Imperial Seal of Japan
The Imperial Seal of Japan called the Chrysanthemum Seal, Chrysanthemum Flower Seal or Imperial chrysanthemum emblem, is one of the national seals and a crest used by the Emperor of Japan and members of the Imperial Family. It is a contrast to the Paulownia Seal used by the Japanese government. During the Meiji period, no one was permitted to use the Imperial Seal except the Emperor of Japan, who used a 16 petal chrysanthemum with sixteen tips of another row of petals showing behind the first row. Therefore, each member of the Imperial family used a modified version of the seal. Shinto shrines either displayed the imperial seal or incorporated elements of the seal into their own emblems. Earlier in Japanese history, when Emperor Go-Daigo, who tried to break the power of the shogunate in 1333, was exiled, he adopted the seventeen-petal chrysanthemum to differentiate himself from the Northern Court's Emperor Kōgon, who kept the imperial 16-petal mon; the symbol is a orange chrysanthemum with black or red outlines and background.
A central disc is surrounded by a front set of 16 petals. A rear set of 16 petals are half staggered in relation to the front set and are visible at the edges of the flower. An example of the chrysanthemum being used is in the badge for the Order of the Chrysanthemum. Other members of the Imperial Family use a version with 14 single petals, while a form with 16 single petals is used for Diet members' pins, orders and other items that carry or represent the authority of the Emperor; the Imperial Seal is used on the standards of the Imperial Family. National seals of Japan Chrysanthemum Throne Imperial Seal of Korea Order of the Chrysanthemum Mon Media related to Imperial seals of Japan at Wikimedia Commons
State Shintō describes the Empire of Japan's ideological use of the native folk traditions of Shinto. The state encouraged Shinto practices to emphasize the Emperor as a divine being, exercised through control of shrine finances and training regimes for priests; the State Shinto ideology emerged at the start of the Meiji era, after government officials defined freedom of religion within the Meiji Constitution. Imperial scholars believed Shinto reflected the historical fact of the Emperor's divine origins rather than a religious belief, argued that it should enjoy a privileged relationship with the Japanese state; the government argued that Shinto was patriotic practice. Though early Meiji-era attempts to unite Shinto and the state failed, this non-religious concept of ideological Shinto was incorporated into state bureaucracy. Shrines were defined as patriotic, not religious, which served state purposes such as honoring the war dead; the state integrated local shrines into political functions spurring local opposition and resentment.
With fewer shrines financed by the state, nearly 80,000 merged with neighbors. Many shrines and shrine organizations began to independently embrace these state directives, regardless of funding. By 1940, Shinto priests risked persecution for performing traditionally "religious" Shinto ceremonies. Imperial Japan did not draw a distinction between traditional Shinto. US military leaders introduced the term "State Shinto" to differentiate the state's ideology from traditional Shinto practices in the 1945 Shinto Directive; that decree established Shinto as a religion, banned further ideological uses of Shinto by the state. Controversy continues to surround the use of Shinto symbols in state functions. Shinto is a blend of indigenous Japanese folk practices, court manners, spirit-worship which dates back to at least 600 AD; these beliefs were unified as "Shinto" during the Meiji era, though the Chronicles of Japan first referenced the term in the eighth century. Shinto has no set of doctrines or founder, but draws from a set of creation myths described in books such as the Kojiki.
The 1945 "Shinto Directive" of the United States General Headquarters introduced the "State Shinto" distinction when it began governing Japan after the second world war. The Shinto Directive, defined State Shinto as "that branch of Shinto which, by official acts of the Japanese government, has been differentiated from the religion of Sect Shinto and has been classified a non-religious national cult."The "State Shinto" term was thus used to categorize, abolish, Imperial Japanese practices that relied on Shinto to support nationalistic ideology. By refusing to ban Shinto practices outright, Japan's post-war constitution was thus able to preserve full Freedom of Religion; the definition of State Shinto requires distinction from the term "Shinto,", one aspect of a set of nationalist symbols integrated into the State Shinto ideology. Though some scholars, such as Woodard and Holtom, the Shinto Directive itself, use the terms "Shrine Shinto" and "State Shinto" interchangeably, most contemporary scholars use the term "Shrine Shinto" to refer to the majority of Shinto shrines which were outside of State Shinto influence, leaving "State Shinto" to refer to shrines and practices deliberately intended to reflect state ideology.
