Episode 460 – The Empty Throne, Part 3

This week: the boy emperor Meiji takes responsibility for Japan’s future. But what did that mean in practice? What does an emperor, especially a boy emperor, actually do?


Keene, Donald. Emperor of Japan: Meiji and His World, 1852-1912. 

Takagi, Hiroshi. “The Buddhist Faith of the Japanese Imperial Family after the Meiji Restoration.” Japan Review 25 (2013).


Ichijo Masako, also known as the Empress Shouken.
A lithograph of Meiji’s procession to Tokyo in late 1868. Though he would return to Kyoto within a few months and no official notice of moving the capital was ever given, practically speaking this was the beginning of the shift of the court from Kyoto to the east.
The first known photo of Meiji, taken at the opening of the Yokosuka arsenal. Note that he’s wearing traditional robes even as his entourage is not.
Meiji wearing the sokutai, traditional robes of office, in late 1872.
Meiji in 1873. Quite a difference in style!

1 thought on “Episode 460 – The Empty Throne, Part 3”

  1. The koto isn’t a seated harp. It’s classified as a zither. And the shou is a free reed mouth organ. In other words, a harmonica.

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