Richard Arthur Brabazon Ponsonby-Fane was a British academic, specialist of Shinto and Japanologist. Richard Arthur Brabazon Ponsonby was born at Gravesend on the south bank of the Thames in Kent, England to John Henry and Florence Ponsonby, his boyhood was spent in the family home in London and at the Somerset country home, Brympton d'Evercy, of his grandfather, Spencer Ponsonby-Fane. Ponsonby was educated at Harrow School, he added "Fane" to his own name when he inherited Brympton d'Evercy in 1916 after the deaths of both his grandfather and father. In 1896, Ponsonby traveled to Cape Town to serve as Private Secretary to the Governor of the British Cape Colony. For the next two decades, his career in the British Empire's colonial governments spanned the globe, he worked with a number of colonial leaders as private secretary to the Governor of Natal, to the Governor of Trinidad and Tobago, to the Governor of Ceylon, to the Governor of Hong Kong. He was re-posted to Natal in 1907. In 1910 he played a single first-class cricket match for the Marylebone Cricket Club.
In 1915-1919, he was re-posted as private secretary to the Governor of Hong Kong. In addition to his government duties in Hong Kong, he began lecturing at the University of Hong Kong in 1916. After 1919, Ponsonby-Fane became a permanent resident of Japan, traveling four months of the year to Hong Kong for lectures at the Crown colony's university. In 1921, when the Japanese Crown Prince visited Hong Kong en route to Europe, Ponsonby-Fane was introduced as his interpreter; when Emperor Shōwa was enthroned in 1928, he was the only non-Japanese guest, invited to witness the ceremonies from in front of the palace's Kenreimon gate. In 1930, when HIH Prince Takamatsu and his wife traveled to Europe, Ponsonby-Fane sailed on the same ship. In 1932, Ponsonby-Fane built a Japanese-style home in one of the northern suburbs of Kyoto. In the last decades of his life, he was always photographed with a long woolen scarf draped around his shoulders; this unique scarf was said to be hand-knit by Dowager Empress Teimei, the widow of Emperor Taishō.
Ponsonby-Fane died at home in Kyoto in December 1937. In an overview of writings by and about Richard Ponsonby-Fane, OCLC/WorldCat lists 74 works in 136 publications in 2 languages and 1,443 library holdings; this list is not finished. The Imperial Family of Japan, 1915 The Capital and Palace of Heian, 1924 The Vicissitudes of Shinto, 1931 The Nomenclature of the N. Y. K. Fleet, 1931 Kamo Mioya Shrine, 1934 Kyoto: the Old Capital of Japan, 794-1869, 1956 The Imperial House of Japan, 1959 Sovereign and Subject, 1962 Studies in Shinto and Shrines, 1962 The Vicissitudes of Shinto, 1963 Visiting Famous Shrines in Japan, 1964 Order of the Rising Sun. Order of the Sacred Treasure, 1921. University of Hong Kong, Honorary Doctor of Laws, 1926. Private Secretary to the Sovereign Britton, Dorothy.. "Richard Ponsonby-Fane, A Modern William Adams," pp. 190-204 in Britain and Japan: Biographical Portraits. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-873410-62-2 Fiévé, Nicolas.. Japanese Capitals in Historical Perspective: Place and Memory in Kyoto and Tokyo.
ISBN 9780700714094. "A Biographical sketch of Dr. R. Ponsonby-Fane," Studies in Shrines. Kyoto: Ponsonby Memorial Society. OCLC 399449
The Shōgun was the military dictator of Japan during the period from 1185 to 1868. The shogunate was their government. In most of this period, the shōguns were the de facto rulers of the country, although nominally they were appointed by the Emperor as a ceremonial formality; the shōguns held absolute power over territories through military means. An unusual situation occurred in the Kamakura period upon the death of the first shōgun, whereby the Hōjō clan's hereditary titles of shikken and tokusō dominated the shogunate as dictatorial positions, collectively known as the Regent Rule; the shōguns during this 134-year period met the same fate as the Emperor and were reduced to figurehead status until a coup d'état in 1333, when the shōgun was restored to power in the name of the Emperor. Shōgun is the short form of Sei-i Taishōgun, the individual governing the country at various times in the history of Japan, ending when Tokugawa Yoshinobu relinquished the office to Emperor Meiji in 1867; the tent symbolized the field commander but denoted that such an office was meant to be temporary.