Most State Shinto refers to any use of Shinto practices incorporated into the national ideology during the Meiji period starting in 1868. It is described as any state-supported, Shinto-inspired ideology or practice intended to inspire national integration and loyalty. State Shinto is understood to refer to the state rituals and ideology of Emperor-worship, not a traditional emphasis of Shinto — of the 124 Japanese emperors, only 20 have dedicated shrines."State Shinto" was not an official designation for any practice or belief in Imperial Japan during this period. Instead, it was developed at the end of the war to describe the mixture of state support for non-religious shrine activities and immersive ideological support for the Kokutai policy in education, including the training of all shrine priests; this permitted a form of traditional religious Shinto to reflect a State Shinto position without the direct control of the state. The extent to which Emperor worship was supported by the population is unclear, though scholars such as Ashizu Uzuhiko, Sakamoto Koremaru, Nitta Hitoshi argue that the government's funding and control of Shrines was never adequate enough to justify a claim to the existence of a State Shinto.
The extent of popular support for the actions categorized as "State Shinto" is the subject of debate. Some contemporary Shinto authorities reject the concept of State Shinto, seek to restore elements of the practice, such as naming time periods after the Emperor; this view sees "State Shinto" purely as an invention of the United States' "Shinto Directive." "Religious" practice, in its Western sense, was unknown in Japan prior to the Meiji restoration. "Religion" was understood to encompass a series of beliefs about faith and the afterlife, but closely associated with Western power. The Meiji restoration had re-established the Emperor, a "religious" figure, as the head of the Japanese state. Religious freedom was a response to demands of Western governments. Japan had allowed Christian missionaries under pressure from Western governments, but viewed Christianity as a foreign threat; the state was challen
National seals of Japan
The national seals of Japan comprise the following emblems used for the purpose of authentication by the Emperor and government of Japan: The Government Seal of Japan The Imperial Seal of Japan The Privy Seal of Japan The State Seal of Japan Mon Flags of Japan Imperial Regalia of Japan Chrysanthemum Throne Japanese honors system Emperor Showa signing documents and using the State and Privy Seal of Japan Japan Crest free material hakkodaiodo—Detailed commentary on Japanese kamon and a list of images. Free material is eps format
Education in the Empire of Japan
Education in the Empire of Japan was a high priority for the government, as the leadership of the early Meiji government realized the critical need for universal public education in its drive to modernize and westernize Japan. Overseas missions such as the Iwakura Mission were sent abroad to study the education systems of leading Western countries. During the Edo period the common citizens of Japan were given limited means of education. What these low-class citizens did learn was geared towards the basic and practical subjects such as reading and arithmetic; the change came forth during the Meiji period. After sending several learned Japanese representatives to travel abroad, the government was able to learn many aspects of the West, from that developed a new process of education for the country. By the late 1860s, the Meiji leaders had established a system that declared equality in education for all as a means by which to help in the process of Japan entering into a more modernized nation, it was required by law.
This was done for the purpose of not only instilling the values of what it meant to be a Japanese citizen, but to bring about the knowledge necessary for the people to understand how the new nation would work under Western methods. With the change in education there was brought about more opportunities to prosper in the newly evolving and modernizing Japanese nation. Individuals and families moved up in society in ways beyond the freedoms or abilities of their ancestors; as education changed, so too did the range of talents and efforts applied by the Japanese people to enhance their society. In 1871, the Ministry of Education was established, with a school system based on the American model, which promoted a utilitarian curriculum, but with the centrally-controlled school administration system copied from France. With the aid of foreign advisors, such as David Murray and Marion McCarrell Scott, Normal Schools for teacher education were created in each prefecture. Other advisors, such as George Adams Leland, were recruited to create specific types of curriculum.
Private schools run by Buddhist temples and neighborhood associations were nationalized as elementary schools. However, they added a new curriculum which emphasized conservative, traditional ideals more reflective of Japanese values. Confucian precepts were stressed those concerning the hierarchical nature of human relations, service to the new Meiji state, the pursuit of learning, morality; these ideals, embodied in the 1890 Imperial Rescript on Education, along with centralized government control over education guided Japanese education until the end of World War II. In December, 1885, the cabinet system of government was established, Mori Arinori became the first Minister of Education of Japan. Mori, together with Inoue Kowashi created the foundation of the Empire of Japan's educational system by issuing a series of orders from 1886; these laws established an elementary school system, middle school system, normal school system and an imperial university system. Elementary school was made compulsory from 1872, was intended to create loyal subjects of the Emperor.
Middle Schools were preparatory schools for students destined to enter one of the Imperial Universities, the Imperial Universities were intended to create westernized leaders who would be able to direct the modernization of Japan. With the increasing industrialization of Japan, demand increased for higher education and vocational training. Inoue Kowashi, who followed Mori as Minister of Education established a state vocational school system, promoted women's education through a separate girls' school system. Compulsory education was extended to six years in 1907. According to the new laws, textbooks could only be issued upon the approval of the Ministry of Education; the curriculum was centered on moral education, design and writing, Japanese calligraphy, Japanese history, science, drawing and physical education. All children of the same age learned each subject from the same series of textbook. During the Taishō and early Shōwa periods, from 1912-1937, the education system in Japan became centralized.
