Fujitani-Monarchy

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Unformatted text preview: €11 Reprinled. wilh permission. lrom: Splendid Monarch : Po war and Paoenrrv in odem Japan o 4997 Universin oi California Press Ail flights Reserved. CHAPTER FOUR The Monarchy in Iapan’s Modernity The Emperor’s Two Bodies In early 1881 a-young man named Suematsn Keno then studying'at'Cambtidge University, began sending a series of ports on the English monarchy to the imperial household minim Toituciaiji Sanenori. Suematsu had been taken under Ito Hitoiaun wing in I 875 and had been serving on the staff of the iapanese Legat: in England since I 878. Suematsu became an influential member of ruiing circies in the 18805, becoming not Oniy ito’s son~in—iaw in IE but also a prominent politician who sat in the Diet for many years 2 who also served in different capacities in sevetai of Ito’s cabinets; em tuaily, he became a member of the Privy Comeil in 1906.1 In the f of these reports, Suematsu arrived at some observations that are strilc both in articulating the idea of a dualism in the official British idea kingship and in suggesting the reievance of this dualism for understai ing the Japanese monarchy. In England, as with ancient practices in Japan, the new monarch’s gr ceremonial of enthronement does not take place on the same day as ' accession, . . . To begin with, according to the spirit of the royal lit transmission, the king is said to be one who never dies. In the legai idi. this is the so-called immortal king. This does not mean that the life of - king is in reality undying but that when the sovereign dies his power 2 majesty as king are immediately conveyed to the royal heir. Because i- deemed that not a moment intervenes, it is said that while there i 155 til :56 MODERN EMPERIAL PAGEANTRY replacement of the old king’s physical body (thinner) by the new, it is as if there has never been a change in the king’s spirit (seirbin). (In France under the monarchy when the time of the king’s death arrived it was the practice to hurriedly come to the side of the bed and to shout “Le roi est mort. Vive le roi." It seems that this practice also stems from the same idea. It is said that in England, as well, at the time of George III’s death a shoot of “the king is dead, long live the king” came through the latticed windows of the palace in unison with the sound of trumpets.) . Legally, the end of the king’s life is called his “demise” [English in original]. It is as in the East where rather than speak of rial (death) we say 146 (demise).2 In all likelihood the original meaning of “demise” indicated nothing more than the conveyance of an estate. And the usage of this {term} to refer to a king’s death arises from the interpretationwwbascd upon the [ideal of the immortal king described abovcwthat when a monarch dies he conveys the kingdom to his heir. 3 Sucmatsu may have been the first in Japan to explain the idea of the “king’s two bodies” that the historians Ernst H. Kantorowicz and Ralph Giesey would explore in their much later studies of the political theology ofkingship in England and France, reSpectivcly,"‘ and he may also have been the first to theorize the Japanese monarchy in terms of a similar dualism. In The King’s Two Bodies (1957), Kantorowiczwmte on the late medieval origins of the idea that the king had not one body but rather two. Thisfiction, he claimed, became dominant in the age of Elizabeth and the early Stuarts and then continued with some trans- formations into the twentieth century. On the one hand, this theory held that the king had a “body natural,” a body “subject to all Infir— mities that come by Nature or Accident, to the Imbecility of Infancy or old Age, and to the like Defects that happen to the natural Bodies of other People.” On the other hand, the king had a “body politic,” a body that transcended the king’s physical body, was invisible, and rep— resented the immutabiilty of the political order. This “Body politic is a Body that cannot be seen or handled, consisting of Policy and Gov- ernment, and constituted for the Direction of the People, and the I Management of the public weal, and this Body is utterly void of Infancy, and old Age, and other natural Defects and Imbecilities, which the Body natural is subject to, and for this Cause, what the King does in his Body ‘ politics, cannot be invalidated or frustrated by any Disability in his natural Body.’15 Furthermore, as Suematsu had astuter observed, the death of the English king’s natural body was called his “demise” because this term suggested the transferal of the body politic to a new king, not its 'E‘HE MONARCHY IN MODERNITY 157 ektinction. Again as Kantorowicz explained through Elizabethan jurists, “for as to this Body [politic} the King never dies, and his natural Death is not called inour Law (as Harper said), the Death of the King, but the Demise of the King, not signifying by the Word (Demise) that the Body politic of the King is dead, but that there is, a Separation of the two Bodies, and that the Body politic is transferred and conveyed over from the Body natural now dead, or now remcwed from the Dignity royal, to another Body natural. 