This article attempts to clarify the ideas about an educational system held by Tanaka Fujimaro, vice-minister of education, who introduced school reforms during the early Meiji Period, in order to show that the foundations of educational administration in modern Japan were built upon the Education Act of 1879, which was formulated through Tanaka's involvement from draft proposal to the passage of the bill. The research to date has been unable to deal with the question of Tanaka's ideas about educational institutions and intentions concerning educational legislation, due to the complete absence of source materials on these subjects. However, the author of this article, utilizing a collection of articles on education found in the National Diet Library's Hosokawa Junjiro Collection, has been able to trace Tanaka's ideas and legislative activities in the following manner. Although the early Meiji Period government did set up a Ministry of Education entrusted with the administrative task of educating and training the nation, the Ministry lacked any fixed ideals or methodology about how to realized such a goal. It was Tanaka Fujimaro who first set about responding to the Ministry's mandate, beginning with the application of his observations of institutions in Europe and the United States as a member of the Iwakura Mission to what he considered appropriate to the task of administering educational affairs in Japan, summarized in his "Draft Proposal of an Education Bill". The Draft Proposal, which covered the realms of school, society and the household, aimed to transform general education into the major task of government, based on academic and educational freedom. Although Tanaka met with resistance concerning his idea of legislative bureaus for organizing human resource development and local autonomy, he was able to convince his opponents as to their significance. The Draft also addressed the questions of local autonomy and fiscal difficulties in the name of the establishment of educational administration. Furthermore, as deliberation on the Draft began in the Chamber of Elders, Tanaka took advantage of the legislative revision committee system to guide the Draft through the process of compromise and improvement, resulting in the preparation of a set of provisions indispensable to educational affairs, which upon their passage into law determined the future of administration from that time on.