Ishin Shiryo

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Some of the 2600 volumes of handwritten summaries of the Ishin Shiryô which form the Ishin Shiryô Kôhon, the basis for the 10-volume moveable-type published Ishin Shiryô Kôyô.
  • Japanese: 維新史料 (ishin shiryou)

The Ishin Shiryô ("restoration documents") are a collection of some 4,180 volumes of historical documents held by the Shiryôhensanjo (Historiographical Institute) at the University of Tokyo, relating to major political and court events in Ryûkyû, Kagoshima, Tsushima, Kyoto, Mito, Ezo, and Edo/Tokyo in the period from 1846 to 1871 - i.e. events relating to the key developments of the Bakumatsu period and Meiji Restoration.


Inoue Kaoru, Yamagata Aritomo, and others formed a group in 1910 aimed at organizing and compiling such documents. However, the following year, on May 10, 1911, imperial order #145 officially created a second such group. The two were quickly merged, and placed within the Ministry of Education, with Kaneko Kentarô as the new president.

Though the project was initially expected to take fifteen years, it was finally declared complete on May 8, 1942, continuing as an official government project up until then. In addition to organizing and compiling the documents themselves, the Ishin Shiryô Hensankai (roughly, "Ishin documents compilation association") also published a ten-volume Ishin Shiryô Kôyô 維新史料綱要, listing brief summaries of the key events shown in the documents, chronologically day-by-day.

From April 1949, the project was moved to the Shiryôhensanjo. Most if not all of the documents have today been digitized and are available on the Shiryôhensanjo's online databases; more than 19 volumes of documents have also been published in print form.