The Info List - Emperor Meiji

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Emperor Meiji
Emperor Meiji
(明治天皇, Meiji-tennō, November 3, 1852 – July 30, 1912), or Meiji the Great (明治大帝, Meiji-taitei), was the 122nd Emperor of Japan
Emperor of Japan
according to the traditional order of succession, reigning from February 3, 1867 until his death on July 30, 1912. He presided over a time of rapid change in the Empire of Japan, as the nation quickly changed from an isolationist feudal state to a capitalist and imperial world power, characterized by the Japanese industrial revolution. At the time of Meiji's birth in 1852, Japan
was an isolated, pre-industrial, feudal country dominated by the Tokugawa shogunate
Tokugawa shogunate
and the daimyōs, who ruled over the country's more than 250 decentralized domains. By the time of his death in 1912, Japan
had undergone a political, social, and industrial revolution at home and emerged as one of the great powers on the world stage. The New York Times
The New York Times
summed up this transformation at his funeral in 1912 with the words: "the contrast between that which preceded the funeral car and that which followed it was striking indeed. Before it went old Japan; after it came new Japan."[1] In Japan, the reigning Emperor is always referred to as "The Emperor"; since the modern era, a deceased Emperor is referred to by a posthumous name, which is the name of the era coinciding with the Emperor's reign. Having ruled during the Meiji period, the Emperor is thus posthumously known as "the Meiji Emperor" or simply "Emperor Meiji". His personal name, which is not used in any formal or official context, except for his signature, was Mutsuhito (睦仁).


1 Background 2 Boyhood 3 Unrest and accession 4 Meiji era

4.1 Consolidation of power 4.2 Political reform

5 Death 6 Concubines
and children 7 Titles and styles 8 Honours

8.1 National honours 8.2 Foreign honours

9 Ancestry 10 Timeline 11 In film 12 References

12.1 Notes 12.2 Bibliography

13 External links


Yoshiko Nakayama (mother of Emperor Meiji)

The Tokugawa shogunate
Tokugawa shogunate
had established itself in the early 17th century.[2] Under its rule, the shōgun governed Japan. About 180 lords, known as daimyōs, ruled autonomous realms under the shōgun, who occasionally called upon the daimyōs for gifts, but did not tax them. The shōgun controlled the daimyōs in other ways; only the shōgun could approve their marriages, and the shōgun could divest a daimyō of his lands.[3] In 1615, the first Tokugawa shōgun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, who had officially retired from his position, and his son Tokugawa Hidetada, the titular shōgun, issued a code of behavior for the nobility. Under it, the Emperor was required to devote his time to scholarship and the arts.[4] The Emperors under the shogunate appear to have closely adhered to this code, studying Confucian classics and devoting time to poetry and calligraphy.[5] They were only taught the rudiments of Japanese and Chinese history and geography.[5] The shōgun did not seek the consent or advice of the Emperor for his actions.[6] Emperors almost never left their palace compound, or Gosho in Kyoto, except after an Emperor retired or to take shelter in a temple if the palace caught on fire.[7] Few Emperors lived long enough to retire; of the Meiji Emperor's five predecessors, only his grandfather lived into his forties, dying aged forty-six.[6] The Imperial Family suffered very high rates of infant mortality; all five of the Emperor's brothers and sisters died as infants, and only five of his own fifteen children reached adulthood.[6] Soon after taking control in the early seventeenth century, shogunate officials (known generically as bakufu) ended much Western trade with Japan, and barred missionaries from the islands. In addition to the substantial Chinese trade, only the Dutch continued trade with Japan, maintaining a post on the island of Dejima
by Nagasaki.[8] However, by the early 19th century, European and American vessels appeared in the waters around Japan
with increasing frequency.[9] Boyhood[edit] Prince Mutsuhito was born on November 3, 1852 in a small house on his maternal grandfather's property at the north end of the Gosho. At the time, a birth was believed to be polluting, so imperial princes were not born in the Palace, but usually in a structure, often temporary, near the pregnant woman's father's house. The boy's mother, Nakayama Yoshiko, was a concubine (gon no tenji) to his father Emperor Kōmei, and was the daughter of the acting major counselor, Nakayama Tadayasu.[10] The young prince was given the name Sachinomiya, or Prince Sachi.[11] The young prince was born at a time of change for Japan. This change was symbolized dramatically when Commodore Matthew Perry and his squadron of what the Japanese dubbed "the Black Ships", sailed into the harbor at Edo
(known since 1868 as Tokyo) in July 1853. Perry sought to open Japan
to trade, and warned the Japanese of military consequences if they did not agree.[12] During the crisis brought on by Perry's arrival, the shogunate took, for the first time in at least 250 years, the highly unusual step of consulting with the Imperial Court, and Emperor Kōmei's officials advised that they felt the Americans should be allowed to trade and asked that they be informed in advance of any steps to be taken upon Perry's return.[13] Feeling that it could not win a war, the Japanese government allowed trade and submitted to what it dubbed the "Unequal Treaties", giving up tariff authority and the right to try foreigners in its own courts.[12] The shogunate's willingness to consult with the Court was short-lived: in 1858, word of a treaty arrived with a letter stating that due to shortness of time, it had not been possible to consult. Emperor Kōmei was so incensed that he threatened to abdicate—though even this action would have required the consent of the shōgun.[14] Much of the emperor's boyhood is known only through later accounts, which his biographer Donald Keene
Donald Keene
points out are often contradictory. One contemporary described Mutsuhito as healthy and strong, somewhat of a bully, and exceptionally talented at sumo. Another states that the prince was delicate and often ill. Some biographers state that he fainted when he first heard gunfire, while others deny this account.[15] On August 16, 1860, Sachinomiya was proclaimed prince of the blood and heir to the throne, and was formally adopted by his father's consort. Later that year on November 11, he was proclaimed as the crown prince and given an adult name, Mutsuhito.[16] The prince began his education at the age of seven.[17] He proved an indifferent student, and later in life wrote poems regretting that he had not applied himself more in writing practice.[18] Unrest and accession[edit] Main articles: Meiji period, Meiji Restoration, Government of Meiji Japan, and Meiji Constitution

