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Miscellany re:Japanese History

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Shingen The Ruler View Drop Down
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    Posted: 29 Mar 2011 at 21:27
So I decided to take up King Kang of Mu's offer to peruse the archives in the East Asian forum. I wanted to throw in my 2 cents on a few topics, so I figured I would just create a thread responding to them in turn. I hope I'm no overstepping any boundaries. Some of these go waaaaaayyyy back.Embarrassed

http://allempires.net/japanese-empire_topic23784_page1.html

The Japanese Imperial line is thought to be the longest hereditary monarchy in the world. While the Emperor's power has fluctuated greatly throughout history, there has never been a time when the position of Emperor was vacant.

Of course there have been other forms of government throughout Japan's history. Most notably are the 3 bakufu. (Kamakura, Muromachi and Tokugawa). There have also been periods when the real power was held by regents of varying ranks, i.e. Fujiwara, Hojo, Toyotomi.

http://allempires.net/ishida-mitsunari_topic23013.html

Needless to say, Mitsunari was not a very popular figure among his contemporaries. He would not be defined as a "people person" by any means. I believe if the Western Army were led by someone who was not only more competent, but more liked, the outcome may very well have been different.

http://allempires.net/old-japanese-currencies_topic21835.html

The value definitely fluctuated depending on the times, however 1 ryo at the end of the Sengoku Period was worth roughly 1 koku (which is considered to be the equivalent of enough rice to feed 1 man for 1 year.)

http://allempires.net/the-title-shogun_topic19830.html

Seii Taishogun meant "The great General who subdues the Eastern Barbarians." It was a title that was originally bestowed upon Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, who was ordered to "quel" the Emishi of Northern Japan.

http://allempires.net/japanese-chronicles_topic14270.html

Rider, I don't know if you found the info you were looking for regarding Shizugatake. This was a battle bewteen Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Shibata Katsuie. Both men supported their own heir to Oda Nobunaga. (I don't have my books with me, so I can't recall the exact names. One was Nobunaga's nephew and the other was his son, I believe.) Anyway, during Nobunaga's conquests, Katsuie was arguably the highest ranking general in his command. He was often entrusted with the largest amount of territory and often drew the tasks of higher military importance. However, Hideyoshi was able to make a claim as Nobunaga's champion after he avenged the "Demon King" by killing Mitsuhide.

As for the 7 Spears of Shizgatake, they were:

Kato Kiyomasa
Kato Yoshiaki
Fukushima Masanori
Wakizaka Yasuharu
Hirano Nagayasu
Katagiri Katsumoto
Kasuya Takenori

http://allempires.net/to-die-in-hara-kiri_topic13696.html

I just wanted to point out that Hara Kiri is an incorrect term. It's seppuku.

http://allempires.net/japanese-archery_topic13068.html

If anyone is interested in the development of Japanese archery, I highly recommend Karl Friday's Samurai Warfare and the State in Early Medieval Japan

http://allempires.net/the-interesting-history-of-sakhalin_topic9986.html

You know. I really didn't know too much about Sakhalin until I read Brett Walker's, The Conquest of Ainu Lands: Ecology and Culture in Japanese Expansion, 1590-1800. This was a very informative read and I would recommend it to anyone interested in the Ainu.














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Panther View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2011 at 00:10
Hello Shingen. Smile

I'm not sure if i know how to ask this, but you had mentioned "the Emperor's power has fluctuated greatly throughout history", which made me automatically think about Japan under the Shogunate system, or Bakufu. My question, though basic, is that until the Meiji restoration, what role did the emperor play under the shoguns?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shingen The Ruler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2011 at 15:59
Well, the power of the Court seems to have diminished more and more with each successive Bakufu. For example, during the Kamakura Bakufu, the Court still enjoyed a considerate amount of power. Although, this power was usually in the hands of the cloistered Emperor and not the titular ruler. This is why you see Emperors abdicating from the throne rather quickly during this time.

Even though the cloistered Emperor still maintained some power ruling out of Kyoto, the Shoguns in Kamakura were considered more powerful. At some pointss, they were even resposible for deciding succession to the throne. Towards the end of the Kamakura Bakufu, the Hojo Shikken, or Regents, became the real power holders in Japan. You even see the Court rebelling against the more powerful Hojo during the Jokyu Disturbance in 1221.

