Shinto or kami-no-michi is the traditional religion of Japan that focuses on ritual practices to be carried out diligently to establish a connection between present-day Japan and its ancient past. Shinto practices were first recorded and codified in the written historical records of the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki in the 8th century. Still, these earliest Japanese writings do not refer to a unified religion, but rather to a collection of native beliefs and mythology. Shinto today is the religion of public shrines devoted to the worship of a multitude of "spirits", "essences" or "gods", suited to various purposes such as war memorials and harvest festivals, applies as well to various sectarian organizations. Practitioners express their diverse beliefs through a standard language and practice, adopting a similar style in dress and ritual, dating from around the time of the Nara and Heian periods; the word Shinto was adopted as Jindō or Shindō, from the written Chinese Shendao, combining two kanji: shin, meaning "spirit" or kami.
The oldest recorded usage of the word Shindo is from the second half of the 6th century. Kami is rendered in English as "spirits", "essences", or "gods", refers to the energy generating the phenomena. Since the Japanese language does not distinguish between singular and plural, kami refers to the singular divinity, or sacred essence, that manifests in multiple forms: rocks, rivers, objects and people can be said to possess the nature of kami. Kami and people are not separate; as much as nearly 80% of the population in Japan participates in Shinto practices or rituals, but only a small percentage of these identify themselves as "Shintoists" in surveys. This is. Most of the Japanese attend Shinto shrines and beseech kami without belonging to an institutional Shinto religion. There are no formal rituals to become a practitioner of "folk Shinto". Thus, "Shinto membership" is estimated counting only those who do join organised Shinto sects. Shinto has about 85,000 priests in the country. According to surveys carried out in 2006 and 2008, less than 40% of the population of Japan identifies with an organised religion: around 35% are Buddhists, 3% to 4% are members of Shinto sects and derived religions.
In 2008, 26% of the participants reported visiting Shinto shrines, while only 16.2% expressed belief in the existence of a god or gods in general. According to Inoue: "In modern scholarship, the term is used with reference to kami worship and related theologies and practices. In these contexts,'Shinto' takes on the meaning of'Japan's traditional religion', as opposed to foreign religions such as Christianity, Islam and so forth." Shinto religious expressions have been distinguished by scholars into a series of categories: Shrine Shinto, the main tradition of Shinto, has always been a part of Japan's history. It consists of taking part in worship events at local shrines. Before the Meiji Restoration, shrines were disorganized institutions attached to Buddhist temples; the current successor to the imperial organization system, the Association of Shinto Shrines, oversees about 80,000 shrines nationwide. Imperial Household Shinto are the religious rites performed by the imperial family at the three shrines on the imperial grounds, including the Ancestral Spirits Sanctuary and the Sanctuary of the Kami.
Folk Shinto includes the numerous folk beliefs in spirits. Practices include divination, spirit possession, shamanic healing; some of their practices come from Buddhism, Taoism or Confucianism, but most come from ancient local traditions. Sect Shinto is a legal designation created in the 1890s to separate government-owned shrines from local organised religious communities; these communities originated in the Edo period. The basic difference between Shrine Shinto and Sect Shinto is that sects are a development and grew self-consciously, they can identify a founder, a formal set of teachings and sacred scriptures. Sect Shinto groups are thirteen, classified under five headings: pure Shinto sects, Confucian sects,mountain worship sects, purification sects, faith-healing sects (Kurozumikyo／黒住教, Konkokyo/金光教 and its branching Omotokyo/大本教 and Tenrikyo／天理教. Koshintō, literally'Old Shinto', is a reconstructed "Shinto from before the time of Buddhism", today based on Ainu religion and Ryukyuan practices.
