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Imperial Standard of the Regent

In Japan, Sessh? () was a title given to a regent who was named to act on behalf of either a child Emperor before his coming of age, or an empress regnant. The Kanpaku () was theoretically a sort of chief advisor for the Emperor, but was the title of both first secretary and regent who assists an adult Emperor. During a certain period in the Heian period, they were the effective rulers of Japan. There was little, if any, effective difference between the two titles, and several individuals merely changed titles as child Emperors grew to adulthood, or adult Emperors retired or died and were replaced by child Emperors. The two titles were collectively known as Sekkan (), and the families that exclusively held the titles were called Sekkan-ke or Sekkan family. After the Heian period, shogunates took over the power.

Both sessh? and kanpaku were styled as denka (or tenga in historical pronunciation; ; translated as "(Imperial) Highness"), as were Imperial princes and princesses.

A retired kanpaku is called Taik? (), which came to commonly refer to Toyotomi Hideyoshi.


In earlier times, only members of the Imperial Family could be appointed sessh?. The Kojiki reported that Emperor ?jin was assisted by his mother, Empress Jing?, but it is doubtful if it is a historical fact. The first historical sessh? was Prince Sh?toku who assisted Empress Suiko.

The Fujiwara clan was the primary holder of the kampaku and sessh? titles. More precisely, those titles were held by the Fujiwara Hokke (northern Fujiwara family) and its descendants, to which Fujiwara no Yoshifusa belonged.

In 866, Fujiwara no Yoshifusa became sessh?. He was the first not to belong to the Imperial house. In 876, Fujiwara no Mototsune, the nephew and adopted son of Yoshifusa, was appointed to the newly created office of kampaku.

After Fujiwara no Michinaga and Fujiwara no Yorimichi, their descendants held those two offices exclusively. In the 12th century, there were five families among the descendants of Yorimichi called Sekke: Konoe family, Kuj? family, Ichij? family, Takatsukasa family and Nij? family. Both the Konoe and Kuj? family were descendants of Yorimichi, through Fujiwara no Tadamichi. The other three families were derived from either the Konoe or Kuj? families. Until the Meiji Restoration of 1868, those five families held those title exclusively with the two exceptions of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and his nephew Toyotomi Hidetsugu.

The offices and titles of sessh? and kampaku were abolished by the declaration of the Imperial Restoration in 1868 during the Meiji Restoration in order to reorganize the government structure. The office and title of sessh? was stipulated under the former Imperial Household Law in 1889 and also under the new Imperial Household Law in 1948. Under these laws, the officeholder of sessh? is restricted to a member of the Imperial family. Crown Prince Hirohito, before becoming Emperor Sh?wa, was sessh? from 1921 to 1926 for the mentally disabled Emperor Taish?. He was called sessh?-no-miya (, "the Prince-Regent").


The following is a list of sessh? and kampaku in the order of succession.[1] The list is not exhaustive:

Sessh? Kanpaku Reign Monarch
Prince Sh?toku 593-622 Empress Suiko
Fujiwara no Yoshifusa[2] 858-872 Emperor Seiwa
Fujiwara no Mototsune 872-880 Emperor Seiwa, Emperor Y?zei
Fujiwara no Mototsune 880-890 Emperor Y?zei, Emperor K?k?, Emperor Uda
Fujiwara no Tokihira 909[3] Emperor Daigo
Fujiwara no Tadahira 930-941 Emperor Suzaku
Fujiwara no Tadahira 941-949 Emperor Suzaku, Emperor Murakami
Fujiwara no Saneyori[4] 967-69 Emperor Reizei
Fujiwara no Saneyori 969-970 Emperor En'y?
Fujiwara no Koretada 970-972 Emperor En'y?
Fujiwara no Kanemichi[5] 972-977 Emperor En'y?
Fujiwara no Yoritada 977-986 Emperor En'y?, Emperor Kazan
Fujiwara no Kaneie 986-990 Emperor Ichij?
Fujiwara no Kaneie May 5 (lunar calendar), 990 - May 8, 990 Emperor Ichij?
Fujiwara no Michitaka May 8, 990 - May 26, 990 Emperor Ichij?
Fujiwara no Michitaka 990-993 Emperor Ichij?
Fujiwara no Michitaka 993-995 Emperor Ichij?
Fujiwara no Michikane April 28, 995 - May 8, 995 Emperor Ichij?
Fujiwara no Michinaga 1016-1017 Emperor Go-Ichij?
Fujiwara no Yorimichi 1017-1019 Emperor Go-Ichij?
Fujiwara no Yorimichi[6] 1020-1068 Emperor Go-Ichij?, Emperor Go-Suzaku, Emperor Go-Reizei
Fujiwara no Norimichi 1068-1075 Emperor Go-Sanj?, Emperor Shirakawa
Fujiwara no Morozane 1075-1086 Emperor Shirakawa
Fujiwara no Morozane 1086-1090 Emperor Horikawa
Fujiwara no Morozane 1090-1094 Emperor Horikawa
Fujiwara no Moromichi 1094-1099 Emperor Horikawa
Fujiwara no Tadazane 1105-1107 Emperor Horikawa
Fujiwara no Tadazane 1107-1113 Emperor Toba
Fujiwara no Tadazane 1113-1121 Emperor Toba
Fujiwara no Tadamichi 1121-1123 Emperor Toba
Fujiwara no Tadamichi 1123-1129 Emperor Sutoku
Fujiwara no Tadamichi 1129-1141 Emperor Sutoku
Fujiwara no Tadamichi 1141-1150 Emperor Konoe
Fujiwara no Tadamichi 1150-1158 Emperor Konoe, Emperor Go-Shirakawa
Konoe Motozane 1158-1165 Emperor Nij?
Konoe Motozane 1165-1166 Emperor Rokuj?
Fujiwara no Motofusa 1166-1172 Emperor Rokuj?, Emperor Takakura
Fujiwara no Motofusa 1172-1179 Emperor Takakura
Konoe Motomichi 1179-1180 Emperor Takakura
Konoe Motomichi 1180-1183 Emperor Antoku
Matsudono Moroie 1183-1184 Emperor Antoku
Konoe Motomichi 1184-1186 Emperor Antoku, Emperor Go-Toba
Kuj? Kanezane 1186-1191 Emperor Go-Toba
Kuj? Kanezane 1191-1196 Emperor Go-Toba
Konoe Motomichi 1196-1198 Emperor Tsuchimikado
Konoe Motomichi 1198-1202 Emperor Tsuchimikado
Kuj? Yoshitsune 1202-1206 Emperor Tsuchimikado
Konoe Iezane[7] 1206 Emperor Tsuchimikado
Konoe Iezane[8] 1206-1221 Emperor Tsuchimikado, Emperor Juntoku
Kuj? Michiie[9] 1221 Emperor Ch?ky?
Konoe Iezane.[10] 1221-1223 Emperor Go-Horikawa
Konoe Iezane[11] 1223-1228 Emperor Go-Horikawa
Kuj? Michiie 1228-1231 Emperor Go-Horikawa
