Linked with prewar militaristic education in Japan, the original 1890 Imperial Rescript on Education issued by Emperor Meiji (1852-1912) has been found about half a century after going missing, the education ministry said Tuesday.
The document, which was badly damaged in the 1923 earthquake that struck the Kanto region, disappeared after being was put on display at an exhibition in Tokyo in 1962.
The latter half of the 315-character document cannot be opened because of severe damage, and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology said it plans to place it with the National Archives of Japan in Tokyo for restoration work.
Ministry officials searching for the document found it in a book room at the state-run Tokyo National Museum in the fall of 2012.
Emperor Meiji, the great-grandfather of Emperor Akihito, signed and put his seal on the document, which touches on the guiding principles of education, such as filial duty to parents, harmony in relationships and philanthropy.
It was linked with militaristic education in Japan before and during World War II.
In 1948, both houses of the Diet passed a resolution to nullify the document.