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|Emperor of Japan|
|Reign||31 October 1817 – 21 February 1846|
16 March 1800
|Died||21 February 1846(aged 45)|
|House||Imperial House of Japan|
Emperor Ninkō (仁孝天皇 Ninkō-tennō, 16 March 1800 – 21 February 1846) was the 120th Emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Ninkō's reign spanned the years from 1817 until his death in 1846, and saw further deterioration of the ruling Shōgun's power. Disasters which included famine, combined with corruption and increasing Western interference helped to erode public trust in the bakufu government. Emperor Ninkō attempted to revive certain court rituals and practices upon the wishes of his father. However, it is unknown what role, if any, the Emperor had in the turmoil which occurred during his reign. His family included fifteen children from various concubines, but only three of them lived to adulthood. His fourth son, Imperial Prince Osahito became the next Emperor upon his death in 1846. While political power at the time still resided with the Shōgun, the beginnings of the Bakumatsu (end of military government) were at hand.
Events of Ninkō's life
Before Ninkō's ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name (imina) was Ayahito (恵仁). He was born on 16 March 1800 and was the fourth son of Emperor Kōkaku, the only child of sixteen others to survive into adulthood. Ayahito was named as crown prince in 1809, having been adopted by his father's chief wife Imperial Princess Yoshiko (欣子内親王), also known as Shin-Seiwa-in (新清和院). His birth mother was one of his father's concubines named Kajyūji Tadako (勧修寺婧子). Ayahito's Imperial Family lived with him in the Dairi of the Heian Palace.
Prince Ayahito was enthroned as Emperor on 31 October 1817, after his father retired from the throne. Following his father the Retired Emperor's wishes, he attempted to revive certain court rituals and practices. These included, among other things, restoring the title tennō, which identified the Emperor. Among Ninkō's innovations was the establishment of the Gakushūsho (the predecessor of the Gakushūin) for the Court Nobility just outside the Imperial Palace. One major event during his reign was the Tenpō famine which lasted from 1833 to 1837. The famine was most severe in northern Honshū and was caused by flooding and cold weather. Ninkō's reign also saw some deterioration of the Shōgun's power. The Tenpō famine and other concurring natural disasters hit hard, and shook the faith of the people in the ruling Shōgun. In 1837, Ōshio Heihachirō led a revolt in Osaka against corrupt officials who refused to help feed the impoverished residents of the city. That same year also had an incident take place where an American merchant vessel was driven away by coastal artillery. While order was eventually restored, long term resentment resonated with the commoners against the ruling government. It is unclear though what role, if any, the Emperor played during this period of unrest.
Emperor Ninkō died on 21 February 1846 and was enshrined in the Imperial mausoleum, Nochi no Tsukinowa no Higashiyama no misasagi (後月輪東山陵), which is at Sennyū-ji in Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto. Also enshrined in Tsuki no wa no misasagi, at Sennyū-ji are this Emperor's immediate Imperial predecessors since Emperor Go-Mizunoo – Meishō, Go-Kōmyō, Go-Sai, Reigen, Higashiyama, Nakamikado, Sakuramachi, Momozono, Go-Sakuramachi, Go-Momozono and Kōkaku. The shrine complex also encompasses the misasagi of Ninkō's immediate successor – Kōmei. Empress Dowager Yoshikō is also entombed at this Imperial mausoleum complex.
Eras and Kugyō
The years of Ninkō's reign are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō. While 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.
The following eras occurred during Ninkō's reign:
During Ninkō's reign, this apex of the Daijō-kan included:
- Kampaku, Ichijō Tadayoshi, 1814–1823
- Kampaku, Takatsukasa Masamichi, 1823–1856
Emperor Ninkō's family included 7 sons and 8 daughters from various concubines, but only the future Emperor Komei (Komei-tennō), Princess Sumiko (Sumiko-naishinnō) and Princess Chikako (Chikako-naishinnō) survived beyond childhood.