It continues the restoration movement begun by Hirata Atsutane. Many other sects and schools can be distinguished. Faction Shinto is a grouping of Japanese new religions developed since the second half of the 20th century that have departed from traditional Shinto and are not always regarded as part of it. Kami, shin, or, jin is defined in English as "god", "spirit", or "spiritual essence", all these terms meaning "the energy generating a thing". Since the Japanese language does not distinguish between singular and plural, kami refers to the divinity, or sacred essence, that manifests in multiple forms. Rocks, rivers, objects, places
Empress Jitō was the 41st monarch of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Jitō's reign spanned the years from 686 through 697. In the history of Japan, Jitō was the third of eight women to take on the role of empress regnant; the two female monarchs before Jitō were Kōgyoku/Saimei. The five women sovereigns reigning after Jitō were Genmei, Genshō, Kōken/Shōtoku, Meishō, Go-Sakuramachi. Empress Jitō was the daughter of Emperor Tenji, her mother was Ochi-no-Iratsume, the daughter of Minister Ō-omi Soga no Yamada-no Ishikawa Maro. She was the wife of Tenji's full brother Emperor Tenmu. Empress Jitō's given name was Unonosasara, or alternately Uno. Jitō took responsibility for court administration after the death of her husband, Emperor Tenmu, her uncle, she acceded to the throne in 687 in order to ensure the eventual succession of her son, Kusakabe-shinnō. Throughout this period, Empress Jitō ruled from the Fujiwara Palace in Yamato. In 689, Jitō prohibited Sugoroku, in 690 at enthronement she performed special ritual gave pardon and in 692 she travelled to Ise against the counsel of minister Miwa-no-Asono-Takechimaro.
Prince Kusakabe was named as crown prince to succeed Jitō. Kusakabe's son, Karu-no-o, was named as Jitō's successor, he would become known as Emperor Monmu. Empress Jitō reigned for eleven years. Although there were seven other reigning empresses, their successors were most selected from amongst the males of the paternal Imperial bloodline, why some conservative scholars argue that the women's reigns were temporary and that male-only succession tradition must be maintained in the 21st century. Empress Genmei, followed on the throne by her daughter, Empress Genshō, remains the sole exception to this conventional argument. In 697, Jitō abdicated in Mommu's favor. After this, her imperial successors who retired took the same title after abdication. Jitō continued to hold power as a cloistered ruler, which became a persistent trend in Japanese politics; the actual site of Jitō's grave is known. This empress is traditionally venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine at Nara; the Imperial Household Agency designates this location as Jitō's mausoleum.
It is formally named Ochi-no-Okanoe no misasagi. Kugyō is a collective term for the few most powerful men attached to the court of the Emperor of Japan in pre-Meiji eras. In general, this elite group included only three to four men at a time; these were hereditary courtiers whose experience and background would have brought them to the pinnacle of a life's career. During Jitō's reign, this apex of the Daijō-kan included: Daijō-daijin, Takechi-shinnō Sadaijin Udaijin Naidaijin Jitō's reign is not linked by scholars to any era or nengō; the Taika era innovation of naming time periods – nengō – languished until Mommu reasserted an imperial right by proclaiming the commencement of Taihō in 701. See Japanese era name – "Non-nengo periods" See Jitō period; however and Ishida's translation of Gukanshō offers an explanation which muddies a sense of easy clarity: "The eras that fell in this reign were: the remaining seven years of Shuchō. In the third year of the Taka era, Empress Jitō yielded the throne to the Crown Prince."
The Man'yōshū includes poems said to have been composed by Jitō: After the death of the Emperor Tenmu:Composed when the Empress climbed the Thunder Hill: One of the poems attributed to Empress Jitō was selected by Fujiwara no Teika for inclusion in the popular anthology Hyakunin Isshu: Emperor of Japan Imperial cult Japanese empresses List of Emperors of Japan Aston, William George.. Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to A. D. 697. London: Kegan Paul, Trubner. OCLC 448337491 Brown, Delmer M. and Ichirō Ishida, eds.. Gukanshō: The Future and the Past. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-03460-0. "Hyakunin-Isshu: Single Songs of a Hundred Poets" in Transactions of the Asia Society of Japan. Tokyo: Asia Society of Japan.... Click link for digitized, full-text copy __________.. Kokka taikan. Tokyo: Teikoku Toshokan, Meiji 30–34. [reprinted Shinten kokka taikan, 10 vols. + 10 index vols. Kadokawa Shoten, Tokyo, 1983–1992. ISBN 978-4-04-020142-9 Nippon Gakujutsu Shinkōkai..