From 1917-1919, the government created the Extraordinary Council on Education, which issued numerous reports and recommendations on educational reform. One of the main emphases of the Council was in higher education. Prior to 1918, "university" was synonymous with "imperial university", but as a result of the Council, many private universities obtained recognized status; the Council introduced subsidies for families too poor to afford the tuitions for compulsory education, pushed for more emphasis on moral education. During this period, new social currents, including socialism, communism and liberalism exerted influences on teachers and teaching methods; the New Educational Movement led to teachers unions and student protest movements against the nationalist educational curriculum. The government responded with increased repression, adding some influences from the German system in an attempt to increase the patriotic spirit and step up the militarization of Japan; the Imperial Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors became compulsory reading for students during this period.
Specialized schools for the blind and for the deaf were established as early as 1878, were regulated and standardized by the government in the Blin
Emperor Taishō was the 123rd Emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession, reigning from 30 July 1912 until his death on 25 December 1926. The Emperor's personal name was Yoshihito. According to Japanese custom, during the reign the Emperor is called "the Emperor". After death, he is known by a posthumous name, the name of the era coinciding with his reign. Having ruled during the Taishō period, he is known as the "Taishō Emperor" or "Emperor Taishō". Prince Yoshihito was born at the Tōgū Palace in Akasaka, Tokyo to Emperor Meiji and Yanagihara Naruko, a concubine with the official title of gon-no-tenji; as was common practice at the time, Emperor Meiji's consort, Empress Shōken, was regarded as his mother. He received the personal name of Yoshihito Shinnō and the title Haru-no-miya from the Emperor on 6 September 1879, his two older siblings had died in infancy, he too was born sickly. Prince Yoshihito contracted cerebral meningitis within three weeks of his birth; as was the practice at the time, Prince Yoshihito was entrusted to the care of his great-grandfather, Marquess Nakayama Tadayasu, in whose house he lived from infancy until the age of seven.
Prince Nakayama had raised his grandson, Emperor Meiji, as a child. From March 1885, Prince Yoshihito moved to the Aoyama Detached Palace, where he was tutored in the mornings on reading, writing and morals, in the afternoons on sports, but progress was slow due to his poor health and frequent fevers. From 1886, he was taught together with 15–20 selected classmates from the ōke and higher ranking kazoku peerage at a special school, the Gogakumonsho, within the Aoyama Palace. Yoshihito was declared heir on 31 August 1887, had his formal investiture as crown prince on 3 November 1888. While crown prince, he was referred to as Tōgu. In September 1887, Yoshihito entered the elementary department of the Gakushūin, he spent much of his youth by the sea at the Imperial villas at Hayama and Numazu for health reasons. Although the prince showed skill in some areas, such as horse riding, he proved to be poor in areas requiring higher-level thought, he was withdrawn from Gakushuin before finishing the middle school course in 1894.
However, he did appear to have an aptitude for languages and continued to receive extensive tutoring in French and history from private tutors at the Akasaka Palace. From 1898 at the insistence of Itō Hirobumi, the Prince began to attend sessions of the House of Peers of the Diet of Japan as a way of learning about the political and military concerns of the country. In the same year, he gave his first official receptions to foreign diplomats, with whom he was able to shake hands and converse graciously, his infatuation with western culture and tendency to sprinkle French words into his conversations was a source of irritation for Emperor Meiji. In October 1898, the Prince traveled from the Numazu Imperial Villa to Kobe and Etajima, visiting sites connected with the Imperial Japanese Navy, he made another tour in 1899 to Kyūshū, visiting government offices and factories. On 10 May 1900, Crown Prince Yoshihito married the 15-year-old Kujō Sadako, daughter of Prince Kujō Michitaka, the head of the five senior branches of the Fujiwara clan.
She had been selected by Emperor Meiji for her intelligence and pleasant disposition and dignity – to complement Prince Yoshihito in the areas where he was lacking. The Akasaka Palace was constructed from 1899 to 1909 in a lavish European rococo style, to serve as the Crown Prince's official residence; the Prince and Princess had the following children: In 1902, Yoshihito continued his tours to observe the customs and geography of Japan, this time of central Honshū, where he visited the noted Buddhist temple of Zenkō-ji in Nagano. With tensions rising between Japan and Russia, Yoshihito was promoted in 1903 to the rank of colonel in the Imperial Japanese Army and captain in the Imperial Japanese Navy, his military duties were only ceremonial, but he traveled to inspect military facilities in Wakayama, Ehime and Okayama that year. In October 1907, the Crown Prince toured Korea, accompanied by Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō, General Katsura Tarō, Prince Arisugawa Taruhito, it was the first time an heir apparent to the throne had left Japan.
