The Imperial Rescript on Education was promulgated in the name of Emperor Meiji in 1890, following the establishment of the Meiji Constitution, which created a system of parliamentary representation, the year before. The Rescript, written in a highly literary style that reinforced its special authority, was seen as defining the basis for morality in a more modern and democratic Japan. As such, it stressed the centrality of the emperor and the imperial lineage; encouraged harmonious relations among family and friends; and promoted a spirit of selfless sacrifice in wartime ("should emergency arise, offer yourselves courageously to the State"). From the time of its promulgation, the Rescript was recited on important occasions during the school year. As Japanese society became increasingly militarized, the Rescript took on more and more the character of a sacred text and symbol of the state, memorized and recited by school children throughout Japan.