, or "House of Peers," was the upper house
of the Diet
under the Meiji Constitution
. It was composed of the Imperial family
, the various levels of Japanese nobility
families), and commoner
s appointed by the Emperor
. In many ways, it was similar to the House of Lords
in the parliament
of the United Kingdom
Very little was specified about the House of Peers in the constitution, except that it would be prorogued in the event of the dissolution of the House of Representatives. This made it a convenient legislative tool for Japan's oligarchy, and indeed many, if not most, of Japan's prewar leaders came from within its ranks with the sanction of the genro (Meiji oligarchs). Famous presidents of the House include Ito Hirobumi and Konoe Fumimaro.
It is unsurprising, then, that the House of Peers was replaced by a more Americanized House of Councillors with the Japanese Constitution of 1946.