During this period, he began studying the Korean language, although he never became proficient at it. On 30 July 1912, upon the death of his father, Emperor Meiji, Prince Yoshihito mounted the throne; the new Emperor was kept out of view of the public as much as possible. On one of the rare occasions he was seen in public, the 1913 opening of the Imperial Diet of Japan, he is famously reported to have rolled his prepared speech into a cylinder and stared at the assembly through it, as if through a spyglass. Although rumors attributed this to poor mental condition, including those who knew him well, believed that he may have been checking to make sure the speech was rolled up properly, as his manual dexterit
Japanese nationalism is the nationalism that asserts that the Japanese are a monolithic nation with a single immutable culture, promotes the cultural unity of the Japanese. It encompasses a broad range of ideas and sentiments harbored by the Japanese people over the last two centuries regarding their native country, its cultural nature, political form and historical destiny, it is useful to distinguish Japanese cultural nationalism from political or state-directed nationalism, since many forms of cultural nationalism, such as those associated with folkloric studies, have been hostile to state-fostered nationalism. In Meiji period Japan, nationalist ideology consisted of a blend of native and imported political philosophies developed by the Meiji government to promote national unity and patriotism, first in defense against colonization by Western powers, in a struggle to attain equality with the Great Powers, it evolved throughout the Taishō and Shōwa periods to justify an totalitarian government and overseas expansionism, provided a political and ideological foundation for the actions of the Japanese military in the years leading up to World War II.
During the final days of the Tokugawa shogunate, the perceived threat of foreign encroachment after the arrival of Commodore Matthew C. Perry and the signing of the Kanagawa Accord, led to increased prominence to the development of nationalist ideologies; some prominent daimyō promoted the concept of fukko. The terms were not mutually exclusive, merging into the sonnō jōi concept, which in turn was a major driving force in starting the Meiji Restoration; the Meiji Constitution of 1889 defined allegiance to the State as the citizen's highest duty. While the constitution itself contained a mix of political Western practices and traditional Japanese political ideas, government philosophy centered on promoting social harmony and a sense of the uniqueness of the Japanese people; the extreme disparity in economic and military power between Japan and the Western colonial powers was a great cause for concern for the early Meiji leadership. The motto Fukoku kyōhei symbolized Meiji period nationalistic policies to provide government support to strengthen strategic industries.
Only with a strong economic base could Japan afford to build a strong, modern military along Western lines, only with a strong economy and military could Japan force a revision of the unequal treaties, such as the Kanagawa Accords. Government policies laid the basis of industrialist empires known as the zaibatsu; as a residue of its widespread use in propaganda during the 19th century, military nationalism in Japan was known as bushidō. The word, denoting a coherent code of beliefs and doctrines about the proper path of the samurai, or what is called generically'warrior thought', is encountered in Japanese texts before the Meiji era, when the 11 volumes of the Hagakure of Yamamoto Tsunetomo, compiled in the years from 1710 to 1716 where the character combination is employed, was published. Constituted over a long time by house manuals on war and warriorship, it gained some official backing with the establishment of the Bakufu, which sought an ideological orthodoxy in the Neo-Confucianism of Zhu Xi tailored for military echelons that formed the basis of the new shogunal government.
An important early role was played by Yamaga Sokō in theorizing a Japanese military ethos. After the abolition of the feudal system, the new military institutions of Japan were shaped along European lines, with Western instructors, the codes themselves modeled on standard models adapted from abroad; the impeccable behaviour, in terms of international criteria, displayed by the Japanese military in the Russo-Japanese War was proof that Japan had a modern army whose techniques and etiquette of war differed little from that of what prevailed among the Western imperial powers. The Imperial Rescript for Seamen and Soldiers, presented Japan as a "sacred nation protected by the gods". An undercurrent of traditional warrior values never wholly disappeared, as Japan slid towards a cycle of repeated crises from the mid-Taishō to early Shōwa eras, the old samurai ideals began to assume importance among more politicized officers in the Imperial Japanese Army. Sadao Araki played an important role in adapting a doctrine of seishin kyōiku as an ideological backbone for army personnel.
As Minister of Education, he supported the integration of the samurai code into the national education system. In developing the modern concepts of State Shintoism and emperor worship, various Japanese philosophers tried to revive or purify national beliefs by removing imported foreign ideas, borrowed from Chinese philosophy; this "Restoration Shintōist Movement" began with Motoori Norinaga in the 18th century. Motoori Norinaga, Hirata Atsutane, based their research on the Kojiki and other classic Shintō texts which teach the superiority of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu; this formed the basis for State Shintōism, as the Japanese emperor claimed direct descent from Amaterasu. The emperor himself was therefore sacred, all proclamations of the emperor had thus a religious significance. After the Meiji Restoration, the new imperial government needed to modernize the polity and economy of Japan, the Meiji oligarchy felt that those goals could only be accomplished through a strong sense of natio