The Info List - Chrysanthemum Throne

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The CHRYSANTHEMUM THRONE (皇位, _kōi_, lit. "Imperial seat") is the term used to identify the throne of the Emperor of Japan . The term also can refer to very specific seating, such as the _takamikura_ (高御座) throne in the Shishin-den at Kyoto Imperial Palace .

Various other thrones or seats that are used by the Emperor during official functions, such as those used in the Tokyo Imperial Palace or the throne used in the Speech from the Throne ceremony in the National Diet , are, however, not known as the "Chrysanthemum Throne".

In a metonymic sense, the "Chrysanthemum Throne" also refers rhetorically to the head of state and the institution of the Japanese monarchy itself.


* 1 History * 2 Takamikura * 3 Rhetorical usage * 4 See also * 5 Notes * 6 References * 7 External links


This Meiji period throne room was used by Emperor Hirohito . This room was destroyed in World War II.

Japan is the oldest continuing hereditary monarchy in the world. In much the same sense as the British Crown , the Chrysanthemum Throne is an abstract metonymic concept that represents the monarch and the legal authority for the existence of the government. Unlike its British counterpart, the concepts of Japanese monarchy evolved differently before 1947 when there was, for example, no perceived separation of the property of the nation-state from the person and personal holdings of the Emperor.

According to legend, the Japanese monarchy is said to have been founded in 660 BC by Emperor Jimmu ; Akihito is the 125th monarch to occupy the Chrysanthemum Throne. The extant historical records only reach back to Emperor Ōjin , who is considered to have reigned into the early 4th century.

In the 1920s, then-Crown Prince Hirohito served as regent during several years of his father's reign, when Emperor Taishō was physically unable to fulfill his duties. However, the Prince Regent lacked the symbolic powers of the throne which he could only attain after his father's death.

The current Constitution of Japan considers the Emperor as "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people." The modern Emperor is a constitutional monarch . The metonymic meanings of "Chrysanthemum Throne" encompass the modern monarchy and the chronological list of legendary and historical monarchs of Japan.


_ The Takamikura_ throne kept in the Kyoto Imperial Palace .

The throne _Takamikura_ (高御座) is located in the Kyoto Imperial Palace. It is the oldest surviving throne used by the monarchy. It sits on an octagonal dais, 5 metres (16 ft) above the floor. It is separated from the rest of the room by a curtain . The sliding door that hide the Emperor from view is called the _kenjō no shōji_ (賢聖障子), and had an image of 32 celestial saints painted upon it, which became one of the primary models for all of Heian period painting. The throne is used mainly for the enthronement ceremony , along with the twin throne _michodai_ (御帳台, august seat of the Empress ).


This flexible English term is also a rhetorical trope . Depending on context, the Chrysanthemum Throne can be construed as a metonymy , which is a rhetorical device for an allusion relying on proximity or correspondence, as for example referring to actions of the Emperor or as "actions of the Chrysanthemum Throne." The Chrysanthemum throne is also understood as a synecdoche , which is related to metonymy and metaphor in suggesting a play on words by identifying a closely related conceptualization, e.g.,

* referring to a part with the name of the whole, such as "Chrysanthemum Throne" for the mystic process of transferring Imperial authority—as in:

December 18, 876 (_ Jōgan 18, on the 29th day of the 11th month_): In the 18th year of Emperor Seiwa 's reign (清和天皇18年), he ceded the Chrysanthemum Throne to his son, which meant that the young child received the succession (‘‘senso’’). Shortly thereafter, Emperor Yōzei is said to have formally acceded to the throne (‘‘sokui’’).

* referring to the whole with the name of a part, such as "Chrysanthemum Throne" for the serial symbols and ceremonies of enthronement—as in:

January 20, 877 (_ Gangyō 1, on the 3rd day of the 1st month_) Yōzei was formally installed on the Chrysanthemum Throne; and the beginning of a new _nengō _ was proclaimed.

* referring to the general with the specific, such as "Chrysanthemum Throne" for Emperorship or _senso_—as in:

Before Emperor Yōzei ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name (his _imina_) was Sadakira _Shinnō_ (貞明親王).

* referring to the specific with the general, such as "Chrysanthemum Throne" for the short reign of Emperor Yōzei or equally as well for the ambit of the Imperial system.

During the State Visit in 2007 of the Emperor and Empress of Japan to the United Kingdom, the _Times_ reported that "last night’s dinner was as informal as it could get when the House of Windsor entertains the Chrysanthemum Throne."