Man'yōshū. Tokyo: Iwanami shoten. [reprinted by Columbia University Press, New York, 1965. ISBN 0-231-08620-2. Rprinted by Dover Publications, New York, 2005. ISBN 978-0-486-43959-4 Ponsonby-Fane, Richard Arthur Brabazon.. The Imperial House of Japan. Kyoto: Ponsonby Memorial Society. OCLC 194887 Titsingh, Isaac.. Nihon Ōdai Ichiran. Paris: Royal Asiatic Society, Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. OCLC 5850691 Varley, H. Paul.. Jinnō Shōtōki: A Chronicle of Gods and Sovereigns. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-04940-5.
Nara is the capital city of Nara Prefecture located in the Kansai region of Japan. The city occupies the northern part of Nara Prefecture. Eight temples and ruins in Nara remain: Tōdai-ji, Saidai-ji, Kōfuku-ji, Kasuga Shrine, Gangō-ji, Yakushi-ji, Tōshōdai-ji, the Heijō Palace, together with Kasugayama Primeval Forest, collectively form "Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara", a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During 710 CE - 784 CE, Nara was the capital of Japan, the Emperor lived there before moving the capital to Kyoto. By the Heian period, a variety of different characters had been used to represent the name Nara: 乃楽, 乃羅, 平, 平城, 名良, 奈良, 奈羅, 常, 那良, 那楽, 那羅, 楢, 諾良, 諾楽, 寧, 寧楽 and 儺羅. A number of theories for the origin of the name Nara have been proposed, some of the better-known ones are listed here; the second theory in the list, by notable folklorist Kunio Yanagita, is most accepted at present. The Nihon Shoki suggests. According to this account, in September in the tenth year of Emperor Sujin, "leading selected soldiers went forward, climbed Nara-yama and put them in order.
Now the imperial forces flattened trees and plants. Therefore the mountain is called Nara-yama." Though the narrative itself is regarded as a folk etymology and few researchers regard it as historical, this is the oldest surviving suggestion, is linguistically similar to the following theory by Yanagita. "Flat land" theory: In his 1936 study of placenames, the author Kunio Yanagita states that "the topographical feature of an area of gentle gradient on the side of a mountain, called taira in eastern Japan and hae in the south of Kyushu, is called naru in the Chūgoku region and Shikoku. This word gives rise to the verb narasu, adverb narashi, adjective narushi." This is supported by entries in a dialect dictionary for nouns referring to flat areas: naru and naro. Yanagita further comments that the way in which the fact that so many of these placenames are written using the character 平, or other characters in which it is an element, demonstrates the validity of this theory. Citing a 1795 document, Inaba-shi from the province of Inaba, the eastern part of modern Tottori, as indicating the reading naruji for the word 平地, Yanagita suggests that naruji would have been used as a common noun there until the modern period.
Of course, the fact that "Nara" was written 平 or 平城 as above is further support for this theory. The idea that Nara is derived from 楢 nara is the next most common opinion; this idea was suggested by Yoshida Togo. This noun for the plant can be seen as early as in Man ` Harima-no-kuni Fudoki; the latter book states the place name Narahara in Harima derives from this nara tree, which might support Yoshida's theory. Note that the name of the nearby city of Kashihara contains a semantically similar morpheme. Nara could be a loan word from Korean nara; this idea was put forward by a linguist Matsuoka Shizuo. Not much about the Old Korean language is known today, the first written attestation of a word ancestral to Modern Korean nara is as late as the 15th century, such as in Yongbieocheonga, Wolinseokbo, or Beophwagyeongeonhae, there is no evidence that proves the word existed as far back as the 7th century; these 15th-century books used narah, an old form of nara in Korean, its older form might be reconstructed *narak.
