|Emperor of Japan|
|Reign||30 July 1912 -|
|Enthronement||10 November 1915|
31 August 1879
T?g? Palace, Akasaka, Tokyo, Japan
|Died||25 December 1926 (aged 47)|
Imperial Villa, Hayama, Kanagawa, Japan
|Burial||8 February 1927|
|House||Imperial House of Japan|
Emperor Taish? (?, Taish?-tenn?, 31 August 1879 - 25 December 1926) was the 123rd Emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. He reigned as the Emperor of the Empire of Japan 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, which is the name of the era coinciding with his reign. Having ruled during the Taish? period, he is known as the "Emperor Taish?".
Prince Yoshihito was born at the T?g? Palace in Akasaka, Tokyo to Emperor Meiji and Yanagihara Naruko, a concubine with the official title of gon-no-tenji ("lady of the bedchamber"). As was common practice at the time, Emperor Meiji's consort, Empress Sh?ken, was officially regarded as his mother. He received the personal name of Yoshihito Shinn? and the title Haru-no-miya from the Emperor on 6 September 1879. His two older siblings had died in infancy, and he too was born sickly.
Prince Yoshihito contracted cerebral meningitis within three weeks of his birth. (It has also been rumoured that he suffered from lead poisoning, supposedly contracted from the lead-based makeup his wet nurse used.)
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 also 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, arithmetic, and morals, and 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 ?ke and higher ranking kazoku peerage at a special school, the Gogakumonsho, within the Aoyama Palace.
Yoshihito was officially declared heir on 31 August 1887, and had his formal investiture as crown prince on 3 November 1888. While crown prince, he was often referred to simply as T?gu () (a long-used generic East Asian term meaning crown prince).
In September 1887, Yoshihito entered the elementary department of the Gakush?in; but, due to his health problems, he was often unable to continue his studies. For health reasons, he spent much of his youth at the Imperial villas at Hayama and Numazu, both of which are located at the sea. 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 finally 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, Chinese, and history from private tutors at the Akasaka Palace; Emperor Meiji gave Prince Takehito responsibility for taking care of Prince Yoshihito, and the two princes became friends.
From 1898, largely at the insistence of It? 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 also traveled from the Numazu Imperial Villa to Kobe, Hiroshima, and Etajima, visiting sites connected with the Imperial Japanese Navy. He made another tour in 1899 to Ky?sh?, visiting government offices, schools and factories (such as Yawata Iron and Steel in Fukuoka and the Mitsubishi shipyards in Nagasaki).
On 10 May 1900, Crown Prince Yoshihito married the then 15-year-old Kuj? Sadako (the future Empress Teimei), daughter of Prince Kuj? Michitaka, the head of the five senior branches of the Fujiwara clan. She had been carefully selected by Emperor Meiji for her intelligence, articulation, 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:
|Hirohito, Emperor Sh?wa (, ?)||29 April 1901||7 January 1989||26 January 1924||Princess Nagako Kuni|
|Yasuhito, Prince Chichibu (?)||26 May 1902||4 January 1953||28 September 1928||Setsuko Matsudaira||none|
|Nobuhito, Prince Takamatsu (?)||1 March 1905||3 February 1987||4 February 1930||Kikuko Tokugawa||none|
|Takahito, Prince Mikasa (?)||2 December 1915||27 October 2016||22 October 1941||Yuriko Takagi|
In 1902, Yoshihito continued his tours to observe the customs and geography of Japan, this time of central Honsh?, where he visited the noted Buddhist temple of Zenk?-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, Kagawa and Okayama that year.
In October 1907, the Crown Prince toured Korea, accompanied by Admiral T?g? Heihachir?, General Katsura Tar?, and Prince Arisugawa Taruhito. It was the first time an heir apparent to the throne had ever 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; having suffered from various neurological problems. At 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, others, 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 dexterity was also handicapped.
His articulation and charisma (in contrast to Emperor Meiji), his disabilities and his eccentricities, led to an increase in incidents of lèse majesté. As his condition deteriorated, he had less and less interest in daily political affairs, and the ability of the genr?, Keeper of the Privy Seal, and Imperial Household Minister to manipulate his decisions came to be a matter of common knowledge. The two-party political system that had been developing in Japan since the turn of the century came of age after World War I, giving rise to the nickname for the period, "Taish? Democracy", prompting a shift in political power to the Imperial Diet of Japan and the democratic parties.
After 1918, the Emperor no longer was able to attend Army or Navy maneuvers, appear at the graduation ceremonies of the military academies, perform the annual Shinto ritual ceremonies, or even attend the official opening of sessions of the Diet of Japan.
Taish?'s reclusive life was unaffected by the Great Kant? Earthquake of 1923. Fortuitously, he had moved by royal train to his summer palace at Nikko the week before the disaster; but his son, Crown Prince Hirohito, remained at the Imperial Palace where he was at the heart of the event.Carrier pigeons kept the Emperor informed as information about the extent of the devastation became known.
In early December 1926, it was announced that the Emperor had pneumonia. Taish? died of a heart attack at 1:25 a.m. in the early morning of 25 December 1926, at the Hayama Imperial Villa at Hayama, on Sagami Bay south of Tokyo (in Kanagawa Prefecture).
The funeral was held at night (February 7 to February 8, 1927) and consisted of a 4-mile-long procession in which 20,000 mourners followed a herd of sacred bulls and an ox-drawn cart containing the imperial coffin. The funeral route was lit with wood fires in iron lanterns. The Emperor's coffin was then transported to his mausoleum in the western suburbs of Tokyo.
Taish? has been called the first Tokyo Emperor because he was the first to live his entire life in or near Tokyo. Taish?'s father was born and reared in Kyoto; and although he later lived and died in Tokyo, Meiji's mausoleum is located on the outskirts of Kyoto, near the tombs of his Imperial forebears; but Taish?'s grave is in Tokyo, in the Musashi Imperial Graveyard in Hachi?ji. His son, the Emperor Sh?wa, is buried next to him.
|Hirohito, Emperor Sh?wa||29 April 1901||7 January 1989||26 January 1924||Princess Nagako of Kuni||Shigeko, Princess Teru|
Sachiko, Princess Hisa
Kazuko, Princess Taka
Atsuko, Princess Yori
Akihito, Emperor of Japan
Masahito, Prince Hitachi
Takako, Princess Suga
|Yasuhito, Prince Chichibu||25 June 1902||4 January 1953||28 September 1928||Setsuko Matsudaira|
|Nobuhito, Prince Takamatsu||3 January 1905||3 February 1987||4 February 1930||Kikuko Tokugawa|
|Takahito, Prince Mikasa||2 December 1915||27 October 2016||22 October 1941||Yuriko Takagi||Princess Yasuko of Mikasa|
Prince Tomohito of Mikasa
Yoshihito, Prince Katsura
Princess Masako of Mikasa
Norihito, Prince Takamado
|Ancestors of Emperor Taish?|