50 that it signifies a Removal of the Body politic of the King of this Realm from one Body natural to another” (emphasis in original)? It is not my purpose to simply accept Suematsu’s argument that there is a duality in Japanese kingship comparable to the fiction of the English “king’s two bodies.” Nor do I wish to claim a place for Japan’s monm archy within a universal theory that posits such a duality within icing— ships nearly eveqrwhere. It would certainly be possible to do so; ever since 33. E. Evans-Pritchard’s famous essay on “The Divine Kingship of the Shiiluk of the Nilotic Sudan” (1948), in which he argued that for the Shilluit the kingship or Nyikang never dies though individual kings do, much writing on kingship has worked through the idea of this duality in particular cultural settings throughout the world? On the Japanese side one could also point to Origuchi Shinobu.’s classic argument that in archaic Iapan people had understood the cm— peror’s body to be but a “receptacle” (item/mm) for the immutable “imperial spirit” (restrained) that attached itself to each new emperor and was the source of the emperor’s extraordinary authority. According to Origuchi, while the early Japanese had thought that there might at any moment he a number 'of potential imperial successors (bitmgi mi miko)~wa matter determined by blood lineagem—the sole successor of each reign was determined only through the enactment of the doijfimi, the “great food tasting festival.” This latter belief was a matter of faith rather than of blood lineage: it was imagined that during this pivotal rite the “imperial spirit” entered the new emperor after he had undergone a period of confinement and abstention while wrapped in a type of bedding that Origuchi traced back to the modular) nbnmmn that had covered the imperial ancestor Ninigi no Mikoto when he desosndcd from the Plain of High Heaven (Takamagahara) with the mandate to rule over the land. The dna'jrimi was thus part of an elaborate theology in which it was posited that while the emperor’s “fleshly body lived and died, the spirit (mmmfoii) that filled this fiesth body never changed from beginning to end.” Therefore, ail the successors of the Sun Sii 158 MODERN IMPERIAL PAGEANTRY Goddess, while different in the flesh, were in fact the same in spirit and every emperor was in essence the same emperor.8 These analyses of both Iapanese and non-Japanese ltingship are useful metaphorically in that they suggest ways of understanding the Japanese emperor as multiply and complexly imaged, as having‘not one but at least two “bodies.” But rather than contribute to a universal theory of king‘ ship outside history, or to the Meiji Restoration’s myth of a return to Japan’s originary model ofempcrorship and governance, 1 choose rather to situate this idea of the emperor’s duality historically, to demonstrate what particular binaries were constructed in the specifically modern era in Iapan, and why. Whether or not an abstract and ahistorical thing that one might call “Japanese kingship” was or was not dual‘istic is not part of my concern. Moreover, i am not suggesting that Kantorowicz’s discussion of the European political theology of the “king’s two bodies” can be applied mechanically and unproblematically to understand mod- ern Japanese kingship. Instead, I am arguing that Japanese thinkers in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries wrote at if European and Japanese ideas about kingship were similar, and in so doing participated in the construction of the modern emperor’s dualism. In other words, men such as Suematsu, writing in the 18805, and Origuchi, speaking and writing on the “imperial Spirit" just before the daiy'rism' of 1928, were not simply describing Japanese “kingship” as an objective reality; they were in fact contributing to its production in modern times. Most important, they helped to create an image of the modern emperor as participating in one mystical “body” or spirit linked in an unbroken chain stretching back to the Sun Goddess and a fleshly body that changed with each imperial reign. Interestingly, not only does the Imperial House Law of r889 contain this idea in its statement that the imperial institution, “enjoying the Grace of Heaven and everlasting from ages eternal in an unbroken line of succession, has been transmit- ted to Us through