American linguist Christopher I. Beckwith infers the Korean narak derives from the late Middle Old Chinese 壌, from early *narak, has no connection with Goguryoic and Japanese na. Kusuhara et al. points out this hypothesis cannot account for the fact there are lots of places named Nara and Naro besides this Nara. There is the idea. In some Tungusic languages such as Orok, na means land or the like; some have speculated about a connection between these Tungusic words and Old Japanese nawi, an archaic and somewhat obscure word that appears in the verb phrases nawi furu and nawi yoru. The "Flat land" theory is adopted by Nihon Kokugo Daijiten, various dictionaries for place names, history books on Nara and the like today, it is regarded as the most likely. By decree of an edict on March 11, 708 AD, Empress Genmei ordered the court to relocate to the new capital, Nara. Once known as Heijō or Heijō-kyō, the city was established as Japan’s first permanent capital in 710 CE. Heijō, as the ‘penultimate court’, was abandoned by the order of Emperor Kammu in 784 CE in favor of the temporary site of Nagaoka, Kyoto which retained the status of capital for 1,100 years, until the Meiji Emperor made the final move to Edo
The Nihon Shoki, sometimes translated as The Chronicles of Japan, is the second-oldest book of classical Japanese history. The book is called the Nihongi, it is more elaborate and detailed than the Kojiki, the oldest, has proven to be an important tool for historians and archaeologists as it includes the most complete extant historical record of ancient Japan. The Nihon Shoki was finished in 720 under the editorial supervision of Prince Toneri and with the assistance of Ō no Yasumaro dedicated to Empress Genshō; the Nihon Shoki begins with the Japanese creation myth, explaining the origin of the world and the first seven generations of divine beings, goes on with a number of myths as does the Kojiki, but continues its account through to events of the 8th century. It is believed to record the latter reigns of Emperor Tenji, Emperor Tenmu and Empress Jitō; the Nihon Shoki focuses on the merits of the virtuous rulers as well as the errors of the bad rulers. It describes diplomatic contacts with other countries.
The Nihon Shoki was written in classical Chinese. The Kojiki, on the other hand, is written in a combination of Chinese and phonetic transcription of Japanese; the Nihon Shoki contains numerous transliteration notes telling the reader how words were pronounced in Japanese. Collectively, the stories in this book and the Kojiki are referred to as the Kiki stories; the tale of Urashima Tarō is developed from the brief mention in Nihon Shoki that a certain child of Urashima visited Horaisan and saw wonders. The tale has plainly incorporated elements from the famous anecdote of "Luck of the Sea and Luck of the Mountains" found in Nihon Shoki; the developed Urashima tale contains the Rip Van Winkle motif, so some may consider it an early example of fictional time travel. Chapter 01: Kami no Yo no Kami no maki. Chapter 02: Kami no Yo no Shimo no maki. Chapter 03: Kan'yamato Iwarebiko no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 04: Kamu Nunakawamimi no Sumeramikoto. Shikitsuhiko Tamatemi no Sumeramikoto. Ōyamato Hikosukitomo no Sumeramikoto.
Mimatsuhiko Sukitomo no Sumeramikoto. Yamato Tarashihiko Kuni Oshihito no Sumeramikoto. Ōyamato Nekohiko Futoni no Sumeramikoto. Ōyamato Nekohiko Kunikuru no Sumeramikoto. Wakayamato Nekohiko Ōbibi no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 05: Mimaki Iribiko Iniye no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 06: Ikume Iribiko Isachi no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 07: Ōtarashihiko Oshirowake no Sumeramikoto. Waka Tarashihiko no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 08: Tarashi Nakatsuhiko no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 09: Okinaga Tarashihime no Mikoto. Chapter 10: Homuda no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 11: Ōsasagi no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 12: Izahowake no Sumeramikoto. Mitsuhawake no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 13: Oasazuma Wakugo no Sukune no Sumeramikoto. Anaho no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 14: Ōhatsuse no Waka Takeru no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 15: Shiraka no Take Hirokuni Oshi Waka Yamato Neko no Sumeramikoto. Woke no Sumeramikoto. Oke no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 16: Ohatsuse no Waka Sasagi no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 17: Ōdo no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 18: Hirokuni Oshi Take Kanahi no Sumeramikoto.