The Kenmu Restoration attempted to bring the power back into the Court's hands at the end of the Kamakura Bakufu. This lasted for about 3 years and is considered the last time the Emperor had any real power at all until the Meiji Restoration. The Kenmu Restoration ended when Ashikaga Takauji established the Muromachi Shogunate.

Sorry if I'm all over the place. I'm really bad about about trying to explain broad topics.Embarrassed


Edited by Shingen The Ruler - 04 Apr 2011 at 16:03
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2011 at 18:39
It may or may not involve recent Japanese history, but it appears (I emphasis 'appears' because I may have missed something) that the present Emperor and his family haven't played any great public role in the current Japanese crisis.
 
I'm sure if something like this ever happened in the UK the Royal Family would have been prominent and the Queen would certainly have been on television. Is Japanese morale not affected by such things as British feelings are?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shingen The Ruler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2011 at 19:02
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

It may or may not involve recent Japanese history, but it appears (I emphasis 'appears' because I may have missed something) that the present Emperor and his family haven't played any great public role in the current Japanese crisis.
 
I'm sure if something like this ever happened in the UK the Royal Family would have been prominent and the Queen would certainly have been on television. Is Japanese morale not affected by such things as British feelings are?


Actually the Emperor and his wife just completed a "tour" of the evacuation shelters recently.

http://www.blinkx.com/watch-video/emperor-visits-japan-evacuees/VdfWE8cIGIZuJsegvykIUg
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2011 at 20:00
Originally posted by Shingen The Ruler Shingen The Ruler wrote:

Well, the power of the Court seems to have diminished more and more with each successive Bakufu. For example, during the Kamakura Bakufu, the Court still enjoyed a considerate amount of power. Although, this power was usually in the hands of the cloistered Emperor and not the titular ruler. This is why you see Emperors abdicating from the throne rather quickly during this time.

Even though the cloistered Emperor still maintained some power ruling out of Kyoto, the Shoguns in Kamakura were considered more powerful. At some pointss, they were even resposible for deciding succession to the throne. Towards the end of the Kamakura Bakufu, the Hojo Shikken, or Regents, became the real power holders in Japan. You even see the Court rebelling against the more powerful Hojo during the Jokyu Disturbance in 1221.

The Kenmu Restoration attempted to bring the power back into the Court's hands at the end of the Kamakura Bakufu. This lasted for about 3 years and is considered the last time the Emperor had any real power at all until the Meiji Restoration. The Kenmu Restoration ended when Ashikaga Takauji established the Muromachi Shogunate.

Sorry if I'm all over the place. I'm really bad about about trying to explain broad topics.Embarrassed


No need to apologize. My question did cover a broad period after all. I find your reply very fascinating and well summing up your point to my question. Thank you. Though i do have several thoughts currently running through my head, i think it would be best that i just kick them around for a little while until i become stumped on a thought or if i have a relevant question i may want too ask. Once again, thank you for the reply. Thumbs Up


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2011 at 20:22
Actually, the Emperor did not only tour the damaged area but earlier had made an unprecedented televised address to the nation on 16 March that in a sense recalls that of his father Hirohito via radio in 1945.
 
 
The contrast comes from the fact the MSM has not emphasized such since the talking-heads prefer to speculate on nuclear fears and other such trivializations and truly has little concern over the cultural and symbolic.
 
Now, admittedly, it is difficult for a "Westerner" to understand the internalization of violence while removing the symbols of community from the chaos violence generates. One might say that the Japanese developed quite early the benefits of "he rules but does not govern" within what would be called "constitutional monarchy". However, rather than affiix modern perceptions think of the process within the old Frankish kingdom during the Merovingian epoch, the major palatii.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2011 at 20:50
Thanks for the information. I didn't mean any criticism of the Emperor: I'm just curious about how his role is seen in modern Japan.
 
There's some room for discussion somewhere on the similarities/difference between thirties Italy, 8th century Francia, shogunate Japan, modern N-W Europe, the Avignon Papacy ... but this may not be the place for it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RollingWave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Oct 2011 at 06:34
Part of the reason that the Court still had some power during the Kamakura period was also because the Shogun were further away, Where as the Ashikaga ended up establishing right at Kyoto which effectively eliminated any chance for the Emperor. The Tokugawa moved back east is also another reason why eventually the Emperor and his court were able to play a role in the Meiji restoration.
 
 
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