Emperor Meiji
Emperor Meiji
in his younger years

By the early 1860s, the shogunate was under several threats. Representatives of foreign powers sought to increase their influence in Japan. Many daimyōs were increasingly dissatisfied with bakufu handling foreign affairs. Large numbers of young samurai, known as shishi or "men of high purpose", began to meet and speak against the shogunate. The shishi revered the Emperor Kōmei
Emperor Kōmei
and favored direct violent action to cure societal ills. While they initially desired the death or expulsion of all foreigners, the shishi would later begin to advocate the modernization of the country.[19] The bakufu enacted several measures to appease the various groups, and hoped to drive a wedge between the shishi and daimyōs.[20] Kyoto
was a major center for the shishi, who had influence over the Emperor Kōmei. In 1863, they persuaded him to issue an "Order to expel barbarians". The Order placed the shogunate in a difficult position, since it knew it lacked the power to carry it out. Several attacks were made on foreigners or their ships, and foreign forces retaliated. Bakufu forces were able to drive most of the shishi out of Kyoto, and an attempt by them to return in 1864 was driven back. Nevertheless, unrest continued throughout Japan.[20] The prince's awareness of the political turmoil is uncertain.[21] During this time, he studied waka poetry, first with his father, then with the court poets.[22] As the prince continued his classical education in 1866, a new shōgun took office: Tokugawa Yoshinobu, a reformer who desired to transform Japan
into a Western-style state. Yoshinobu, who was the final shōgun, met with resistance from among the bakufu, even as unrest and military actions continued. In mid-1866, a bakufu army set forth to punish rebels in southern Japan. The army was defeated.[23] The Emperor Kōmei
Emperor Kōmei
had always enjoyed excellent health, and was only 36 years old in January 1867. In that month, however, he fell seriously ill. Though he appeared to make some recovery, he suddenly worsened and died on January 30. British diplomat Sir Ernest Satow wrote, "it is impossible to deny that [the Emperor Kōmei's] disappearance from the political scene, leaving as his successor a boy of fifteen or sixteen [actually fourteen], was most opportune".[24] The crown prince formally ascended to the throne on February 3, 1867, in a brief ceremony in Kyoto.[25] The new Emperor continued his classical education, which did not include matters of politics. In the meantime, the shōgun, Yoshinobu, struggled to maintain power. He repeatedly asked for the Emperor's confirmation of his actions, which he eventually received, but there is no indication that the young Emperor was himself involved in the decisions. The shishi and other rebels continued to shape their vision of the new Japan, and while they revered the Emperor, they had no thought of having him play an active part in the political process.[26] The political struggle reached its climax in late 1867. An agreement was reached by which Yoshinobu would maintain his title and some of his power, but the lawmaking power would be vested in a bicameral legislature based on the British model. However, the agreement fell apart and on November 9, 1867, Yoshinobu officially tendered his resignation to the Emperor, formally stepping down ten days later.[27] The following month, the rebels marched on Kyoto, taking control of the Imperial Palace.[28] On January 4, 1868, the Emperor ceremoniously read out a document before the court proclaiming the "restoration" of Imperial rule,[29] and the following month, documents were sent to foreign powers:[28]

