Japanese Emperors - Emperor Meiji

Japan is a monarch country and consequently it will have a King to represent it, in Japan, known as Emperors.

Japan has had more than hundreds of Emperors, however, some Kings are separated by "Periods". One of the Periods and much commented and cited is the “Edo Period”. The Modern Era currently has 4 Emperors, one of them being the current Emperor Akihito.

And among them is Emperor Meiji. He was the one who took the first big step in his time towards the so-called “Modern Era”. Below we will see the achievements and a little about him!

posthumous name

Posthumous can literally be translated as "After death", being also an honorary name that is given to emperors, nobles and in exceptions and in some cultures, this title is also given to officers and others.

In the case of Japan and in connection with the Emperors, the posthumous one is given to him according to the name of his kingdom. In Japanese culture there is also kaimyo, which is a Buddhist practice with the same objective, however, it is more used while alive.

But the posthumous name must not be confused with the name of an era and a temple. The name of era refers to the years in which an Emperor/Governor ruled a country, and its name after the reign is usually remembered with the era, but always referring to the posthumous.


Emperor Meiji (Mutsuhito)

His name is Mutsuhito (睦仁), Emperor Meiji (明治天皇, Meiji Tennō) was one of the crucial Emperors for the beginning of the Modern Era, he who made Japan what it is today!

She lived for 59 years and her reign lasted 35 years, an enduring reign so to speak.

Prince Mutsuhito succeeded the throne at just 14 years old, in 1867, and in the same year he married Masako, later his name will be Haruko. She was very important to Meiji, as she also acted in political matters, something that hadn't happened in many years. She cannot give him heirs, however, he had 15 children by 5 ladies-in-waiting.

And it was during the Meiji reign that the feudal regime and the shogunate were abolished. Shogunate is the title given by the Emperor to a general to command all troops.

Another change was that the capital of Japan moved from Kyoto to Edo, which is now called Tokyo. And there was also the emergence of a new constitution.


One of Meiji's greatest achievements was to make Japan a world-renowned country. During the 19th century, Japan was able to clearly dictate its objectives to other Western powers. The major powers were very interested in Japan, and with that, he managed to grow into the great power that he is today. At this time, Japan was an industrial and economic developing country, also a country devoted to its Emperor!

Meiji Restoration

  • occurred between 1866 and 1868;
  • Feudal dictatorship, Tokugawa Shogunate, was abolished on account of imperial victories in the Boshin War;
  • Declaration of the end of feudalism and proclamation of a democratic and modern government for Japan;
  • During the Meiji period, it was declared that Japan would act in accordance with international law;
  • The Samurai, stop obeying their lord, daimyo, and then begin to obey the Emperor;
  • Meiji, despite being the Emperor, had no real power, however, he was a symbol for the people. And today he is hailed as a source of pride for the Japanese for making Japan what it is today!

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Some facts about Meiji

  • Mutsuhito was crowned at just 14 years old;
  • As in many other monarch countries, Meiji's education was entrusted to a Nobleman;
  • He received two titles in a single day, that of Prince Imperial and also that of Crown Prince;
  • Only 5 of their children reached adulthood, among them, 1 prince and 4 other princesses;
  • He was one of the Emperors who maintained the longest longevity, after the abdication of Emperor Ougimachi, having lived more than 50 years;

Of course this is just a summary of the Emperor and what happened in his era and beyond. This is a very delicate and lengthy subject that can even require an entire site to study the whole subject. If you want to delve into the subject, be prepared to read a big book or many wiki pages.

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