Kuj? Norizane 1231-1232 Emperor Go-Horikawa
Kuj? Norizane 1232-1235 Emperor Shij?
Kuj? Michiie 1235-1237 Emperor Shij?
Konoe Kanetsune 1237-1242 Emperor Shij?
Konoe Kanetsune 1242 Emperor Go-Saga
Nij? Yoshizane 1242-1246 Emperor Go-Saga
Ichij? Sanetsune 1246 Emperor Go-Saga
Ichij? Sanetsune 1246-1247 Emperor Go-Fukakusa
Konoe Kanetsune 1247-1252 Emperor Go-Fukakusa
Takatsukasa Kanehira 1252-1254 Emperor Go-Fukakusa
Takatsukasa Kanehira 1254-1261 Emperor Go-Fukakusa, Emperor Kameyama
Nij? Yoshizane 1261-1265 Emperor Kameyama
Ichij? Sanetsune 1265-1267 Emperor Kameyama
Konoe Motohira 1267-1268 Emperor Kameyama
Takatsukasa Mototada 1268-1273 Emperor Kameyama
Kuj? Tadaie 1273-1274 Emperor Kameyama
Kuj? Tadaie 1274 Emperor Go-Uda
Ichij? Ietsune 1274-1275 Emperor Go-Uda
Takatsukasa Kanehira 1275-1278 Emperor Go-Uda
Takatsukasa Kanehira 1278-1287 Emperor Go-Uda
Nij? Morotada 1287-1289 Emperor Go-Uda, Emperor Fushimi
Konoe Iemoto 1289-1291 Emperor Fushimi
Kuj? Tadanori 1291-1293 Emperor Fushimi
Konoe Iemoto 1293-1296 Emperor Fushimi
Takatsukasa Kanetada 1296-1298 Emperor Fushimi
Takatsukasa Kanetada 1298 Emperor Go-Fushimi
Nij? Kanemoto 1298-1300 Emperor Go-Fushimi
Nij? Kanemoto 1300-1305 Emperor Go-Fushimi, Emperor Go-Nij?
Kuj? Moronori 1305-1308 Emperor Go-Nij?
Kuj? Moronori 1308 Emperor Hanazono
Takatsukasa Fuyuhira 1308-1311 Emperor Hanazono
Takatsukasa Fuyuhira 1311-1313 Emperor Hanazono
Konoe Iehira 1313-1315 Emperor Hanazono
Takatsukasa Fuyuhira 1315-1316 Emperor Hanazono
Nij? Michihira 1316-1318 Emperor Hanazono, Emperor Go-Daigo
Ichij? Uchitsune 1318-1323 Emperor Go-Daigo
Kuj? Fusazane 1323-1324 Emperor Go-Daigo
Takatsukasa Fuyuhira 1324-1327 Emperor Go-Daigo
Nij? Michihira 1327-1330 Emperor Go-Daigo
Konoe Tsunetada 1330 Emperor Go-Daigo
Takatsukasa Fuyunori 1330-1333 Emperor Go-Daigo, Emperor K?gon
Konoe Tsunetada 1336-1337 Emperor K?my?
Konoe Mototsugu 1337-1338 Emperor K?my?
Ichij? Tsunemichi 1338-1342 Emperor K?my?
Kuj? Michinori 1342 Emperor K?my?
Takatsukasa Morohira[12] 1342-1346 Emperor K?my?
Nij? Yoshimoto 1346-1358 Emperor K?my?, Emperor Suk?, Emperor Go-K?gon
Kuj? Tsunenori 1358-1361 Emperor Go-K?gon
Konoe Michitsugu 1361-1363 Emperor Go-K?gon
Nij? Yoshimoto 1363-1367 Emperor Go-K?gon
Takatsukasa Fuyumichi 1367-1369 Emperor Go-K?gon
Nij? Moroyoshi 1369-1375 Emperor Go-K?gon, Emperor Go-En'y?
Kuj? Tadamoto 1375-1379 Emperor Go-En'y?
Nij? Morotsugu 1379-1382 Emperor Go-En'y?
Nij? Yoshimoto 1382-1388 Emperor Go-Komatsu
Konoe Kanetsugu 1388 Emperor Go-Komatsu
Nij? Yoshimoto 1388 Emperor Go-Komatsu
Nij? Yoshimoto 1388 Emperor Go-Komatsu
Nij? Morotsugu 1388-1394 Emperor Go-Komatsu
Ichij? Tsunetsugu 1394-1398 Emperor Go-Komatsu