The Emperor of Japan
Emperor of Japan
announces to the sovereigns of all foreign countries and to their subjects that permission has been granted to the shōgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu
Tokugawa Yoshinobu
to return the governing power in accordance with his own request. We shall henceforward exercise supreme authority in all the internal and external affairs of the country. Consequently, the title of Emperor must be substituted for that of Tycoon, in which the treaties have been made. Officers are being appointed by us to the conduct of foreign affairs. It is desirable that the representatives of the treaty powers recognize this announcement. Mutsuhito[30]

Yoshinobu resisted only briefly, but it was not until late 1869 that the final bakufu holdouts were finally defeated.[28] In the ninth month of the following year, the era was changed to Meiji, or "enlightened rule", which was later used for the emperor's posthumous name. This marked the beginning of the custom of an era coinciding with an emperor's reign, and posthumously naming the emperor after the era during which he ruled. Soon after his accession, the Emperor's officials presented Ichijō Haruko to him as a possible bride. The future Empress was the daughter of an Imperial official, and was three years older than the groom, who would have to wait to wed until after his genpuku (manhood ceremony). The two married on January 11, 1869.[31] Known posthumously as Empress Shōken, she was the first Imperial Consort to receive the title of kōgō (literally, the Emperor's wife, translated as Empress Consort), in several hundred years. Although she was the first Japanese Empress Consort to play a public role, she bore no children. However, the Meiji Emperor had fifteen children by five official ladies-in-waiting. Only five of his children, a prince born to Lady Naruko (1855–1943), the daughter of Yanagiwara Mitsunaru, and four princesses born to Lady Sachiko (1867–1947), the eldest daughter of Count
Sono Motosachi, lived to adulthood. They were:

Crown Prince Yoshihito (Haru-no-miya Yoshihito Shinnō), 3rd son, (August 31, 1879 – December 25, 1926) (see Emperor Taishō) Princess Masako (Tsune-no-miya Masako Naishinnō), 6th daughter, (September 30, 1888 – March 8, 1940) (see Princess Masako Takeda) Princess Fusako (Kane-no-miya Fusako Naishinnō), 7th daughter, (January 28, 1890 – August 11, 1974) (see Fusako Kitashirakawa) Princess Nobuko (Fumi-no-miya Nobuko Naishinnō), 8th daughter, (August 7, 1891 – November 3, 1933) (see Princess Nobuko Asaka) Princess Toshiko (Yasu-no-miya Toshiko Naishinnō), 9th daughter, (May 11, 1896 – March 5, 1978) (see Toshiko Higashikuni)

Meiji era[edit] Main article: Meiji Restoration Consolidation of power[edit]

Sixteen-year-old emperor, traveling from Kyoto
to Tokyo
at the end of 1868

Despite the ouster of the bakufu, no effective central government had been put in place by the rebels. On March 23, foreign envoys were first permitted to visit Kyoto
and pay formal calls on the Emperor.[32] On April 7, 1868, the Emperor was presented with the Charter Oath, a five-point statement of the nature of the new government, designed to win over those who had not yet committed themselves to the new regime. This document, which the Emperor then formally promulgated, abolished feudalism and proclaimed a modern democratic government for Japan. The Charter Oath
Charter Oath
would later be cited by Emperor Hirohito
Emperor Hirohito
in the Humanity Declaration as support for the imposed changes in Japanese government following World War II.[33] In mid-May, he left the Imperial precincts in Kyoto
for the first time since early childhood to take command of the forces pursuing the remnants of the bakufu armies. Traveling in slow stages, he took three days to travel from Kyoto
to Osaka, through roads lined with crowds.[34] There was no conflict in Osaka; the new leaders wanted the Emperor to be more visible to his people and to foreign envoys. At the end of May, after two weeks in Osaka (in a much less formal atmosphere than in Kyoto), the Emperor returned to his home.[35] Shortly after his return, it was announced that the Emperor would begin to preside over all state business, reserving further literary study for his leisure time.[36] Only from 1871 did the Emperor's studies include materials on contemporary affairs.[37]

Emperor Meiji
Emperor Meiji
on 1905 New-York Tribune cover.

