While in Japan, the Emperor or Mikado has long been considered as a symbol of power. During the early parts of 7th-century Emperors were noted as the “son of heaven” or Tenshi-sama. This can be linked to the Bible Timeline Chart with History around 704 BC.
History of Japan’s Emperor
Emperor Jimmu is known as Japan’s earliest emperor, and this was recorded in the Nihon Shoki and Kojiki. He was referred to as Ninigi’s descendant, and was believed to have come from heaven. In the records from Nihon Shoki, Emperors have long maintained a male lineage that has continued over 2600 years back in history. The imperial line’s origin is traced largely by studying the kofun, or the ancient tombs of emperors in Japan. Unfortunately, there was a policy by the Imperial Household Agency during the Meiji Period, which prevented archeologists from opening the kofun. The reason for such is the belief that the spirits of these ancient emperors might be disturbed. However, by 2006, the Agency began allowing researchers to conduct their study by entering some kofuns freely for the purpose of learning more about the history of these emperors.
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According to researchers, there were 6 families of the non-imperial class who gained control over the emperors of Japan. These families included the Soga, Fujiwara, Minamoto, Taira, Tokugawa and the Ashikaga. However, shoguns coming from Tokugawa, Ashikaga, and Minamoto families were required to be recognized officially by emperors, which means these royalties were still regarded as the nation’s source of sovereignty. Nevertheless, emperors had limited powers at this point. During the 10th century, there was an increase in the expansion of samurai class, which eventually weakened the control of the imperial family. Emperors soon got into problems with the existing shogun at certain points in history. There was a power struggle between Japan’s military governments and the Imperial House. In ancient times, the territory of Japan failed to recognize remote regions as its part. However, a centralized form of government was established during the reign of Prince Shotoku. By this time, the emperor was a well-respected embodiment of heaven and harmony instead of serving as the leader of a governing administration in the country.
More Details about the Emperor of Japan
Japan has no empire. In fact, the boundaries of this country only existed in its four islands such as the Hokkaido, Okinawa, Honshu, and Kyushu. In 1875, Japan gained an empire, and it was during the conquer of the Ryu Kyu Islands. However, although Japan is noted to have an emperor, it was not aptly an empire.
The term “emperor” was also not an excellent description of the Japanese monarch’s constitutional and historical role. In fact, the Emperors of Japan rarely commanded any armies or had full political power. Instead, what emperors did was to perform the different sacerdotal functions, and they also became a valid source of legitimacy for the actual rulers of the country.
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