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  #1  
Old 11-30-2007, 12:46 PM
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Influence of women on the imperial succession

Being a new member, I do not know if this is the place to post this... there were "reigning" Empresses in the past in Japan, the more recent ones being MYOSHO (1629-1643) and GO-SAKURAMACHI (1762-1770). My real interest is in discussing the influence that women had on the succession through the years. Beginning with Fujiwara Fubito (Fuhito), who placed one daughter, Fujiwara Miyako-no-Iratsume, as a "consort" of Emperor MOMMU, ca. 697, and a second one, Fujiwara Asuka, as the Empress Consort of Emperor SHOMU, her nephew. The latter's son was Imperial Princess Takano, who ascended the throne as Empress KOKEN (749-758). Fujiwara Asuka was the fist non-imperial princess of the dynasty to be elevated to Empress Consort. These unions established the precedent for Fujiwara women becoming more "favorable" as candidates of potential mothers of future emperors than were daughters of emperors themselves!

Does anyone have suggestions as to English-text sources about the Imperial Family and their Fujiwara, Minamoto, and Taira (among others) wives and concubines?
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:28 PM
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But still, every tenno for two thousands years has been descendants to the first tenno on their father's side. Because it hasn't been like it's been in Europe, when a regent queen's children has become heirs, even though their father wasn't from the same dynasty. Even the female tennos was succeeded by someone else with imperial blood on their father's side. It's only now, when the Japanese imperial men no longer have concubines, that there's been a problem with this. And if Aiko became tenno one day, it would be okay as long as she ruled. But unless she marries a Japanese aristocrat with imperial blood, a two thousand long tradition will be broken, because her children will be the first tennos ever without imperial blood on their father's side. And I think that's a shame. I understand how you feel about princess Aiko. Her father will most likely become tenno, and his only child should be his successor. However, there is a boy in the family, prince Hisahito, who could carry on the old tradition. It's just that he will be the tenno's nephew and not his son, unless of course Hisahito's father succeeds his brother. So it's really a tough situation, very much like how it was here in Sweden back in the 19th century. Our king Carl XV's only son died as a two-year-old, so he only had a daughter, princess Louise. But the king's brother Oscar had four sons. Because she had both uncles and male cousins, princess Louise was thrown out of the succession and became queen of Denmark instead.
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Old 04-21-2008, 08:43 PM
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But still, every tenno for two thousands years has been descendants to the first tenno on their father's side. Because it hasn't been like it's been in Europe, when a regent queen's children has become heirs, even though their father wasn't from the same dynasty. Even the female tennos was succeeded by someone else with imperial blood on their father's side. It's only now, when the Japanese imperial men no longer have concubines, that there's been a problem with this. And if Aiko became tenno one day, it would be okay as long as she ruled. But unless she marries a Japanese aristocrat with imperial blood, a two thousand long tradition will be broken, because her children will be the first tennos ever without imperial blood on their father's side. And I think that's a shame. I understand how you feel about princess Aiko. Her father will most likely become tenno, and his only child should be his successor. However, there is a boy in the family, prince Hisahito, who could carry on the old tradition. It's just that he will be the tenno's nephew and not his son, unless of course Hisahito's father succeeds his brother. So it's really a tough situation, very much like how it was here in Sweden back in the 19th century. Our king Carl XV's only son died as a two-year-old, so he only had a daughter, princess Louise. But the king's brother Oscar had four sons. Because she had both uncles and male cousins, princess Louise was thrown out of the succession and became queen of Denmark instead.
However, all those ancient traditions were replaced with the new Meiji style psuedo Salic sort of law and the new government of that country was quite happy with it because their government was a replacement of the old Tokusen style mentality male centred sort of regime. In other words, the nature of the Go'tsu-san was re-designed as though it had become a new shogun. It was such a pity that the Emperor Mutsuhito went along with all those "bu-mon"' style reform of the imperial house rather than to preserve more "kughé-kata" style of his court.

People seem to use this "tradition" in order to defend their own interests. In my opinion, it may not have been a tradition of the Church of England to ordain women into such a ministry as that of catholic traditions, however, tradition is a living thing that it can evolve accordingly and the nature of the office of the Ten'noh-san, too, has evolved as Japan's long history has moved on, that, I see no greater shame in the people of Japan receiving a woman as their Ten'noh-san in the future.

In the recent history, the office of emperor of Japan changed post WWII. On hearing all the changes that were to be made for the emperor & his family etc, Hirohito's mother HIM the Tei'mei-san said to her chamberlain that she had no concern nor fear in all the changes that were to happen because the Imperial House had been in Japan for such a long time and the nature of it had changed many times but it managed to survive because of its adaptability etc and to her it only meant that the Imperial House was only returning to its pre-Meiji form etc and comforted her staff who were concerned about Her Imperial Majesty's feeling etc in front of all the changes that were to happen.

