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Emperor Meiji
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    (November 3, 1852-July 30, 1912)
    Born in Kyoto, Japan
    Birth name was Sachinomiya
    Upon being named Crown Prince, took the adult name Mutsuhito (1860)
    122nd Emperor of Japan (1867-1912)
    Replaced the shogun as the supreme authority in Japan during the Meiji Restoration (1868)
    Accounts of his childhood are contradictory, with some saying he was delicate and in poor health and other portraying him as somewhat of a bully and an expert at sumo.
    Although nominally in charge, he was basically a figurehead for an oligarchy of military, political and economic leaders.
    He regularly attended cabinet meetings and government functions, but rarely spoke during them.
    He did not begin studying contemporary affairs until he had already been on the throne for a couple of years.
    All fifteen of his children were fathered with his ladies in waiting, and none with the Empress.
    Only five of his fifteen children lived to adulthood.
    When he first visited Tokyo, he had sake distributed to the crowds (1869).
    He was the first Emperor to remain on the throne past age 50 since the 17th century.
    He presided over Japan's transformation from a feudal nation to one of the great powers on the world stage.
    Meiji, the name he chose for his era, translates as 'enlightened rule.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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