* Order of the Chrysanthemum * List of Emperors of Japan * Japanese nationalism * Imperial Regalia of Japan * National seals of Japan * Imperial House of Japan

* National emblem

* Dragon Throne of the Emperors of China * Throne of England and the Kings of England * Phoenix Throne of the Kings of Korea * Lion Throne of the Dalai Lama of Tibet * Peacock Throne of the Mughal Empire * Sun Throne of the Persian Empire and Iran * Silver Throne - the Throne of Sweden


* ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard . (1959). _The Imperial House of Japan,_ p. 337. * ^ McLaren, Walter Wallace. (1916). _A Political History of Japan During the Meiji Era - 1867-1912,_ p. 361. * ^ Williams, David. (1858). _The preceptor\'s assistant, or, Miscellaneous questions in general history, literature, and science,_ p. 153. * ^ Shûji, Takashina. "An Empress on the Chrysanthemum Throne?" _ Japan Echo ._ Vol. 31, No. 6, December 2004. * ^ Green, Shane. "Chrysanthemum Throne a Closely Guarded Secret," _Sydney Morning Herald_ (New South Wales). December 7, 2002. * ^ Spector, Ronald . "The Chrysanthemum Throne," (book review of _ Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan _ by Herbert P. Bix ). _New York Times._ November 19, 2000. * ^ McNeill, David. "The Sadness Behind the Chrysanthemum Throne," _The Independent_ (London). May 22, 2004. * ^ McCurry, Justin. "Baby Boy Ends 40-year Wait for Heir to Chrysanthemum Throne," _The Guardian_ (London). September 6, 2006. * ^ "The Chrysanthemum Throne," _Hello Magazine._ * ^ McNeill, David. "The Girl who May Sit on Chrysanthemum Throne," _The Independent_ (London). February 23, 2005. * ^ Williams, David. (1858). _The preceptor\'s assistant, or, Miscellaneous questions in general history, literature and science_, p. 153. * ^ Titsingh, Isaac . (1834). _Annales des empereurs du japon,_ pp. 19-21; Varley, H. Paul . (1980). _Jinnō Shōtōki,_ pp. 103-110; Aston, William George . (1998). _Nihongi_, pp. 254-271. * ^ Post, Jerrold _et al._ (1995). _When Illness Strikes the Leader,_ p. 194. * ^ Weisman, Steven R. "Japan Enthrones Emperor Today in Old Rite With New Twist," _New York Times._ November 12, 1990 * ^ Martin, Peter. (1997). _The Chrysanthemum Throne,_ p. 132. * ^ Titsigh, p. 122; Brown, Delmer M. (1979). _Gukanshō,_ pp. 288; Varley, p. 44; a distinct act of _senso_ is unrecognized prior to Emperor Tenji ; and all sovereigns except Jitō , Yōzei, Go-Toba , and Fushimi have _senso_ and _sokui_ in the same year until the reign of Go-Murakami . * ^ Note: The enthronement ceremony (_sokui_) is something of a misnomer in English since no throne is used, but the throne is used in a larger and more public ceremony that follows later. _See_ Berry, Mary Elizabeth. (1989). _Hideyoshi,_ p. 245 n6. * ^ Titsingh, p. 122. * ^ Brown, p. 264; up until the time of Emperor Jomei , the personal names of the Emperors (their _imina_) were very long and people did not generally use them. The number of characters in each name diminished after Jomei's reign. * ^ Titsingh, p. 121; Varley, p. 170. * ^ Watts, Jonathan. "The Emperor\'s new roots: The Japanese Emperor has finally laid to rest rumours that he has Korean blood, by admitting that it is true," _The Guardian_ (London). 28 December 2001. * ^ Hamilton, Alan. "Palace small talk problem solved: royal guest is a goby fish fanatic," _The Times_ (London). May 30, 2007.]


* Aston, William George . (1896). _ Nihongi : Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to A.D. 697_. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner. * Brown, Delmer M. and Ichirō Ishida, eds. (1979). , _Gukanshō (The Future and the Past, a translation and study of the Gukanshō, an interpretative history of Japan written in 1219)._ Berkeley: University of California Press . ISBN 0-520-03460-0 * Martin, Peter. (1997). _The Chrysanthemum Throne: A History of the Emperors of Japan._ Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press . ISBN 978-0-8248-2029-9 * McLaren, Walter Wallace. (1916). _A Political History of Japan During the Meiji Era, 1867-1912._ London: G. Allen ou, _Annales des empereurs du Japon._ Paris: Royal Asiatic Society, Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. OCLC 5850691 * Varley, H. Paul . (1980). _A Chronicle of Gods and Sovereigns: Jinnō Shōtōki of Kitabatake Chikafusa._ New York: Columbia University Press . ISBN 0-231-04940-4


* NYPL Digital Gallery: _Trono del imperator del Giapone._ by Andrea Bernieri