Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
MUTSHITO (meek or peaceful man), the reigning emperor of Japan, and the 123d ruler of the line of mikados, was born Nov. 3, 1850, in the palace of Kioto. His father was the emperor Komei, and his mother Fujiwara Asako. At his father's death, Jan. 80, 1867, he was declared mikado, and on the re-establishment of the ancient government, Jan. 3, 1868, became sole ruler, without regent or shogun ("tycoon"). He saw Europeans for the first time at his audience with the foreign envoys, March 23, 1868. On April 6, in the presence of the imperial court, and the leaders of the restoration, he took that oath which lies at the foundation of the government of Japan, and which has been made the basis of political progress since 1868. The text of the oath, which seems to be steadily transforming Japan from an absolute despotism to a constitutional monarchy, is as follows: "1. The practice of discussion and debate shall be universally adopted, and all measures shall be decided by public argument. 2. High and low shall be of one mind, and social order shall be thereby perfectly maintained. 3. It is necessary that the civil and military power be concentrated in a single whole, the rights of all classes be allowed, and the nation's mind be completely satisfied. 4. The uncivilized customs of former times shall be broken through, and the impartiality and justice displayed in the working of nature be adopted as a basis of action. 5. Intellect and learning shall be sought for throughout the world, to establish the foundations of the empire" On Feb. 7, 1869, the national capital was removed to Tokio, and the mikado was soon afterward married to Haruko, a lady of the noble house of Ichijo, born in 1830. No issue of this marriage has yet appeared. In case of death or failure of offspring from the imperial concubines, twelve in number, an heir is chosen from one of the four shin-no, or families of imperial blood, Katsura, Arisugawa, Fushimi, and Kanin. In October, 1881, Mutsuhito issued a proclamation, in which, after reviewing the successive phases of government, occur these words: "It is my duty to develop the manner of administration as the times alter. I intend to establish a national assembly in 1890." [This article is inserted mainly as an addition to that on Japan.]
W. E. G.
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