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the Japanese law, a relic of the old system, more or less modified to meet the modern requirements. Japanese law is yet ancient in this, that it has been prepared to meet the wants of a society in the course of transition from the old to the present stage of progress. Japanese society is composed still of units of families not of individuals. Elaborate rules have been made for keeping up the entity called the "family" itself and its main or other branches, rather than the rights of the individuals, because it has been thought best for the interests of society that it should be so. There is no other department of law like the law of family relations which enters so closely into the heart and foundations of society as the law of family relations. The code has not, however, ignored entirely the position and rights of individuals, for it is only nominally that a member of a family is subject to its head. If he be of age, he is practically free to own property and do whatever he pleases, except in a few cases where the consent of the head is necessary by law. Although every care has been taken to preserve the old family idea, the integrity of the system cannot possibly continue for many generations to come. The process of disintegration is already going on slowly. The family law and consequently the laws of succession have had two lines to keep in view in settling rules to govern different topics which fall under their respective provinces.

Japanese family relationship is complicated by the mixed nature of its composition. Adoption places an adopted person in exactly the same position and gives him exactly the same rights and duties as if he were a blood relative. An adoption may be dissolved by agreement as in the case of divorce. The word “family” in Japanese law does not mean solely a group of persons composing a family descended from a common ancestor.

It is larger than your family and comprises more than one family, indeed a number of separate households may happen to be in one family. It may include not only husband and wife, father and mother, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, but also lineal ancestors and descendants of many generations, and even strangers who are not related to the family at all. In legal phraseology we may say the Japanese family consists of the head, either male or female, and his or her consort, and all its members, whether blood relatives or not, in fact, of all those who belong to or have been admitted into the family, and whose names are entered and kept in the record of family registration. The head of a family is not necessarily always the parent of its members; he may be a son after his father's death or retirement from the position, or even a daughter. A parent may sometimes not be legally the head but a member of a family only, yet he exercises a certain parental authority over his own children, subject to the final authority of the head, and there thus exists an imperium in imperio.

The members of one and the same family bear the same surname and they are subject to its head. His authority consists of the right to veto marriage, adoption, divorce or dismissal of members; to sanction their return to the family; to direct their residence, to admit an illegitimate child of a member into the family, or of his relatives who are members of another family, or for a quondam member to leave the family he had joined, in order to join another family; for a member to succeed to another family; to establish a branch of the family or to resuscitate the main or other branch of the family or that of a relative. The head has the right of holding property where it is uncertain whether it belongs to him or the members; to expel members from the family; to

nominate the legal heir by will or acts inter vivos subject to the orders of the court, to act as a guardian of a member of the family in certain cases, to nominate his heir where there is none. The headship is lost by his death, retirement being allowed only in certain cases, by his marrying a woman who is the head of another family, by the loss of his nationality or leaving the family, by the dissolution of the marriage or adoption by virtue of which he has become the head. He is absolutely and under all circumstances bound to support all members of the family. Lineal blood relatives, brothers and sisters, and one of a married couple, and the lineal ascendants of either of them of the same family are mutually liable to give support or provide education in favor of such a person unable to do so by his own labor or resources, either by providing means or taking charge of the person, at their option, but subject to the order of the court. The extent of the help is regulated by the requirements of those needing the help and the means and position of those liable to do the duty. Rules for certain orders of priority and contribution are prescribed where there is more than one person of the same rank in such need, or more than one person in the same rank bound to render the assistance. No brother or sister is entitled to such help unless in case he or she needs it without his or her fault.

A Japanese woman is free and independent. She can be the head of a family and exercise the authority due to that position, even after marriage unless her husband take her place by agreement. She can exercise parental authority. If married she is bound to support her husband. If single, or a widow, she can adopt, or if married, is entitled to be called upon to give consent to an adoption by her husband. She can be a guardian or curator or member of family council. She can inherit, hold and manage her separate

property as settled by ante-nuptial arrangement. A property acquired before marriage or in her name during coverture, belongs to her as separate property. If a property be doubtful as to which of the married persons it belongs, it is presumed to belong to the husband or to the female head of the family. No ante-nuptial contract not registered before notice of marriage is given, can be set up by married persons against their successors or third persons. No change in the contract is allowed after such notice. A partition of their joint property may be made by application to the court, which should be registered in order to bind third persons. A husband manages the property of his wife, but she may do it herself if he is unable to do so; he may use its fruits while so doing, but she may by application to the court cause him to deposit a suitable security. He must obtain her consent for contracting a debt in her name, assigning her property, giving it as security, or letting it. A Japanese marriage is civil. Divorce may be effected by the court as with you, or by mutual consent. No judicial separation is recognized, nor is a breach of promise ever heard of, there being no such thing as an engagement, nor any time generally allowed to elapse between the contract of marriage and its ceremony.

There are therefore two kinds of family, legal and natural, and consequently there are two forms of succession, one to the family inheritance and the other to the property of a deceased person. The former may be considered similar to succession to real estate, and the latter to personal estate, in English law: he or they who succeeded to the properties taking the place of administrators in the latter case, while the heir at inheritance takes implicitly all responsibility thereto.

The Japanese law of wills need not tax your attention. In old times there was hardly any system of will. It was only a sort of instruction left to the heir or other relatives directing the distribution of property; for the inheritance of family was regulated solely by law and custom. The Law of Wills has adopted practically the rules of French law as to the three forms. It is too soon to predict what will be the course of growth of this part of the law. It can only be tested by the vitality, prosperity and ingenuity of the Japanese people and lawyers.

The codes have been in operation for nearly five years. The cry has been raised of unpractical application, misconceived judgments, and delays of administration. Those who know what judicial administration is will agree with me that such a cry is unreasonable considering the course of history already sketched to you; but it is a good warning to politicians, statesmen. diplomats and the people generally, that everything has its own laws and these fundamental laws can not be subverted. Neither was Rome nor the laws of her citizens built in a day. No suddenly super-imposed law can answer the purpose of justice. It is a well known fact that the court of justice is the workshop in which the law is cut and made to fit the purpose of its function. No code of law whether primitive or advanced can really grow into a practical system unless it be passed through the crucible of investigation and application carried on between contending parties and controlled by judicial authority. Japanese law and justice had no chance to go through such a workshop.

Many people may think that with a code of law, all that judges and lawyers have to do is to apply logically and consistently the principles laid down in the code, only aiming at harmonizing their application to satisfy

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