The shōgun's officials were collectively the bakufu, were those who carried out the actual duties of administration, while the imperial court retained only nominal authority. In this context, the office of the shōgun had a status equivalent to that of a viceroy or governor-general, but in reality, shōguns dictated orders to everyone including the reigning Emperor. In contemporary terms, the role of the shōgun was equivalent to that of a generalissimo; the title of Sei-i Taishōgun was given to military commanders during the early Heian period for the duration of military campaigns against the Emishi, who resisted the governance of the Kyoto-based imperial court. Ōtomo no Otomaro was the first Sei-i Taishōgun. The most famous of these shōguns was Sakanoue no Tamuramaro. In the Heian period, one more shōgun was appointed. Minamoto no Yoshinaka was named sei-i taishōgun during the Genpei War, only to be killed shortly thereafter by Minamoto no Yoshitsune. In the early 11th century, daimyō protected by samurai came to dominate internal Japanese politics.
Two of the most powerful families – the Taira and Minamoto – fought for control over the declining imperial court. The Taira family seized control from 1160 to 1185, but was defeated by the Minamoto in the Battle of Dan-no-ura. Minamoto no Yoritomo seized power from the central government and aristocracy and established a feudal system based in Kamakura in which the private military, the samurai, gained some political powers while the Emperor and the aristocracy remained the de jure rulers. In 1192, Yoritomo was awarded the title of Sei-i Taishōgun by the Emperor and the political system he developed with a succession of shōguns as the head became known as a shogunate. Yoritomo's wife's family, the Hōjō, seized power from the Kamakura shōguns; when Yoritomo's sons and heirs were assassinated, the shōgun himself became a hereditary figurehead. Real power rested with the Hōjō regents; the Kamakura shogunate lasted for 150 years, from 1192 to 1333. In 1274 and 1281, the Mongol Empire launched invasions against Japan.
An attempt by Emperor Go-Daigo to restore imperial rule in the Kenmu Restoration in 1331 was unsuccessful, but weakened the shogunate and led to its eventual downfall. The end of the Kamakura shogunate came when Kamakura fell in 1333, the Hōjō Regency was destroyed. Two imperial families – the senior Northern Court and the junior Southern Court – had a claim to the throne; the problem was solved with the intercession of the Kamakura shogunate, who had the two lines alternate. This lasted until 1331, when Emperor Go-Daigo tried to overthrow the shogunate to stop the alternation; as a result, Daigo was exiled. Around 1334 -- 1336, Ashikaga Takauji helped; the fight against the shogunate left the Emperor with too many people claiming a limited supply of land. Takauji turned against the Emperor when the discontent about the distribution of land grew great enough. In 1336 Daigo was banished again, in favor of a new Emperor. During the Kenmu Restoration, after the fall of the Kamakura shogunate in 1333, another short-lived shōgun arose.
Prince Moriyoshi, son of Go-Daigo, was awarded the title of Sei-i Taishōgun. However, Prince Moriyoshi was put under house arrest and, in 1335, killed by Ashikaga Tadayoshi. In 1338, Ashikaga Takauji, like Minamoto no Yoritomo, a descendant of the Minamoto princes, was awarded the title of sei-i taishōgun and established the Ashikaga shogunate, which lasted until 1573; the Ashikaga had their headquarters in the Muromachi district of Kyoto, the time during which they ruled is known as the Muromachi period. While the title of Shōgun went into abeyance due to technical reasons, Oda Nobunaga and his successor, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who obtained the position of Imperial Regent, gained far greater power than any of their predecessors had. Hideyoshi is considered by many historians to be among Japan's greatest rulers. Tokugawa Ieyasu seized power and established a government at Edo in 1600, he received the title sei-i taishōgun in 1603, after he forged a family tree to show he was of Minamoto descent.
