Emperor Sakuramachi

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Sakuramachi
Emperor of Japan
Emperor Sakuramachi.jpg
Sakuramachi
Reign 13 April 1735 – 9 June 1747
Predecessor Nakamikado
Successor Momozono
Father Nakamikado
Born (1720-02-08)8 February 1720
Died 28 May 1750(1750-05-28) (aged 30)
Burial Tsukinowa no misasagi (Kyoto)

Emperor Sakuramachi (桜町天皇 Sakuramachi-tennō?, 8 February 1720 – 28 May 1750) was the 115th emperor of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession.[2]

Sakuramachi's reign spanned the years from 1735 through 1747.[3]

Genealogy[edit]

Before Nakamikado's ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name (imina) was Akihito (昭仁?);[4] and his pre-accession title was Waka-no-miya (若宮).

He was the firstborn son of Emperor Nakamikado.

Sakuramaichi's Imperial family lived with him in the Dairi of the Heian Palace. This family included at least 3 children who were born to 2 consorts:

  • Court lady Nijō Ieko (二条舎子)
    • First daughter: Princess Sakariko (盛子内親王)
    • Second daughter: Princess Toshiko (智子内親王) (Empress Go-Sakuramachi)
  • Lady-in-waiting Anekōji Sadako (姉小路定子)
    • First son: Prince Toohito (遐仁親王) (Emperor Momozono)
      • Grandson: Prince Hidehito (英仁親王) (Emperor Go-Momozono)
        • Great-granddaughter: Princess Yoshiko (欣子内親王) (Empress Yoshikō)
          • Great Great-grandson: Prince Masuhito (温仁親王)
          • Great Great-grandson: Prince Toshihito (悦仁親王)

Events of Sakuramachi's life[edit]

He was said to be the reincarnation of Prince Shōtoku. With the support of Tokugawa Yoshimune, he worked for the restoration of Imperial rites, bringing back the Daijōsai (大嘗祭, the first ceremonial rice-offering by a newly enthroned emperor) and the Shinjōsai (新嘗祭, a ceremonial rice-offering by the emperor) among others, and concentrated on restoring other courtesies.

  • 17 July. 1728: Akihito-shinnō was named Crown Prince.[5]
  • 13 April 1735: Prince Akihito became emperor upon the abdication of his father.[6]
  • 1736 (Genbun 1): The shogunate published an edict declaring that henceforth, the sole, authorized coinage in the empire would be those copper coins which were marked n the obverse with the character , pronounced bun in Japanese, the same character the era name Genbun.[7]
  • 1737 (Genbun 2, 11th month): A comet is noticed in the western part of the sky.[7]
  • 1738 (Genbun 3): Esoteric Shinto rituals Daijō-ye (大嘗會, ダイジヤウヱ,?, Daijō-sai) were performed by the emperor.[7]
  • 1739 (Genbun 4): Some foundry workers in Edo are commanded to create iron coins for use across the empire.[7]
  • 1739 (Genbun 4): Hosokawa Etchū-no-kami of Higo was killed in Edo castle by Itakura Katsukane, who was ordered to commit seppuku as just punishment; however, Shogun Yoshimune personally intervened to mitigate the adverse consequences for the killer's fudai family.[8]
  • 8 August 1740 (Genbun 5, 16th day of the 7th month): Great floods in Heian-kyō. Sanjo Bridge was washed away.[9]
  • 11 January 1741 (Genbun 5, 24th day of the 11th month): The esoteric Niiname-matsuri ceremonies were performed. This specific ceremony had otherwise been held in abeyance for the previous 280 years.[9]
  • 12 January 1741 (Genbun 5, 25th day of the 11th month): The esoteric Toyonoakari-no-sechiye ceremonies were performed.[9]
  • 1742 (Kanpō 2): A comet was seen in the sky.[7]
  • 1743 (Kanpō 3, 11th month): A comet was sighted in the night sky;[7] and this comet was likely comet C/1743 C1 (De-Cheseaux).[10]
  • 1744 (Enkyō 1): Great comet was visible in sky for many months; this comet was very likely C/1743 X1 (De Cheseaux).[10]
  • 1745 (Enkyō 3, 2nd month): A great fire sweeps through Edo.[7]
  • 9 June 1747: The emperor abdicated.[6]
  • 28 May 1750: Sakuramachi died at the age of 30.[6]

Sakuramachi's kami is enshrined in an Imperial mausoleum (misasagi), Tsukinowa no misasagi, at Sennyū-ji in Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto. Sakuramachi's immediate Imperial predecessors since Emperor Go-MizunooMeishō, Go-Kōmyō, Go-Sai, Reigen, Higashiyama and Nakamikado, are also enshrined along with his immediate Imperial successors, including Momozono, Go-Sakuramachi and Go-Momozono.[11]

Kugyō[edit]

Kugyō (公卿) is a collective term for the very few most powerful men attached to the court of the Emperor of Japan in pre-Meiji eras. Even during those years in which the court's actual influence outside the palace walls was minimal, the hierarchic organization persisted.

In general, this elite group included only three to four men at a time. These were hereditary courtiers whose experience and background would have brought them to the pinnacle of a life's career. During Sakuramachi's reign, this apex of the Daijō-kan included:

Eras of Sakuramachi's reign[edit]

The years of Sakuramachi's reign are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō.[12]

Notes[edit]

Japanese Imperial kamon — a stylized chrysanthemum blossom
  1. ^ Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō): 桜町天皇 (115)
  2. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p. 119.
  3. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 417–418.
  4. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Imperial House, p. 10; Titsingh, p. 417.
  5. ^ Meyer, Eva-Maria. (1999). Japans Kaiserhof in der Edo-Zeit, pp. 47–48.
  6. ^ a b c Meyer, p. 47.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i Titsingh, p. 418.
  8. ^ Screech, Timon. (2006). Secret Memoirs of the Shoguns, pp. 117–121.
  9. ^ a b c d Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1956). Kyoto: the Old Capital of Japan, 794–1869, p. 321.
  10. ^ a b Zhuang, T. (1988). Acta Astronomica Sinica, v29:2, p. 208; Harvard-Smithsonian/NASA Astrophysics Data System
  11. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Imperial House, p. 423.
  12. ^ Titsingh, p. 417.

References[edit]

See also[edit]

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Nakamikado
Emperor of Japan:
Sakuramachi

1735–1747
Succeeded by
Emperor Momozono