On September 19, 1868, the Emperor announced that the name of the city of Edo
was being changed to Tokyo, or "eastern capital". He was formally crowned in Kyoto
on October 15 (a ceremony which had been postponed from the previous year due to the unrest). Shortly before the coronation, he announced that the new era, or nengō, would be called Meiji or "enlightened rule". Heretofore the nengō had often been changed multiple times in an emperor's reign; from now on, it was announced, there would only be one nengō per reign.[38] Soon after his coronation, the Emperor journeyed to Tokyo
by road, visiting it for the first time. He arrived in late November, and began an extended stay by distributing sake among the population. The population of Tokyo
was eager for an Imperial visit; it had been the site of the shōgun's court and the population feared that with the abolition of the shogunate, the city might fall into decline.[39] It would not be until 1889 that a final decision was made to move the capital to Tokyo.[40] While in Tokyo, the Emperor boarded a Japanese naval vessel for the first time, and the following day gave instructions for studies to see how Japan's navy could be strengthened.[41] Soon after his return to Kyoto, a rescript was issued in the Emperor's name (but most likely written by court officials). It indicated his intent to be involved in government affairs, and indeed he attended cabinet meetings and innumerable other government functions, though rarely speaking, almost until the day of his death.[42] Political reform[edit]

The Empress and the Emperor went to the military parade which commemorated promulgation of the Constitution on February 11, 1889.

The successful revolutionaries organized themselves into a Council of State, and subsequently into a system where three main ministers led the government. This structure would last until the establishment of a prime minister, who would lead a cabinet in the western fashion, in 1885.[43] Initially, not even the retention of the Emperor was certain; revolutionary leader Gotō Shōjirō
Gotō Shōjirō
later stated that some officials "were afraid the extremists might go further and abolish the Mikado".[44]

Chiefs of sixteen countries in a gathering envisage a desirable future world.

A portrait of Emperor Meiji
Emperor Meiji
in his older years from The Spell of Japan(1914) by Isabel Weld Perkins

Japan's new leaders sought to reform the patchwork system of domains governed by the daimyōs. In 1869, several of the daimyōs who had supported the revolution gave their lands to the Emperor and were reappointed as governors, with considerable salaries. By the following year, all other daimyōs had followed suit. In 1871, the Emperor announced that domains were entirely abolished, as Japan
was organized into 72 prefectures. The daimyōs were compensated with annual salaries equal to ten percent of their former revenues (from which they did not now have to deduct the cost of governing), but were required to move to the new capital, Tokyo. Most retired from politics.[45] The new administration gradually abolished most privileges of the samurai, including their right to a stipend from the government. However, unlike the daimyōs, many samurai suffered financially from this change. Most other class-based distinctions were abolished. Legalized discrimination against the burakumin ended. However, these classes continue to suffer discrimination in Japan
to the present time.[46] Although a parliament was formed, it had no real power, and neither did the emperor.[disputed – discuss] Power had passed from the Tokugawa into the hands of those daimyōs and other samurai who had led the Restoration. Japan
was thus controlled by the Genrō, an oligarchy which comprised the most powerful men of the military, political and economic spheres. The emperor, if nothing else, showed greater political longevity than his recent predecessors, as he was the first Japanese monarch to remain on the throne past the age of 50 since the abdication of Emperor Ōgimachi
Emperor Ōgimachi
in 1586.

The Emperor Meiji, November 1909.