The Tokugawa shogunate lasted until 1867, when Tokugawa Yoshinobu resigned as shōgun and abdicated his authority to Emperor Meiji. Ieyasu set a precedent in 1605 when he retired as shōgun in favour of his son Tokugawa Hidetada, though he maintained power from b
The Tōkaidō road, which means "eastern sea route," was the most important of the Five Routes of the Edo period in Japan, connecting Kyoto to Edo. Unlike the inland and less travelled Nakasendō, the Tōkaidō travelled along the sea coast of eastern Honshū, hence the route's name; the standard method of travel was by foot, as wheeled carts were nonexistent and heavy cargo was sent by boat. Members of the higher class, travelled by kago. Women had to be accompanied by men. Other restrictions were put in place for travellers, while severe penalties existed for various travel regulations, most seem not to have been enforced. Along the Tōkaidō, there were government-sanctioned post stations for travellers in; these stations consisted of porter stations and horse stables, as well as lodging and other places a traveller may visit. The original Tōkaidō was made up of 53 stations between the termination points of Kyoto; the 53 stations were taken from the 53 Buddhist saints that Buddhist acolyte Sudhana visited to receive teachings in his quest for enlightenment.
The route passed through several provinces, each administered by a daimyō, the borders of whose regions were delineated. Numerous checkpoints had been set up by the government where travellers had to present travelling permits to pass or be turned back. There were no bridges over the larger, fast flowing rivers, forcing travelers to be ferried across by boat or be carried by watermen porters. Additionally, at one point in Nagoya the road was barred by several rivers and voyagers had to take a boat across the sea for 17 miles to reach Kuwana station; these water crossings were a potential source of delay: In ideal weather the entire Tōkaidō journey on foot could be made in about a week, but if conditions were bad a trip might take up to a month to complete. Travel along the Tōkaidō, was a popular topic in art and literature at the time. A great many guidebooks of famous places were published and distributed at this time, a culture of virtual tourism through books and pictures thrived. Jippensha Ikku's Tōkaidōchū Hizakurige, translated as "The Shank's Mare", is one of the more famous novels about a journey along the Tōkaidō.
The artist Hiroshige depicted each of the 53 Stations of the Tōkaidō in his work The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō, the haiku poet Matsuo Bashō travelled along the road. The Tōkaidō gojūsan tsui, created in 1845, is one of the most well-known and fascinating examples of woodblock prints inspired by the road. Japan's three leading print designers of the nineteenth century - Kuniyoshi and Kunisada - paired each Tōkaidō rest station with an intriguing, cryptic design. Due to the harsh and punitive Tenpō-era reforms which attempted to impose a defined morality, prints of celebrity actors and entertainers were outlawed during this time. Crafted to outwit the artistic restrictions imposed by the reforms, the woodcuts in the Parallel Series became popular visual puzzles that were reproduced; because of the ingenious approach to the Tōkaidō theme, the Tōkaidō gojūsan tsui has been praised as one of the most innovative and important works from the late Edo period. Its three designers followed their individual interests and strengths, yet shared a common composition - dominant figures against distant landscapes.
They used a variety of motifs, including stories from kabuki theater, famous tales, legends and local specialties. In the early 1980s, inspired by Hiroshige, American artist Bill Zacha travelled the Tokaido stations, he created a series of 55 serigraphs, each depicting one stop along the Tokaido way, printed 100 copies of each design. These were collected in the 1985 book Tokaido Journey, along with Bill's recollections of travelling the road and the people he encountered; the British painter Nigel Caple travelled along the Tōkaidō Road between 1998 and 2000, making drawings of the 53 stations along the Tōkaidō. His inspiration was the Hoeido Edition of woodblock prints entitled The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō by Utagawa Hiroshige; these drawings by Nigel Caple formed the basis for a series of paintings and culminated in a touring exhibition and lectures during 2001 and 2002. Locations included The British Museum; the exhibition was part of the UK’s Japan Festival 2001. The video game Tōkaidō Gojūsan-tsugi, released by Sunsoft for the Famicom in July 1986 and ported to other Nintendo platforms, features a firework maker protagonist who must travel the Tōkaidō to visit his fiancee, while thwarting attacks from a rival businessman.