|Kōgō||Takatsukasa Tsunako (鷹司繋子)
later Shinkokamon'in (新皇嘉門院)
|1798||1823||Takatsukasa Masahiro|| • First Son: Imperial Prince Yasuhito|
• First daughter: Princess Jihishin’in
|Nyōgo||Takatsukasa Yasuko (鷹司祺子)
later Shinsakuheimon'in (新朔平門院)
|1811||1847||Takatsukasa Masahiro||• Fourth Daughter: Princess Maninshu’in|
|Ogimachi Tsuneko (正親町雅子)
later Shintaikemon'in (新待賢門院)
|1803||1856||Ogimachi Sanemitsu|| • Second Son: Prince Yo|
• Fourth Son: Imperial Prince Osahito (later Emperor Komei)
• Sixth Son: Imperial Prince Katsura-no-Miya Misahito
• Seventh Daughter: Princess Kyo
|Kanroji Kiyoko (甘露寺妍子)||1806||1861||Kanroji Kuninaga|| • Second Daughter: Princess Nori|
• Third Daughter: Imperial Princess Katsura-no-Miya Sumiko
• Third Son: San-no-miya
• Fifth Daughter: Princess So
• Sixth Daughter: Princess Tsune
|Hashimoto Tsuneko (橋本経子)
later Kangyou'in (観行院)
|1826||1865||Hashimoto Sanehisa|| • Eighth Daughter: Imperial Princess Kazu-no-miya Chikako|
• Seventh Prince: Prince Tane
|Nakayama Isako (中山績子)||1795||1875||Nakayama Naruchika||None|
|Imaki Haruko (今城媋子)||1809||1875||Imaki Sadanori||• Fifth son: Prince Jōjakkō-in|
|First Son||Imperial Prince Yasuhito (安仁親王)||1820||1821||Takatsukasa Tsunako||N/A||N/A|
|First Daughter||Princess Jihishin’in (慈悲心院宮)
|Second Son||Prince Yo (鎔宮)||1825||1826||Ogimachi Tsuneko||N/A||N/A|
|Second Daughter||Princess Nori (成宮)||1825||1826||Kanroji Kiyoko||N/A||N/A|
|Third Daughter||Imperial Princess Katsura-no-Miya Sumiko (桂宮淑子内親王)||1829||1881||Kanroji Kiyoko||N/A||N/A|
|Fourth Daughter||Princess Maninshu’in (摩尼珠院宮)||1829||1831||Takatsukasa Yasuko||N/A||N/A|
|Third Son||San-no-miya (三宮)||1830||1831||Kanroji Kiyoko||N/A||N/A|
|Fourth Son||Imperial Prince Osahito (統仁親王)
|1831||1867||Ogimachi Tsuneko||Asako Kujō||Mutsuhito|
|Fifth son||Prince Jōjakkō-in (常寂光院宮)
|Fifth Daughter||Princess So (総宮)||1832||1833||Kanroji Kiyoko||N/A||N/A|
|Sixth Son||Imperial Prince Katsura-no-Miya Misahito (桂宮節仁親王)||1833||1836||Ogimachi Tsuneko||N/A||N/A|
|Sixth Daughter||Princess Tsune (経宮)
|Seventh Daughter||Princess Kyo (恭宮)||1837||1838||Ogimachi Tsuneko||N/A||N/A|
|Seventh Son||Prince Tane (胤宮)||1844||1845||Hashimoto Tsuneko||N/A||N/A|
|Eighth Daughter||Imperial Princess Kazu-no-miya Chikako (和宮親子内親王)||1846||1877||Hashimoto Tsuneko||Tokugawa Iemochi||Tokugawa Iesato|
|Ancestors of Emperor Ninkō|
- Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō): 仁孝天皇 (120)
- Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, pp. 122–123.
- Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 421.
- Ponsonby-Fane, p. 10; Titsingh, p. 421.
- Bolitho, Harold (1989). "Chapter 2: The Tempō Crisis". In Jansen, Marius (ed.). The Nineteenth Century: Cambridge History of Japan, Vol. 5. Cambridge University Press. p. 118. ISBN 0-521-22356-3.
- Ponsonby-Fane, p. 423.
- Ponsonby-Fane, pp. 333–334.
- Ponsonby-Fane, p. 123.
- "Genealogy". Reichsarchiv (in Japanese). Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- Meyer, Eva-Maria. (1999). Japans Kaiserhof in der Edo-Zeit: unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Jahre 1846 bis 1867. Münster: LIT Verlag. ISBN 978-3-8258-3939-0; OCLC 42041594
- Ponsonby-Fane, Richard Arthur Brabazon. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan. Kyoto: Ponsonby Memorial Society. OCLC 194887
- Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Nihon Ōdai Ichiran; ou, Annales des empereurs du Japon. Paris: Royal Asiatic Society, Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. OCLC 5850691
- Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki: A Chronicle of Gods and Sovereigns. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-04940-5; OCLC 59145842
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