Take Ohirokuni Oshi Tate no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 19: Amekuni Oshiharaki Hironiwa no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 20: Nunakakura no Futo Tamashiki no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 21: Tachibana no Toyohi no Sumeramikoto. Hatsusebe no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 22: Toyomike Kashikiya Hime no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 23: Okinaga Tarashi Hihironuka no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 24: Ame Toyotakara Ikashi Hitarashi no Hime no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 25: Ame Yorozu Toyohi no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 26: Ame Toyotakara Ikashi Hitarashi no Hime no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 27: Ame Mikoto Hirakasuwake no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 28: Ama no Nunakahara Oki no Mahito no Sumeramikoto, Kami no maki. Chapter 29: Ama no Nunakahara Oki no Mahito no Sumeramikoto, Shimo no maki. Chapter 30: Takamanohara Hirono Hime no Sumeramikoto; the background of the compilation of the Nihon Shoki is that Emperor Tenmu ordered 12 people, including Prince Kawashima, to edit the old history of the empire. Shoku Nihongi notes that "先是一品舍人親王奉勅修日本紀。至是功成奏上。紀卅卷系圖一卷" in the part of May, 720.
It means "Up to that time, Prince Toneri had been compiling Nihongi on the orders of the emperor. The process of compilation is studied by stylistic analysis of each chapter. Although written in classical Chinese character, some sections use styles characteristic of Japanese editors; the Nihon Shoki is a synthesis of older documents on the records, continuously kept in the Yamato court since the sixth century. It includes documents and folklore submitted by clans serving the court. Prior to Nihon Shoki, there were Tennōki and Kokki compiled by Prince Shōtoku and Soga no Umako, but as they were stored in Soga's residence, they were burned at the time of the Isshi Incident; the work's contributors refer to various sources
Emperor Yūryaku was the 21st Emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. He is remembered as a patron of sericulture. No firm dates can be assigned to this Emperor's life or reign, but he is conventionally considered to have reigned from 456 to 479. Yūryaku was a 5th-century monarch; the reign of Emperor Kinmei, the 29th Emperor, is the first for which contemporary historiography is able to assign verifiable dates. According to the Kojiki, this Emperor is said to have ruled from the Thirteenth Day of the Eleventh Month of 456 until his death on the Seventh Day of the Eight Month of 479. According to Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, Yūryaku was named Prince Ōhatsuse Wakatake at birth. Yūryaku is a name posthumously assigned to him by a much era, he was the fifth and youngest son of Emperor Ingyō. After his elder brother Emperor Ankō was murdered, he won the struggle against his other brothers and became the new Emperor. Yūryaku's contemporary title would not have been tennō, as most historians believe this title was not introduced until the reigns of Emperor Tenmu and Empress Jitō.
Rather, it was Sumeramikoto or Amenoshita Shiroshimesu Ōkimi, meaning "the great king who rules all under heaven". Alternatively, Hanzei might have been referred to as ヤマト大王/大君 or the "Great King of Yamato", he had three wives. His successor, Prince Shiraka, was his son by his wife Kazuraki no Karahime. In 463, Yūryaku Tennō invited the thunder god of the Mimuro hill to come to the Imperial Palace, ordered Chiisakobe no muraji Sugaru to fetch the deity, he obliged, thinking the supernatural being would have no reason to refuse the invitation, rode carrying a halberd with a red banner, symbolising his office of royal messenger. Soon enough, the thunder stroke, Sugaru enlisted the help of priests to enshrine the kami into a portable carriage, to be brought in the Emperor's presence, as a great serpent. But, said Emperor neglected to practice proper ritual purification and religious abstinence; the thunder kami showed his displeasure through thundering and threatening fiery eyeballs, Emperor Yūryaku fled into the interior of the Palace while covering his eyes.
