Meiji, Emperor of Japan(1852-1912), Reigned 1867-1912
Sitter in 2 portraits
Emperor Mutsuhito was the 122nd Emperor of Japan. He reigned at a time when Japan was rapidly evolving from a feudal state to a capitalist and imperial world power defined by the Japanese industrial revolution. The son of Emperor Komei and his concubine Nakayama Yoshiko, the young prince was given the name Schinomiya or Prince Sachi. On August 16, 1860, he was proclaimed heir to the throne, and was formally adopted by his father's consort. Later that year on November 11, he was proclaimed as the crown prince and given an adult name, Mutsuhito, he ascended to the throne in February 1867. In September 1868, the Emperor announced that the name of the city of Edo was being changed to Tokyo, or "eastern capital" and shortly before being formally crowned in Kyoto he announced that the new era would be called "Meiji" or 'enlightened rule'. According to Japanese custom, he is referred to as Emperor Meiji posthumously after the period that he presided over.