So, even if this Toshi-no-miya-san is to become the sovereign empress, I am sure that the long standing line of the Imperial House or the "Koh-toh" will never come to its end.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:06 PM
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Well, if Hisahito had turned out to be a girl, Aiko would surely have been an heiress appearant now, because they would have had to change the succession laws then. But since Hisahito is a boy, we have to wait another generation to see if there will be any changes then.
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Old 04-22-2008, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Furienna View Post
Well, if Hisahito had turned out to be a girl, Aiko would surely have been an heiress appearant now, because they would have had to change the succession laws then. But since Hisahito is a boy, we have to wait another generation to see if there will be any changes then.
Yes, so it seems. However, when I speak to Japanese people who are happened to be my friends, they all say that the general public over there are more pro-Toshi-no-miya san to be their Ten'noh san. However, a lot of far extreme right yakuza sorts who deny the Massacre of Nanking etc make a lot of noise over this public opinion, so they say.
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Old 04-22-2008, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by serenissima View Post
Yes, so it seems. However, when I speak to Japanese people who are happened to be my friends, they all say that the general public over there are more pro-Toshi-no-miya san to be their Ten'noh san. However, a lot of far extreme right yakuza sorts who deny the Massacre of Nanking etc make a lot of noise over this public opinion, so they say.[my bolding]
Yakuza is usually members of criminal organizations. Is there another meaning ?
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Old 04-22-2008, 05:47 PM
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Yakuza is usually members of criminal organizations. Is there another meaning ?
Oh, hello. Thank you very much for your message the other day.

Well, the "yakuzas" are criminal gangsters but they don't advertise as such, naturally, but they have their own front that are to do with properties, investments, running of some unsavoury entertainment industries and what-not, so I understand. They are always very much right wing in their mentality and connected to all sorts of right wing politicians and organisations etc who believe that the Japanese race as a supreme nation and what-not because they have got their Divine Emperor etc.
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Old 04-22-2008, 06:13 PM
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Thanks for explanation!
The modern Japanese society no longer regards Emperor as a arahitogami (a living god) and a direct descendant of Amaterasu-Omikami, Goddess of the Sun. "Although still revered and discussed in semi-mystical terms by ultra-nationalists and a dwindling number of older Japanese raised to believe the Emperor was a god, most youngsters are indifferent to the Imperial Family"(McNeil & Bix, 2004). However, there are deeply rooted Asian attitude toward women. You know ... an Asian lady can be powerful, but she should behind her man. I dare to presume that these negative attitudes may be at the root of reluctance to accept a female Tenno.
ZNet |Japan | Trouble at the Top: Japan's Imperial Family in Crisis
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Old 04-22-2008, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Al_bina View Post
Thanks for explanation!
The modern Japanese society no longer regards Emperor as a arahitogami (a living god) and a direct descendant of Amaterasu-Omikami, Goddess of the Sun. "Although still revered and discussed in semi-mystical terms by ultra-nationalists and a dwindling number of older Japanese raised to believe the Emperor was a god, most youngsters are indifferent to the Imperial Family"(McNeil & Bix, 2004). However, there are deeply rooted Asian attitude toward women. You know ... an Asian lady can be powerful, but she should behind her man. I dare to presume that these negative attitudes may be at the root of reluctance to accept a female Tenno.
ZNet |Japan | Trouble at the Top: Japan's Imperial Family in Crisis
Well, it's the same here. The majority of our youger generations are not that bothered about our royal family. People are just so indifferent nowadays. Even the "Hello Magazine" etc have more articles that are to do with Posh & Beck sort of stuff these days. Oh, please do not think that I buy such magazines. I only have a look at them when I am having my hair done at my salon.

Oh, by the way, here, people do not call the people of Far Eastern origins "Asians" since "Asian" people here mean Indian and Pakistani people. Many people nowadays call Chinese and Japanese people "Oriental" people.

You sound to be a pro-Toshi-no-miya san Go'sokui (enthronement) in due course. I shall ask my friends if there is such a movement as to promote this Miya-san's position in Japan.
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by serenissima View Post
Oh, by the way, here, people do not call the people of Far Eastern origins "Asians" since "Asian" people here mean Indian and Pakistani people. Many people nowadays call Chinese and Japanese people "Oriental" people.

.
This is quite interesting...In Germany it is the other way round. Asians normally means "East Asians", and "Oriental" people are people that are from the Middle East. Indians and Pakistani people are just called "Indians" and "Pakistanis".
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Old 04-23-2008, 01:21 PM
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Similar to Germans, Kazakhs consider all nations of South-East and East Asia as Asian. The "Orient" refers to the Middle East. Odd enough but, we have never regarded Indians or Pakistanis as Asians. They are just what they are-Indians and Pakistanis...
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Old 04-23-2008, 06:42 PM
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Similar to Germans, Kazakhs consider all nations of South-East and East Asia as Asian. The "Orient" refers to the Middle East. Odd enough but, we have never regarded Indians or Pakistanis as Asians. They are just what they are-Indians and Pakistanis...
Oh, how interesting, I must say.

Anyway, for centuries, the "Gosho" or the imperial court was dominated by women and they did indeed contribute to the making of the Japanese emperor or the "Ten'noh"-san. So, why now those far right men of Japan have to make such a song and dance about this Princess Aiko the Toshi-no-miya san may become the sovereign empress ?
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:00 AM
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Empress Saimei's tomb found near Nara

Octagonal structures are considered to be unique to Imperial tombs built between the middle of the seventh to early eighth century. Given that shape, the tomb was identified as that of then reigning Empress Saimei (594-661) and her daughter, Princess Hashihito, the researchers said.
The Imperial Household Agency has claimed another tomb in Takatori, Nara Prefecture, is that of Empress Saimei, although little academic evidence has been found to support that argument. The new discovery may prompt academic reviews of other tombs designated by the agency as those of Imperial family members, researchers said. - Kyodo


Mainichi article
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