The great serpent was returned to Mimuro, the Emperor made many offerings to appease the angry deity. This story is recorded in Nihongi and mentioned by William George Aston, in "Shinto, the Ancient Religion of Japan" as well as several other books. According to the Nihongi, Yūryaku was of ungovernable and suspicious temperament, committed many acts of arbitrary cruelty; the actual site of Yūryaku's grave is not known. The Emperor is traditionally venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine in Habikino, designated by the Imperial Household Agency as Yūryaku's mausoleum, it is formally named Tajihi no Takawashi-no-hara no misasagi. Empress: Princess Kusaka-no-hatabihime, Emperor Nintoku's daughter Consort: Katsuragi no Karahime, Katsuragi no Tsubura no Ōomi's daughter Third Son: Prince Shiraka Emperor Seinei Princess Takuhatahime, SaiōConsort: Kibi no Wakahime, Kibi no Kamitsumichi no omi's daughter Prince Iwaki Prince Hoshikawa no Wakamiya Consort: Wani no ominagimi, Kasuga no Wani no omi Fukame's daughter Princess Kasuga no Ōiratsume, married to Emperor Ninken According to the Book of Song, a King Bu from Japan dispatched envoys to the Emperor of Liu Song, a minor Chinese dynasty, in both 477 and 478.
Communications included a notice that the previous ruler, an older brother, had died, that Bu had ascended to the throne. The King'Bu' in this document is believed to refer to Emperor Yūryaku, due to the fact that the character used to write the name is found in the name by which Emperor Yūryaku was called during his lifetime: Ōhatsuse Wakatakeru no Mikoto; the inscriptions on the Inariyama and Eta Funayama Sword supports the idea that Bu is an equivalent of Emperor Yūryaku. The Chinese historical records state that Bu began his rule before 477, was recognized as the ruler of Japan by the Liu Song, Southern Qi, Liang dynasties, continued his rule through to 502; the Emperor's interest in poetry is amongst the more well-documented aspects of his character and reign. Poems attributed to him are included in the Man'yōshū, a number of his verses are preserved in the Kojiki and the Nihonshoki. Emperor of Japan List of Emperors of Japan Eta Funayama Sword Five kings of Wa Imperial cult Inariyama Sword Aston, William George..
Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to A. D. 697. London: Kegan Paul, Trubner. OCLC 448337491 Batten, Bruce Loyd.. Gateway to Japan: Hakata in war and peace, 500–1300. Honolulu:University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-2971-1. Gukanshō: The Future and the Past. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-03460-0; the Manyōshū: The Nippon Gakujutsu Shinkokai Translation of One Thousand Poems. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-08620-2 Ponsonby-Fane, Richard Arthur Brabazon.. The Imperial House of Japan. Kyoto: Ponsonby Memorial Society. OCLC 194887 Titsingh, Isaac.. Nihon Ōdai Ichiran. Paris: Royal Asiatic Society, Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. OCLC 5850691 Varley, H. Paul.. Jinnō Shōtōki: A Chronicle of Gods an
Emperor Tenmu was the 40th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Tenmu's reign lasted from 673 until his death in 686. Tenmu was the youngest son of Emperor Jomei and Empress Kōgyoku, the younger brother of the Emperor Tenji, his name at birth was Prince Ōama. He was succeeded by Empress Jitō, both his niece and his wife. During the reign of his elder brother, Emperor Tenji, Tenmu was forced to marry several of Tenji's daughters because Tenji thought those marriages would help to strengthen political ties between the two brothers; the nieces he married included Princess Unonosarara, today known as Empress Jitō, Princess Ōta. Tenmu had other consorts whose fathers were influential courtiers. Tenmu had many children, including his crown prince Kusakabe by Princess Unonosarara. Through Prince Kusakabe, Tenmu had two empresses among his descendents. Empress Kōken was the last of these imperial rulers from his lineage. Emperor Tenmu is the first monarch of Japan, to whom the title Tennō was assigned contemporaneously—not only by generations.
