Subject and Keywords:
The main goal of this paper is to describe the process of creating law schools in Japan during the codification of the Meiji period (1868-1912). After more than 200 years of isolation the Empire of Japan realized the need for modernization of the state and initiated political and socio-economic changes. Law became the main tool for the reformers and Japan intended to codify it from scratch, taking as an example the solutions adopted in the legal culture of the countries of the West. At the beginning of Meiji period the Japanese, who did not have their own law schools and educated jurists, used the help of French lawyers who assisted in passing the early codes and establishing the first centers of jurisprudence. Although initially those centers only supported the work of the cabinet and made theoretical analysis of French law, they were soon joined by schools gathering experts of Anglo-Saxon, German and Japanese traditional law. During over 40 years Japan educated thousands of modern jurists and lawyers, who took an active part in the creation of new codes and who became the political elite of the empire.