The Japanese take pride in the Meiji Restoration, as it and the accompanying industrialization allowed Japan
to become the preeminent power in the Pacific and a major player in the world within a generation. Yet, Emperor Meiji's role in the Restoration remains debatable. He certainly did not control Japan[disputed – discuss], but how much influence he wielded is unknown. It is unlikely it will ever be clear whether he supported the Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895) or the Russo-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
(1904–1905). One of the few windows we have into the Emperor's own feelings is his poetry, which seems to indicate a pacifist streak, or at least a man who wished war could be avoided.[original research?] He composed the following pacifist poem in waka form:

よもの海 みなはらからと思ふ世に など波風のたちさわぐらむ[47]

Yomo no umi mina harakara to omofu yo ni nado namikaze no tachi sawaguramu[47]

The seas of the four directions— all are born of one womb: why, then, do the wind and waves rise in discord?[47]

This poem was later recited by his grandson, Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito), in an Imperial Conference in September 1941, indirectly showing his own anti-war sentiment.[disputed – discuss] Near the end of his life several anarchists, including Shūsui Kōtoku, were executed (1911) on charges of having conspired to murder the sovereign. This conspiracy was known as the High Treason Incident (1910).[citation needed] Death[edit] Emperor Meiji, suffering from diabetes, nephritis, and gastroenteritis, died of uremia. Although the official announcement said he died at 00:42 on July 30, 1912, the actual death was at 22:40 on July 29.[48][49] After the emperor's death in 1912, the Japanese Diet passed a resolution to commemorate his role in the Meiji Restoration. An iris garden in an area of Tokyo
where Emperor Meiji and the Empress had been known to visit was chosen as the building's location for the Shinto
shrine Meiji jingū. The shrine does not contain the Emperor's grave, which is at Fushimi-momoyama south of Kyoto.[citation needed] Concubines
and children[edit]

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Lady Mitsuko (1853–1873). Not much is known about Lady Mitsuko. However, she gave birth to the Emperor's first son. She died in childbirth. Lady Natsuko (1856 – November 14, 1873). She gave birth to the Emperor's first daughter and also died in childbirth. Yanagihara Naruko
Yanagihara Naruko
(June 26, 1859 – October 16, 1943). Mother of the Emperor Taishō. Chigusa Kotoko (1855–1944). Sono Sachiko (December 23, 1867 – July 7, 1947). Mother of Princess Masako, Princess Fusako, Princess Nobuko and Princess Toshiko.


Image Name Birth Death Mother Marriage Issue

Wakamitsuteru-hiko no Mikoto 稚瑞照彦尊 (stillborn son) September 18, 1873 September 18, 1873 Lady Mitsuko 葉室光子

Wakatakayori-hime no Mikoto 稚高依姫尊 (stillborn daughter) November 13, 1873 November 13, 1873 Lady Natsuko 橋本夏子

Shigeko, Princess Ume 梅宮薫子内親王 January 25, 1875 June 8, 1876 Lady Naruko 柳原愛子

Yukihito, Prince Take 建宮敬仁親王 September 23, 1877 July 26, 1878 Lady Naruko 柳原愛子

Yoshihito, Prince Haru (Emperor Taishō) 明宮嘉仁親王(大正天皇) August 31, 1879 December 25, 1926(1926-12-25) (aged 47) Lady Naruko 柳原愛子 Empress Teimei 九条節子 May 25, 1900 Hirohito, Emperor Shōwa Yasuhito, Prince Chichibu Nobuhito, Prince Takamatsu Takahito, Prince Mikasa

Akiko, Princess Shige 滋宮韶子内親王 August 3, 1881 September 6, 1883 Lady Kotoko 千種任子

Fumiko, Princess Masu 増宮章子内親王 January 26, 1883 September 8, 1883 Lady Kotoko 千種任子

Shizuko, Princess Hisa 久宮静子内親王 February 10, 1886 April 4, 1887 Lady Sachiko 園祥子

Michihito, Prince Aki 昭宮猷仁親王 August 22, 1887 November 12, 1888 Lady Sachiko

Masako, Princess Tsune (Princess Masako Takeda) 常宮昌子内親王 September 30, 1888 March 8, 1940(1940-03-08) (aged 51) Lady Sachiko Tsunehisa, Prince Takeda 竹田宮恒久王 April 30, 1908 Prince Tsuneyoshi Takeda Princess Ayako Takeda