The 2012 board game Tōkaidō, designed by Antoine Bauza, is set in the Edo period. Players can take on the roles of artists travelling the East Sea Road, among other things, panoramas of its views as they journey toward Edo. In 1619, the Ōsaka Kaidō was established as a spur of the Tōkaidō; this addition extended the route to Kōraibashi in Osaka. This spur was called the Kyōkaidō, or it was described as being a part of the 57 stations of the Tōkaidō. Today, the Tōkaidō corridor is the most travelled transportation corridor in Japan, connecting Greater Tokyo to Nagoya, to Osaka via Kyoto; the Tokyo-Nagoya-Kyoto-Osaka route is followed by the JR Tōkaidō Main Line and Tōkaidō Shinkansen, as well as the Tōmei and Meishin expressways. A few portions of the original road can still be found, in modern times a
Kyoto Kyoto City, is the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture, located in the Kansai region of Japan. It is best known in Japanese history for being the former Imperial capital of Japan for more than one thousand years, as well as a major part of the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe metropolitan area. In Japanese, Kyoto was called Kyō, Miyako, or Kyō no Miyako. In the 11th century, the city was renamed Kyoto, from the Chinese calligraphic, jingdu. After the city of Edo was renamed Tokyo in 1868, the seat of the Emperor was moved there, Kyoto was for a short time known as Saikyō. Kyoto is sometimes called the thousand-year capital; the National Diet never passed any law designating a capital. Foreign spellings for the city's name have included Kioto and Meaco, utilised by Dutch cartographers. Another term used to refer to the city in the pre-modern period was Keishi, meaning "urba" or "capital". Ample archaeological evidence suggests human settlement in Kyoto began as early as the Paleolithic period, although not much published material is retained about human activity in the area before the 6th century, around which time the Shimogamo Shrine is believed to have been established.
During the 8th century, when powerful Buddhist clergy became involved in the affairs of the Imperial government, Emperor Kanmu chose to relocate the capital in order to distance it from the clerical establishment in Nara. His last choice for the site was the village of Uda, in the Kadono district of Yamashiro Province; the new city, Heian-kyō, a scaled replica of the Tang capital Chang'an, became the seat of Japan's imperial court in 794, beginning the Heian period of Japanese history. Although military rulers established their governments either in Kyoto or in other cities such as Kamakura and Edo, Kyoto remained Japan's capital until the transfer of the imperial court to Tokyo in 1869 at the time of the Imperial Restoration; the city suffered extensive destruction in the Ōnin War of 1467–1477, did not recover until the mid-16th century. During the Ōnin War, the shugo collapsed, power was divided among the military families. Battles between samurai factions spilled into the streets, came to involve the court nobility and religious factions as well.
Nobles' mansions were transformed into fortresses, deep trenches dug throughout the city for defense and as firebreaks, numerous buildings burned. The city has not seen such widespread destruction since. In the late 16th century, Toyotomi Hideyoshi reconstructed the city by building new streets to double the number of north-south streets in central Kyoto, creating rectangle blocks superseding ancient square blocks. Hideyoshi built earthwork walls called odoi encircling the city. Teramachi Street in central Kyoto is a Buddhist temple quarter where Hideyoshi gathered temples in the city. Throughout the Edo period, the economy of the city flourished as one of three major cities in Japan, the others being Osaka and Edo; the Hamaguri rebellion of 1864 burnt down 28,000 houses in the city which showed the rebels' dissatisfaction towards the Tokugawa Shogunate. The subsequent move of the Emperor to Tokyo in 1869 weakened the economy; the modern city of Kyoto was formed on April 1, 1889. The construction of Lake Biwa Canal in 1890 was one measure taken to revive the city.
