- Meiji Tenno
- (1852-1912)The Meiji emperor, who reigned from 1867 to 1912, son of the previous emperor Komei. His personal name was Mutsuhito. Meiji is the era-name, which began in 1868 when, after the last Tokugawa shogun had ceded power to the imperial household, the new emperor took actual power and with the ritual of the 'Charter Oath' in the presence of the kami and government figures laid down the principles of imperial rule. The imperial capital was transferred to Tokyo (much against the wishes of the kokugaku traditionalists in the Jingikan) in 1869. From 1871 the emperor was educated in Japanese and Western thought under the direction of the Confucian scholar Motoda, Eifu and progressive samurai were brought in to staff the imperial household in place of the previous entourage. From the beginning the emperor dressed publicly in Western style and set an example in the adoption of Western technology and culture, combining a modernising outlook with a predilection for Japanese style poetry. He was personally involved in meeting influential foreign visitors, in military affairs and in the drafting and promulgation of the Meiji constitution, the Imperial Rescript on Education (kyoiku chokugo) and other edicts central to what became 'kokka shinto'. He was buried in Kyoto and is enshrined in the Meiji jingu.
A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. Brian Bocking.