Japanese Emperors – Emperor Taishō

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Japan is a monarch country and consequently it will have a King who represents 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 that is widely commented and cited is the “Edo Period”. The Modern Period currently has 4 Emperors, one of whom is the current Emperor Akihito.

And among them are Emperor Taishō. Representing the Taishō Period, where we walked towards the loss of power of the Emperor, crises followed by wars and changes of thoughts, leaving Feudal Japan behind.

Posthumous name

Posthumus can literally be translated as "After death", it is 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, posthumous 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 purpose, however, it is more used while alive.

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

Emperor Taishō - Yoshihito

His name was Yoshihito (嘉仁).

Emperor Taishō was the fifth son of Emperor Meiji, born August 31, 1879. His death recorded on December 25, 1925.

He was born at Aoyama Palace in Tokyo, the son of Meiji and the chaperone Yanagiwara Naruko. As practice and custom, he was given as the son of Empress Shōken. His brothers died as children, however, he remained alive to fulfill his role as successor to the throne, but he had some health problems as well.

Yoshihito contracted meningitis three weeks after his birth, leaving him fragile in health, both physically and mentally. There were also rumors that he was a victim of lead poisoning, allegedly from the makeup used by his wet nurse.

Yoshihito had lessons from the same person who taught his father, Emperor Meiji. The teachings came directly from Nakayama Tadayasu, at Aoyama Palace. He had several daily classes, but due to his fragile health, this process was slower, because he had faintness and constant fevers.

He was declared Heir only on August 31, 1887. As crown prince, he was known as Tōgu (東宮).

Unlike his father, Yushihito married before becoming Emperor. In 1900 he married Kujō Sadako (future Empress Teimei), daughter of Prince Kujō Michitaka, head of the five main branches of the Fujiwara Clan.

Yushihito's wife was chosen by Meiji. Having been evaluated mainly for his intelligence, good disposition and dignity - to complement Prince Yoshihito in the areas where he was disabled. The Akasaka Imperial Palace, was built between 1899 and 1909, made for the couple, based on the Rococo style.

The Prince succeeded the throne at the age of 42. He lived for 57 years, having a reign of 14 years.

Reign (1912-1926)

The Taishō Kingdom was marked by the First World War. With Japan's enemy of Germany, however, not having such interference outside its territory and Asia.

Western forces gave Japan several opportunities, such as the conquest of Germanic territories and also with demands made on China. Japan demanded new territorial concessions from China in its favor, with the assignment on behalf of China.

As for the economy, Japan was very successful during the Taishō period. Without the interference of Europeans, it managed to monopolize the Asian market, as Europe was weakened, due to the wear and tear caused by the War. In addition to having made major investments in the shipping industry. Industrialized products, previously supplied by Germany, started to be produced by the Japanese themselves, as was the case with chemicals, medicines, paints and fertilizers. In addition, the Japanese conquered the Asian market for spinning and weaving, which previously belonged to the English.

However, it was a temporary growth. Europe returns from its crisis, and Japan knows the reverse of capitalist success. Japanese products lose space in the market, with great price drops. Having great aggravation with the earthquake that occurred in 1923, in Tokyo.

Some curiosities about the Period and Taishō

  • In 1921, he gave the regency to his eldest son, Hirohito, for ill health;
  • He showed skills in some areas, like horseback riding. However, he showed no skills in areas that required superior intellect. But he made a big investment in languages, taking French, Chinese and also History classes;
  • Due to Western influence, he used to add foreign words to his lines, which caused great irritation in his father, Meiji;
  • He and his wife had 4 children, of whom, the fourth died in childbirth;
  • Japan had the ambition to become one of the greatest world powers. and in 1918, he was invited to attend the Peace Conference in Versailles, alongside major countries;
  • During this period, the great Japanese banks were also founded and created;
  • There were also great foundations in democratic ideals. Thus, having a cultural change, in which women gain more power in the country and democracy is being established, but it does not last long;
  • Emperor Taishō died of a pneumonia crisis in 1926;
  • He was considered the Emperor of Tokyo. For being the first to live and live near the capital for a lifetime;
  • Emperor Taishō's body is found on the outskirts of Tokyo Prefecture;
  • The end of the Period was marked by the rise of nationalist ideas, with the support of the military;

Now let's consider 1 thing. 

After the Meiji Period, and with the First World War, the Emperor completely lost his power to govern. For many centuries this policy has existed that "the violence and military operations of a country do not say about the Emperor". But this was instituted as a law only later, in the middle of the 20th century. However, we see that Emperors gradually lose their powers after the Meiji Reign and Restoration. This will be discussed in more depth in another article.

Of course, this is just a summary of the Emperor and what happened in his era and beyond. This is a very delicate and long subject that can require even an entire website studying the whole subject. If you want to go deeper into the subject, get ready to read a big book or many wiki pages.

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