The population of the city exceeded one million in 1932. There was some consideration by the United States of targeting Kyoto with an atomic bomb at the end of World War II because, as an intellectual center of Japan, it had a population large enough to persuade the emperor to surrender. In the end, at the insistence of Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of War in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, the city was removed from the list of targets and replaced by Nagasaki; the city was spared from conventional bombing as well, although small-scale air raids did result in casualties. As a result, the Imperial City of Kyoto is one of the few Japanese cities that still have an abundance of prewar buildings, such as the traditional townhouses known as machiya. However, modernization is continually breaking down the traditional Kyoto in favor of newer architecture, such as the Kyōto Station complex. Kyoto became a city designated by government ordinance on September 1, 1956. In 1997, Kyoto hosted the conference.
Kyoto is located in a valley, part of the Yamashiro Basin, in the eastern part of the mountainous region known as the Tamba highlands. The Yamashiro Basin is surrounded on three sides by mountains known as Higashiyama and Nishiyama, with a height just above 1,000 metres above sea level; this interior positioning results in cold winters. There are three rivers in the basin, the Ujigawa to the south, the Katsuragawa to the west, the Kamogawa to the east. Kyoto City takes up 17.9% of the land in the prefecture with an area of 827.9 square kilometres. The original city was arranged in accordance with traditional Chinese feng shui following the model of the ancient Chinese capital of Chang'an; the Imperial Palace faced south. The streets in the modern-day wards of Nakagyō, Shimogyō, Kamigyō-ku still follow a grid pattern. Today, the main business district is located to the south of the old Imperial Palace, with the less-populated northern area retaining a fa
Ōshio Heihachirō was a former yoriki and a Neo-Confucianist scholar of the Wang Yangming school in Osaka. Despite working for the government, he was against the Tokugawa regime, he is known for his role as leader in the rebellion against the Tokugawa shogunate. Ōshio was born as the eldest son in a samurai family in 1793. At the age of 15 he discovered he had a shameful ancestor who spent his days writing documents in the company of prisoners and municipals; this finding was the immediate cause of his decision to become a disciple of Neo-confucianism. At the age of 24 he read a book about the morals and precepts of chinese philosopher Lü Kun and he became inspired by Lü Kun's master: Wang Yangming. From that moment on, Ōshio began his lifelong study aimed at the teachings of his students. From the age of 13, Ōshio was employed as a Yoriki. Additionally, he was a police inspector in Ōsaka, he proved his integrity by to oppose corruption. After 14 years he discovered that the new court official was a corrupt man which led to his resignation in 1830.
Henceforth he began a pilgrimage to a place called Ōmi. When he returned to Ōsaka, he began writing and teaching about the Yōmeigaku and founded his own private school called the Senshindō. Ōshio spent the rest of his retirement teaching his students. On he published a book called Senshindō Sakki, a compilation of scripts used in his lectures. Ōshio built upon the teachings of confucianism and the interpretation that learning innate knowledge could lead to inner peace and the transcendence of life and death. His metaphysics was based on Wang Yangming's theory about Makoto. Taikyō is the source of everything in the universe. One must turn to the absolute spirit if one wants to overcome the false, conventional categories of distinction; the re-identification with this absolute spirit makes life easier. One should adopt an attitude of true nature, sincere acts and an indifference to the concept of death. Sincerity is known in Buddhism for acting according to distinct standards. Ōshio adopted the idea of sincerity from Chinese philosopher Wang Yangming and gave the idea a unique Japanese interpretation.
