers of State and Privy Council, the Judicature, Finance, Supplementary Rules; the Imperial Oath, speech, Imperial House Law, the ordinance on the House of Peers, Law of the Houses, elections and finance.
Count, (later) Prince Hirobumi Ito was a very prominent Japanese politician & reformer during the Meiji era; after his long service career, he was shot and killed while on a tour of Korea. "...Ito served in several cabinets as head of the bureau of engineering and mines, and in 1886 he accepted office as prime minister, a post which, when he resigned in 1901, he had held four times. In 1882 he was sent on a mission to Europe to study the various forms of constitutional government…On his return to Japan he was entrusted with the arduous duty of drafting a constitution. In 1890 he reaped the fruits of his labours, and nine years later he was destined to witness the abrogation of the old treaties, and the substitution in their place of conventions which place Japan on terms of equality with the European states. In all the great reforms in the Land of the Rising Sun Ito played a leading part..." (Encyc. Britt. 11th ed.)
Previous owner name & address of George R. Brush on title page; Brush, an M.D., served in the U.S. Navy as a Surgeon & Medical Inspector from 1861 till his death in 1894; he was often stationed in the Pacific for his naval duties, hence, no doubt, his interest in this volume [purchased in Tokyo?], though the ownership signature hereon notes, 'Sayville, L.I., New York'.
Uncommon in the trade, the work documents the international spread to the Far East of Western constitutional law & its concepts.