Fusako, Princess Kane (Fusako Kitashirakawa) 周宮房子内親王 January 28, 1890 August 11, 1974(1974-08-11) (aged 84) Lady Sachiko Naruhisa, Prince Kitashirakawa 北白川宮成久王 April 29, 1909 Prince Nagahisa Kitashirakawa Princess Mineko Kitashirakawa Princess Sawako Kitashirakawa Princess Taeko Kitashirakawa

Nobuko, Princess Fumi (Princess Nobuko Asaka) 富美宮允子内親王 August 7, 1891 November 3, 1933(1933-11-03) (aged 42) Lady Sachiko Yasuhiko, Prince Asaka 朝香宮鳩彦王 May 6, 1909 Princess Kikuko Asaka Princess Takahiko Asaka Prince Tadahito Asaka Princess Kiyoko Asaka

Teruhito, Prince Mitsu 満宮輝仁親王 November 30, 1893 August 17, 1894 Lady Sachiko

Toshiko, Princess Yasu (Toshiko Higashikuni) 泰宮聡子内親王 May 11, 1896 March 5, 1978(1978-03-05) (aged 81) Lady Sachiko Naruhiko, Prince Higashikuni 東久邇宮稔彦王 May 18, 1915 Prince Morihiro Higashikuni Prince Moromasa Higashikuni Prince Akitsune Higashikuni Prince Toshihiko Higashikuni

Takiko, Princess Sada 貞宮多喜子内親王 September 24, 1897 January 11, 1899 Lady Sachiko

Titles and styles[edit]

Styles of The Emperor

Reference style His Imperial Majesty

Spoken style Your Imperial Majesty

Alternative style Sir

November 3, 1852 – November 11, 1860: His Imperial Highness The Prince Sachi November 11, 1860 – February 3, 1867: His Imperial Highness The Crown Prince February 3, 1867 – July 30, 1912: His Imperial Majesty The Emperor Posthumous title: His Imperial Majesty Emperor Meiji

Honours[edit] National honours[edit]

Grand Cordon and Collar of the Order of the Chrysanthemum Recipient of the Order of the Rising Sun
Order of the Rising Sun
with Paulownia Flowers

Foreign honours[edit]

 Prussia : Recipient of the Order of the Black Eagle  Sweden : Knight of the Royal Order of the Seraphim  United Kingdom : Knight of the Garter  Thailand : Order of the Royal House of Chakri  Kingdom of Hawaii : Recipient of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I  Kingdom of Italy : Knight of the Order of the Most Holy Annunciation  Kingdom of Italy : Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus  Kingdom of Italy : Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of Italy  Greece : Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer  Spain : Knight of the Golden Fleece

Ancestry[edit] [50]

Ancestors of Emperor Meiji

16. Prince of the Blood Kan'in-no-miya Sukehito (1733–1794)

8. Emperor Kōkaku
Emperor Kōkaku

17. Ōe Iwashiro (1744–1813)

4. Emperor Ninkō
Emperor Ninkō

18. Kanshūji Tsunehaya (1748–1805)

9. Kanshūji Tadako (1780–1843)

2. Emperor Kōmei
Emperor Kōmei

20. Ōgimachi Kinaki (1744–1813)

10. Ōgimachi Sanemitsu (1777–1817)

21. Nabeshima (1755–1793)

5. Ōgimachi Naoko (1803–1856)

22. Yotsutsuji Kintō (1728–1788)

11. Yotsutsuji Chie

1. Emperor Meiji

24. Nakayama Tadaosa (1756–1809)

12. Nakayama Tadayori (1778–1825)

25. Sanjō Narakimi (d. 1805)

6. Marquess Nakayama Tadayasu
Nakayama Tadayasu

26. Ōgimachisanjō Sanetomo (1748–1785)

13. Ōgimachisanjō Tsunako (d. 1858)

3. Lady Nakayama Yoshiko
Nakayama Yoshiko

28. Matsura Masanobu (1735–1771)

14. Matsura Seizan, 9th daimyō of Hirado (1760–1841)

29. Motai Tomoko

7. Matsura Aiko (1818–1906)

15. Kamakuma

Timeline[edit] The Meiji era ushered in many far-reaching changes to the ancient feudal society of Japan. A timeline of major events might include:

November 3, 1852: Emperor Meiji
Emperor Meiji
(then known as Sachinomiya) is born to the imperial concubine Nakayama Yoshiko
Nakayama Yoshiko
and Emperor Kōmei. 1853: A fleet of ships headed by Commodore Matthew Perry arrives in Japan
on July 8.[51] Death of the shōgun Tokugawa Ieyoshi; appointment of Tokugawa Iesada as shōgun. 1854–55: Treaties are signed with the United States
United States
by the shogunate. Late 1850s–1860s: The "Sonnō jōi" movement is in full force. 1858: The shogunate signs treaties with the Netherlands, Imperial Russia, and Great Britain. Death of the shōgun Tokugawa Iesada; appointment of Tokugawa Iemochi
Tokugawa Iemochi
as shōgun. March 1860: The Tairō, Ii Naosuke, is assassinated in the Sakuradamon incident. November 11: Sachinomiya is formally proclaimed Crown Prince and given the personal name Mutsuhito. 1862: Namamugi Incident. 1864–65: Bombardment of Shimonoseki
Bombardment of Shimonoseki
by British, American, French, and Dutch ships; fighting ensues between the shogunate and Chōshū. 1866: Death of the shōgun Tokugawa Iemochi; appointment of Tokugawa Yoshinobu as shōgun. January 31, 1867: Death of Emperor Kōmei
Emperor Kōmei
from hemorrhagic smallpox, unofficial accession of Mutsuhito to the throne. January 4, 1868: Formal restoration of imperial rule; end of 265 years of rule by the Tokugawa shogunate. September 12: Formal enthronement of the Emperor. October 23: The era name is changed to Meiji. November 6: The capital is moved from Kyoto
to Edo, renamed Tokyo. November 5, 1872: The Emperor receives the Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia. Late 1860s–1881: Period of rebellion and assassination in Japan. January 11, 1869: Marriage of the Emperor to Ichijo Haruko, thenceforth the Empress Shōken. September 4: The Emperor receives The Duke of Edinburgh. 1871: The abolition of the han system is proclaimed. 1873: Edo
Castle is destroyed in a conflagration; the Emperor moves to the Akasaka Palace. His first children are born, but die at birth. 1877: The Satsuma Rebellion. 1878: Assassination of Ōkubo Toshimichi. August 31, 1879: Prince Yoshihito, the future Emperor Taishō
Emperor Taishō
and the Emperor's only surviving son, is born. 1881: Receives the first state visit of a foreign monarch, King Kalākaua
of Hawaii. 1889: Meiji Constitution
Meiji Constitution
promulgated; Itō Hirobumi
Itō Hirobumi
becomes first Prime Minister of Japan. 1894: Sino-Japanese War; Japanese victory establishes Japan
as a regional power. 1901: Became grandfather when Emperor Taishō's son, the future Emperor Shōwa was born. 1904–1905: Russo-Japanese War; Japanese victory earns Japan
the status of a great power. 1910: The Annexation of Korea by the Empire of Japan. 1912: The Emperor dies.[1]

In film[edit]

Stuido Still snap the 1957 Japanese film "Meiji Tenno to Nichiro Daisenso ( Emperor Meiji
Emperor Meiji
and the Great Russo-Japanese War)"(Shintoho). Emperor Meiji
Emperor Meiji
of Kanjūrō Arashi.

Emperor Meiji
Emperor Meiji
is portrayed by Toshirō Mifune in the 1980 Japanese war drama film The Battle of Port Arthur (sometimes referred as 203 Kochi).[52] Directed by Toshio Masuda, the film depicted the Siege of Port Arthur during the Russo-Japanese War, and also starred Tatsuya Nakadai (as General Nogi Maresuke), and Tetsurō Tamba
Tetsurō Tamba
(as General Kodama Gentarō). Emperor Meiji
Emperor Meiji
also appears in the 2003 film The Last Samurai, portrayed by Nakamura Shichinosuke II. References[edit] Notes[edit]