One must act as a brave samurai. This inner quality is known as sincerity, it reflects the course of action Ōshio took during the rebellion. The shogunate of the Edo-period and influenced by the Tokugawa family since the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, next to climate, the biggest cause of suffering. Both the peasants and lower sub-caste samurai were affected by their actions. Agriculture and food production experienced a crisis due to a failed harvest in 1833 and 1836 and the government demanded high tax rates from ordinary citizens; this crisis was rare in the ever-prosperous Kansai and unrest spread into the big cities. The population protested against the high-rise rice prices and as an act of resistance began to ushi kowashi; this led to the destruction of a large part of Ōsaka. The unrest alarmed the Tokugawa shogunate and Ōshio, who at that moment was employed as a Yoriki. In 1837 Ōshio sought help from the administrators and wealthy merchants of Ōsaka, but his efforts were fruitless. There was no movement at the time for the rights of ordinary citizens, so Ōshio ensured that the anger of the population was channeled to an organized uprising.
Despite the fact that he had a lot of influence and was a member of the elite of Japan, he helped them fight the government's corruption. The failed harvest, which caused famine and high rice prices, together with exacerbating fiscal problems and problems with foreign countries, is called the Tenpō Crisis; this was the direct reason for the uprising led by Ōshio Heihachirō. Ōshio and his allies were forced to start the rebellion earlier than planned because a traitor informant had informed the authorities. On February 19, 1837, Ōshio set fire to his house in Ōsaka as a signal for his followers to start the rebellion before the Bakufu troops had the chance to suppress them, he ordered the farmers to burn tax archives and ordered the poor to rob the warehouses of the rich and redistribute the rice among the hungry population. Although planned in detail, the uprising was a fiasco; the insurgents were poorly trained in the use of weapons and combat techniques, but the bakufu troops were inadequate.
The government soldiers were able to suppress the uprising and Ōshio, together with his son, fled to the mountains. He lit his shelter on fire before the bakufu troops could arrest him, he burned himself and his son alive. One can conclude. More than 3,000 houses burned and 30,000 to 40,000 koku rice were destroyed; the majority of his followers committed suicide and from the 29 insurgents who were captured, only five survived the interrogations. The survivors were salted. Despite all the hype, it is still unclear what Ōshio's political strategy was. One suspects that he only wanted to help the population for confucian reasons. A positive outcome was that it sparked the country's interest in international politics and that social and economic problems were addressed. Cullen, L. M. A history of Japan, 1582–1941. Cambridge: Cambridge. Jansen, M. B; the making of modern Japan. Cambridge: Cambridge. Fred G. Notehelfer and Kokugaku, article by Encyclopædia Britannica Vincent Shen, Wisdom in China and the West, online reference work "Chinese Philosophical studies" Lou
The Mito rebellion called the Kantō Insurrection or the Tengutō Rebellion, was a civil war that occurred in the area of Mito Domain in Japan between May 1864 and January 1865. It involved an uprising and terrorist actions against the central power of the Shogunate in favour of the sonnō jōi policy. A shogunal pacification force was sent to the Mount Tsukuba on 17 June 1864, consisting of 700 Mito soldiers led by Ichikawa, with 3 to 5 cannons and at least 200 firearms, as well as a Tokugawa shogunate force of 3,000 men with over 600 firearms and several cannons; as the conflict escalated, on 10 October 1864 at Nakaminato, the shogunate force of 6,700 was defeated by 2000 insurgents, several shogunal defeats followed. The insurgents were weakening, dwindling to about 1,000. By December 1864 they faced a new force under Tokugawa Yoshinobu numbering over 10,000, which forced them to surrender; the uprising resulted in 1,300 dead on the rebels' side, which suffered vicious repression, including 353 executions and 100 who died in captivity.
Mito and Hikone had been hostile since the Sakurada Gate incident in 1860. Mito and Hikone were reconciled by Tsuruga, the deathplace of Tengutō members, after 110 years of the incident. Nuclear dense zones of Japan are concentrated near Mito and near Tsuruga, these two places are related by the Tengutō rebellion. Jōyō and Monju are two sodium-cooled fast reactors in Japan. Mito Domain Tsuruga: deathplace of Tengutō members Totman, Conrad.. The Collapse of the Tokugawa Bakufu, 1862–1868 University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, ISBN 0-8248-0614-X
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