Nij? Morotsugu 1398-1399 Emperor Go-Komatsu
Ichij? Tsunetsugu 1399-1408 Emperor Go-Komatsu
Konoe Tadatsugu 1408-1409 Emperor Go-Komatsu
Nij? Mitsumoto 1409-1410 Emperor Go-Komatsu
Ichij? Tsunetsugu 1410-1418 Emperor Go-Komatsu, Emperor Sh?k?
Kuj? Mitsuie 1418-1424 Emperor Sh?k?
Nij? Mochimoto 1424-1428 Emperor Sh?k?
Nij? Mochimoto 1428-1432 Emperor Go-Hanazono
Nij? Kaneyoshi 1432 Emperor Go-Hanazono
Nij? Mochimoto 1432-1433 Emperor Go-Hanazono
Nij? Mochimoto 1433-1445 Emperor Go-Hanazono
Konoe Fusatsugu 1445-1447 Emperor Go-Hanazono
Ichij? Kaneyoshi 1447-1453 Emperor Go-Hanazono
Takatsukasa Fusahira 1454-1455 Emperor Go-Hanazono
Nij? Mochimichi 1455-1458 Emperor Go-Hanazono
Ichij? Norifusa 1458-1463 Emperor Go-Hanazono
Nij? Mochimichi 1463-1467 Emperor Go-Hanazono, Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado
Ichij? Kaneyoshi 1467-1470 Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado
Nij? Masatsugu 1470-1476 Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado
Kuj? Masamoto 1476-1479 Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado
Konoe Masaie 1479-1483 Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado
Takatsukasa Masahira 1483-1487 Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado
Kuj? Masatada 1487-1488 Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado
Ichij? Fuyuyoshi 1488-1493 Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado
Konoe Hisamichi 1493-1497 Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado
Nij? Hisamoto 1497 Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado
Ichij? Fuyuyoshi 1497-1501 Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado, Emperor Go-Kashiwabara
Kuj? Hisatsune 1501-1513 Emperor Go-Kashiwabara
Konoe Hisamichi 1513-1514 Emperor Go-Kashiwabara
Takatsukasa Kanesuke 1514-1518 Emperor Go-Kashiwabara
Nij? Korefusa 1518-1525 Emperor Go-Kashiwabara
Konoe Taneie 1525-1533 Emperor Go-Kashiwabara, Emperor Go-Nara
Kuj? Tanemichi 1533-1534 Emperor Go-Nara
Nij? Korefusa 1534-1536 Emperor Go-Nara
Konoe Taneie 1536-1542 Emperor Go-Nara
Takatsukasa Tadafuyu 1542-1545 Emperor Go-Nara
Ichij? Fusamichi 1545-1548 Emperor Go-Nara
Nij? Haruyoshi 1548-1553 Emperor Go-Nara
Ichij? Kanefuyu 1553-1554 Emperor Go-Nara
Konoe Sakihisa 1554-1568 Emperor Go-Nara, Emperor ?gimachi
Nij? Haruyoshi 1568-1578 Emperor ?gimachi
Kuj? Kanetaka 1578-1581 Emperor ?gimachi
Ichij? Uchimoto 1581-1585 Emperor ?gimachi
Nij? Akizane 1585 Emperor ?gimachi
Toyotomi Hideyoshi 1585-1591 Emperor ?gimachi, Emperor Go-Y?zei
Toyotomi Hidetsugu 1591-1595 Emperor Go-Y?zei
Kuj? Kanetaka 1600-1604 Emperor Go-Y?zei
Konoe Nobutada 1605-1606 Emperor Go-Y?zei
Takatsukasa Nobufusa 1606-1608 Emperor Go-Y?zei