^ a b http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9D05E3DB1F3CE633A25750C1A9669D946396D6CF "The Funeral Ceremonies of Meiji Tenno" reprinted from the Japan Advertiser Article 8—No Title], New York Times. October 13, 1912. ^ Jansen 1995, p. vii. ^ Gordon 2009, pp. 14–15. ^ Keene 2002, p. 3. ^ a b Gordon 2009, pp. 3–4. ^ a b c Gordon 2009, p. 2. ^ Gordon 2009, pp. 4–5. ^ Gordon 2009, p. 19. ^ Gordon 2009, p. 47. ^ Keene 2002, p. 10. ^ Keene 2002, p. 14. ^ a b Gordon 2009, pp. 50–51. ^ Keene 2002, p. 18. ^ Keene 2002, pp. 39–41. ^ Keene 2002, p. xii. ^ Keene 2002, pp. 51–52. ^ Keene 2002, p. 46. ^ Keene 2002, p. 48. ^ Gordon 2009, pp. 53–55. ^ a b Gordon 2009, pp. 55–56. ^ Keene 2002, p. 73. ^ Keene 2002, p. 78. ^ Gordon 2009, pp. 57–58. ^ Keene 2002, pp. 94–96. ^ Keene 2002, p. 98. ^ Keene 2002, pp. 102–104. ^ Takano, p. 256. ^ a b c Gordon 2009, p. 59. ^ Keene 2002, p. 121. ^ Keene 2002, p. 117. ^ Keene 2002, pp. 105–107. ^ Keene 2002, p. 133. ^ Jansen 1995, p. 195. ^ Keene 2002, p. 143. ^ Keene 2002, pp. 145–146. ^ Keene 2002, p. 147. ^ Keene 2002, p. 171. ^ Keene 2002, pp. 157–159. ^ Keene 2002, pp. 160–163. ^ Gordon 2009, p. 68. ^ Keene 2002, pp. 163–165. ^ Keene 2002, p. 168. ^ Gordon 2009, p. 64. ^ Jansen 1994, p. 342. ^ Gordon 2009, p. 63. ^ Gordon 2009, p. 65. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 29, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2016.  "Historical Events Today: 1867 - Prince Mutsuhito, 14, becomes Emperor Meiji
Emperor Meiji
of Japan
(1867-1912). ^ Takashi, Fujitani (1998). Splendid monarchy: power and pageantry in modern Japan. University of California Press. p. 145. ISBN 978-0-520-21371-5.  ^ "広報 No.589 明治の終幕" (PDF) (in Japanese). Sannohe town hall. Retrieved May 18, 2011.  ^ "Genealogy". Reichsarchiv. Retrieved 24 October 2017.  (in Japanese) ^ Considered by German Japanologist Johannes Justus Rein and described by Francis L. Hawks and Commodore Matthew Perry in their 1856 work, Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan
Performed in the Years 1852, 1853 and 1854 under the Command of Commodore M.C. Perry, United States
United States
Navy., as the "Opening" of Japan. ^ The Battle of Port Arthur (203 Koshi) in the Internet Movie Database


Gordon, Andrew (2003), A Modern History of Japan: from Tokugawa Times to the Present, Oxford University Press  ISBN 0195110609/ISBN 9780195110609; ISBN 0195110617/ISBN 9780195110616; OCLC 49704795[clarification needed] Jansen, Marius (1961), Sakamoto Ryoma and the Meiji Restoration, Princeton University Press  OCLC 413111 ____________ (1995), The Emergence of Meiji Japan, Cambridge University Press  ISBN 0521482380/ISBN 9780521482387; ISBN 0521484057/ISBN 9780521484053; OCLC 31515308 Keene, Donald (2002), Emperor of Japan: Meiji and His World, 1852–1912, Columbia University Press  ISBN 023112340X/ISBN 9780231123402; OCLC 46731178 Wilson, George M. (1992), Patriots and Redeemers: Motives in the Meiji Restoration, University of Chicago Press  ISBN 0226900916/ISBN 9780226900919; ISBN 0226900924/ISBN 9780226900926; OCLC 23869701

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Emperor Meiji.

Meiji Shrine Meiji Emperor  "Mutsu Hito". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.   "Mutsuhito, Emperor of Japan". The New Student's Reference Work. 1914. 

Emperor Meiji Imperial House of Japan Born: 3 November 1852 Died: 30 July 1912

Regnal titles

Preceded by Emperor Kōmei Emperor of Japan February 3, 1867 – July 30, 1912 Succeeded by Emperor Taishō

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 39644303 LCCN: n81096007 ISNI: 0000 0001 2129 1933 GND: 118996584 SUDOC: 080488250 BNF: cb148392651 (data) NLA: 47753408 NDL: 00043014 NKC: js20060714008

In 1876, he