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ベイカー寮221B/Baker House 221B TOP  >  Taiga Drama  >  Sego-don >  Emperor Kōmei

Emperor Kōmei

He was the 121st emperor of Japan whose name was Osahito. He was born in 1831 as the fourth son of Emperor Ninkō and tutored by KONOE Tadahiro. In 1835, he formally became an imperial prince (shinnō) in 1835. He became Crown Prince in 1840 and succeeded to the throne in February, 1846. On the following year, the enthronement ceremony was conducted. Then He ordered the shogunate to report him about the strengthening of coastal defense and the foreign situation.

In 1853, Commodore Perry's squadron visited Japan and the convection of Kanagawa was concluded in 1854. And in 1858, conclusion of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the United States and Japan was arranged but the Imperial sanction was not given to the matter. It is said that some people who were against the conclusion appealed to some aristocrats to prevent the emperor from giving the sanction.

He was a conservative man and opposed opening the ports in Kinki region. After a lot of argument, II Naosuke concluded the treaty without the Imperial sanction. Besides he made TOKUGAWA Yoshitomi (Iemochi) the 14th shogun and arrested and executed those who opposed him (Ansei Purge) but at last he was killed by the ronins of Mito domain.

After the death of Naosuke, administrative reform was carried out by some daimyos and SHIMAZU Hisamitsu (*). After that Kōbu-gattai movement was accelerated and his younger sister Princess Chikako (Kazu-no-miya) married Iemochi. Though she got engaged to Prince Taruhito of Arisugawa, she was forced to go to Edo and live in Ō-oku. And some radical royalist aristocrats supported by Chōshū samurais raised their heads. They planned to manipulate him as they like but at last they were expelled from Kyoto to Chōshū by the domains of Aizu and Satsuma. At that time, some false sanctions were given. Such things troubled him so much.

Then the power struggle of shogunate, aristocrats, samurais of major domains got serious and his authority declined. Some people like ŌKUBO Ichizō and IWAKURA Tomomi threw out a hint that they criticised him especially after the sanction of the second subjugation to Chōshū was given.

He passed away in December, 1866. The cause of death was smallpox. Some say that he was poisoned but it seems to be just a legend.

He trusted MATSUDAIRA Katamori who was the lord of Aizu domain and in charge of protecting Kyoto. So his demise and the death of Tokugawa Iemochi disappointed Katamori. On the contrary, he disliked Chōshū as the samurais of the domain plotted a rebellion with radical aristocrats.

Though he was not eager to open the country to the world, he was presented a pocket watch by James Buchanan Jr. 

(*) Hisamitsu was not a daimyo but exerted the power as father of Shimazu Mochihisa, lord of Satsuma domain.

The image shows NAKAMURA Kotarō as emperor Kōmei
(From the official website of "Segodon")


[ 2018/08/31 23:15 ] Taiga Drama Sego-don | TB(-) | CM(0)