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The ‘Great Emperor’ Meiji

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Chapter Summary

The Meiji Emperor lived from 1852 to 1912, and reigned from 1867 to 1912. Mutsuhito became emperor in January 1867, when he was a mere 14 years of age. The proclamation of the Charter Oath and the accession ceremony for the new emperor that followed the Meiji Restoration were carried out in the Hall for State Ceremonies (Shishinden) in the imperial palace in Kyoto. The Confucian scholar Motoda Nagazane was employed in 1871 as an imperial tutor to instruct the emperor in kangaku, or Chinese Studies, and from this time on the emperor came under the influence of his way of thought. The constitution of 1889 announced in its opening paragraph (Article 1) that ?The Empire of Japan shall be reigned over and governed by a line of Emperors unbroken for ages eternal.?.

Keywords: Japan; Kyoto; Meiji Emperor; Meiji Restoration; Motoda Nagazane; Mutsuhito



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