Kuj? Yukiie 1608-1612 Emperor Go-Y?zei, Emperor Go-Mizunoo
Takatsukasa Nobuhisa 1612-1615 Emperor Go-Mizunoo
Nij? Akizane 1615-1619 Emperor Go-Mizunoo
Kuj? Yukiie 1619-1623 Emperor Go-Mizunoo
Konoe Nobuhiro 1623-1629 Emperor Go-Mizunoo
Ichij? Akiyoshi 1629 Emperor Go-Mizunoo
Ichij? Akiyoshi 1629-1635 Empress Meish?
Nij? Yasumichi 1635-1647 Empress Meish?, Emperor Go-K?my?
Kuj? Michifusa 1647 Emperor Go-K?my?
Ichij? Akiyoshi 1647 Emperor Go-K?my?
Ichij? Akiyoshi 1647-1651 Emperor Go-K?my?
Konoe Hisatsugu 1651-1653 Emperor Go-K?my?
Nij? Mitsuhira 1653-1663 Emperor Go-K?my?, Emperor Go-Sai
Nij? Mitsuhira 1663-1664 Emperor Reigen
Takatsukasa Fusasuke 1664-1668 Emperor Reigen
Takatsukasa Fusasuke 1668-1682 Emperor Reigen
Ichij? Kaneteru 1682-1687 Emperor Reigen
Ichij? Kaneteru 1687-1689 Emperor Higashiyama
Ichij? Kaneteru 1689-1690 Emperor Higashiyama
Konoe Motohiro 1690-1703 Emperor Higashiyama
Takatsukasa Kanehiro 1703-1707 Emperor Higashiyama
Konoe Iehiro 1707-1709 Emperor Higashiyama
Konoe Iehiro 1709-1712 Emperor Nakamikado
Kuj? Sukezane 1712-1716 Emperor Nakamikado
Kuj? Sukezane 1716-1722 Emperor Nakamikado
Nij? Tsunahira 1722-1726 Emperor Nakamikado
Konoe Iehisa 1726-1736 Emperor Nakamikado, Emperor Sakuramachi
Nij? Yoshitada 1736-1737 Emperor Sakuramachi
Ichij? Kaneka 1737-1746 Emperor Sakuramachi
Ichij? Michika 1746-1747 Emperor Sakuramachi
Ichij? Michika 1747-1755 Emperor Momozono
Ichij? Michika 1755-1757 Emperor Momozono
Konoe Uchisaki 1757-1762 Emperor Momozono
Konoe Uchisaki 1762-1772 Empress Go-Sakuramachi, Emperor Go-Momozono
Konoe Uchisaki 1772-1778 Emperor Go-Momozono
Kuj? Naozane 1778-1779 Emperor Go-Momozono
Kuj? Naozane 1779-1785 Emperor K?kaku
Kuj? Naozane 1785-1787 Emperor K?kaku
Takatsukasa Sukehira 1787-1791 Emperor K?kaku
Ichij? Teruyoshi 1791-1795 Emperor K?kaku
Takatsukasa Masahiro 1795-1814 Emperor K?kaku
Ichij? Tadayoshi 1814-1823 Emperor K?kaku, Emperor Nink?
Takatsukasa Masamichi 1823-1856 Emperor Nink?, Emperor K?mei
Kuj? Hisatada 1856-1862 Emperor K?mei
Konoe Tadahiro 1862-1863 Emperor K?mei
Takatsukasa Sukehiro 1863 Emperor K?mei
Nij? Nariyuki 1863-1866 Emperor K?mei
Nij? Nariyuki 1867 Emperor Meiji
Crown Prince Hirohito 1921-1926 Emperor Taish?

See also


  1. ^ . (in Japanese). JP. Archived from the original on 2004-08-27. Retrieved .
  2. ^ Brown & Ishida 1979, p. 286.
  3. ^ Titsingh 1834, p. 132.
  4. ^ Titsingh 1834, p. 142.
  5. ^ Titsingh 1384, p. 145.
  6. ^ Titsingh 1834, p. 160.
  7. ^ Titsingh 1834, p. 229.
  8. ^ Titsingh 1834, pp. 229-36.
  9. ^ Titsingh 1834, p. 236.
  10. ^ Titsingh 1834, p. 238.
  11. ^ Titsingh 1834, p. 239.
  12. ^ Titsingh 1834, p. 297.


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