The only document on his life was Nihon Shoki. However, it was edited by his son, Prince Toneri, the work was written during the reigns of his wife and children, causing one to suspect its accuracy and impartiality, he is mentioned in the preface to the Kojiki, being hailed as the emperor to have commissioned them. Tenmu's father died while he was young, he grew up under the guidance of Empress Saimei, he was not expected to gain the throne, because his brother Tenji was the crown prince, being the older son of their mother, the reigning empress. During the Tenji period, Tenmu was appointed his crown prince; this was because Tenji had no appropriate heir among his sons at that time, as none of their mothers was of a rank high enough to give the necessary political support. Tenji was suspicious that Tenmu might be so ambitious as to attempt to take the throne, felt the necessity to strengthen his position through politically advantageous marriages. Tenji was active in improving the military institutions, established during the Taika reforms.
In his old age, Tenji had Prince Ōtomo, by a low-ranking consort. Since Ōtomo had weak political support from his maternal relatives, the general wisdom of the time held that it was not a good idea for him to ascend to the throne, yet Tenji was obsessed with the idea. In 671 Tenmu felt himself to be in danger and volunteered to resign the office of crown prince to become a monk, he moved to the mountains in Yoshino, Yamato Province for reasons of seclusion. He took with him one of his wives, Princess Unonosarara, a daughter of Tenji. However, he left all his other consorts at the capital. A year Tenji died and Prince Ōtomo ascended to the throne as Emperor Kōbun. Tenmu assembled an army and marched from Yoshino to the east, to attack the capital of Omikyō in a counterclockwise movement, they marched through Yamato and Mino Provinces to threaten Omikyō in the adjacent province. The army of Tenmu and the army of the young Emperor Kōbun fought in the northwestern part of Mino. Tenmu's army won and Kōbun committed suicide, an incident known as the Jinshin War.
Post-Meiji chronology In the 10th year of Tenji, in the 11th month: Emperor Tenji, in the 10th year of his reign, designated his son as his heir. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Kōbun is said to have acceded to the throne. If this understanding were valid it would it would follow:In the 1st year of Kōbun: Emperor Kōbun, in the 1st year of his reign, died. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Tenmu could be said to have acceded to the throne. Pre-Meiji chronology Prior to the 19th century, Otomo was understood to have been a mere interloper, a pretender, an anomaly; as might be expected, Emperor Tenmu was no less active than former-Emperor Tenji in improving the Taika military institutions. Tenmu's reign brought many changes, such as: a centralized war department was organized. In 673 Tenmu moved the capital back to Yamato on the Kiymihara plain; the Man'yōshū includes a poem written after the Jinshin War ended: Our Sovereign, a god, Has made his Imperial City Out of the stretch of swamps, Where chestnut horses sank To their bellies.
– Ōtomo Miyuki At Asuka, Emperor Tenmu was enthroned. He elevated Unonosarara to be his empress. Events of his reign include: 674: Ambassadors of Tane no kuni were received in th
Emperor of Japan
The Emperor of Japan is the head of the Imperial Family and the head of state of Japan. Under the 1947 constitution, he is defined as "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people." He was the highest authority of the Shinto religion. In Japanese, the Emperor is called Tennō "heavenly sovereign". In English, the use of the term Mikado for the Emperor was once common, but is now considered obsolete; the Emperor of Japan is the only head of state in the world with the English title of "Emperor". The Imperial House of Japan is the oldest continuing monarchical house in the world; the historical origins of the Emperors lie in the late Kofun period of the 3rd–7th centuries AD, but according to the traditional account of the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, Japan was founded in 660 BC by Emperor Jimmu, said to be a direct descendant of the sun-goddess Amaterasu. The current Emperor is Akihito, he acceded to the Chrysanthemum Throne upon the death of his father, Emperor Shōwa, in 1989. The Japanese government announced in December 2017 that Akihito will abdicate on 30 April 2019.
The role of the Emperor of Japan has alternated between a ceremonial symbolic role and that of an actual imperial ruler. Since the establishment of the first shogunate in 1199, the Emperors of Japan have taken on a role as supreme battlefield commander, unlike many Western monarchs. Japanese Emperors have nearly always been controlled by external political forces, to varying degrees. In fact, between 1192 and 1867, the shōguns, or their shikken regents in Kamakura, were the de facto rulers of Japan, although they were nominally appointed by the Emperor. After the Meiji Restoration in 1867, the Emperor was the embodiment of all sovereign power in the realm, as enshrined in the Meiji Constitution of 1889. Since the enactment of the 1947 Constitution, he has been a ceremonial head of state without nominal political powers. Since the mid-nineteenth century, the Imperial Palace has been called Kyūjō Kōkyo, is on the former site of Edo Castle in the heart of Tokyo. Earlier, Emperors resided in Kyoto for nearly eleven centuries.
The Emperor's Birthday is a national holiday. Unlike most constitutional monarchs, the Emperor is not the nominal chief executive. Article 65 explicitly vests executive power in the Cabinet, of which the Prime Minister is the leader; the Emperor is not the commander-in-chief of the Japan Self-Defense Forces. The Japan Self-Defense Forces Act of 1954 explicitly vests this role with the Prime Minister; the Emperor's powers are limited only to important ceremonial functions. Article 4 of the Constitution stipulates that the Emperor "shall perform only such acts in matters of state as are provided for in the Constitution and he shall not have powers related to government." It stipulates that "the advice and approval of the Cabinet shall be required for all acts of the Emperor in matters of state". Article 4 states that these duties can be delegated by the Emperor as provided for by law. While the Emperor formally appoints the Prime Minister to office, Article 6 of the Constitution requires him to appoint the candidate "as designated by the Diet", without giving the Emperor the right to decline appointment.
Article 6 of the Constitution delegates the Emperor the following ceremonial roles: Appointment of the Prime Minister as designated by the Diet. Appointment of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as designated by the Cabinet; the Emperor's other duties are laid down in article 7 of the Constitution, where it is stated that "the Emperor, with the advice and approval of the Cabinet, shall perform the following acts in matters of state on behalf of the people." In practice, all of these duties are exercised only in accordance with the binding instructions of the Cabinet: Promulgation of amendments of the constitution, cabinet orders, treaties. Convocation of the Diet. Dissolution of the House of Representatives. Proclamation of general election of members of the Diet. Attestation of the appointment and dismissal of Ministers of State and other officials as provided for by law, of full powers and credentials of Ambassadors and Ministers. Attestation of general and special amnesty, commutation of punishment and restoration of rights.
Awarding of honors. Attestation of instruments of ratification and other diplomatic documents as provided for by law. Receiving foreign ambassadors and ministers. Performance of ceremonial functions. Regular ceremonies of the Emperor with a constitutional basis are the Imperial Investitures in the Tokyo Imperial Palace and the Speech from the Throne ceremony in the House of Councillors in the National Diet Building; the latter ceremony opens extra sessions of the Diet. Ordinary sessions are opened each January and after new elections to the House of Representatives. Extra sessions convene in the autumn and are opened then. Although the Emperor has been a symbol of continuity with the past, the degree of power exercised by the Emperor has varied throughout Japanese history. In the early 7th century, the Emperor had begun to be called the "Son of Heaven"; the title of Emperor was borrowed from China, being derived from Chinese characters and was retroactively applied to the legendary Japanese rulers who reigned before the 7th–8th centuries AD.
According to the traditional account of the Nihon Shoki, Japan was founded by Emperor Jimmu in 660 BC. Modern historians agree that the Emperors before the possible late 3rd century AD ruler known traditionally as Emperor Ōjin are legendary. Emperor Ank