successive reigns,” but the-official English language translation of the section on “Ascension and Coronation” used the term “demise,” as employed in English political theology, to refer to the emperor’s death. Moreover, as Orlguchi plainly stated in “Daijosai no hongi,” his purpose in risking the disclosure of the hidden affairs of the ancestors and the imperial court was precisely to produce a memory of the archaic: in other words, to “recall the age of the nation and the age of the household (212).” His endeavors, he assured his listeners, stemmed from an unsurpassed “iove of nation and respect for the imperial court.” THE MONARCHY IN MODERNITY 159 My motives are quite different. I want to remember and problema— tize the fabrication of the particularly modern binaries that centered 0n the monarchy as part of a critique of the modern imperial institution and the modern nationstate. The modern emperor’s duality, as I have already suggested in the previous chapter and as i will try to make more explicit in this one, centered on the construction of images of him as being as intimately involved in the affairs of governance and military planning as he was aloof from them. As it was constructed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the modern Iapanese “icing— ship” could be imagined to have at least two “bodies,” one that rep— resented the mundane and mutable prosperity of the national commu- nity and another that represented its transcendence and perpetuity. From the late 13803 the Iapanese governing elites increasingly con- fined their modern monarch to his new palace in the heart of the capital city. They thereby icept him apart from society and emphasized his divinity. They promoted the mystery of the emperor by wrapping him in his archaic- and ethereal-looking priestly robes. Dressed in this way he performed seemingly timeless rites before the national gods in the innermost sanctuary of the palace. The most important of these gods were said to be the emperor’s ancestors. Through his transcendence of existing society in space and time, the emperor, as the embodiment of the imperial institution, represented the sacredness, permanence, and unity of the entire national community. _ Yet these same elites also cultivated the human dimension of Ern— peror Meiji. Whenever the emperor appeared in public, he wore not the flowing court garbs of his ancestorsmmwhich seemed to hold him above the mundane ali'aits of society, politics, and warfarembut modern mil- itary uniforms, covered with medals, which suggested his direct involve- ment in the critical matters bearing on the life of the national commu- nity. Through the creation of the illusion of his immersion in society, the emperor as man became a palpable presence legitimating the con- stituted sociopolitical order. Emperor Meiji was thus emperor-ship as well as emperor, mystical but palpable, transcending and yet directing, divine but human, and exempt from all human failings but responsible for all national accomplishments. The emperor’s dual nature, logically difficult to sustain, became real in dramadzations such as those de— scribed in the previous chapter. That iapan’s governing elites promoted the divine aspect of the emperor and his heir during the national celebrations dating from 18 89 needs only a little further elaboration. As the description of the events 9U 160 MODEZRN iMPERIAL PAGEANTRY has shown, each of the ceremonial occasions included rites performed within the most sacred, mystical, and invisible area of the palace; and imperial messengers went to the other sacred sites that made up the nation’s symbolic topography. Moreover, those who have studied the prewar Japanese imperial insritution have already often noted that the late Meiji period witnessed the “partial withdrawal of the monarch into the palace or, to change the metaphor, above the clouds”; and they have understood that this was a “part of enhancing his mystery and effectiveness.um One scholar, for example, has suggested that the ability of the emperor to confer legit- imacy upon the government was in great part a result of the emperor’s ritual activities within the Palace Sanctuary, coupled with isolation. The emperor’s transcendence, in this explanation, was maintained by keep- ing him physically confined, or we might say invisible, even while ritually active. Thus the number of outings from the palace decreased markedly after the promulgation of‘the Meiji Constitution: while there had been an average ofgova and 69.2. outings per year in the decades of 1871—80 and 1881—90, respectively, the corresponding figures for the following two decades dropped to 17.4 and 14.6.“ The ritual space in which the makers ofthe modern monarch fostered this mystical aspect of the emperor, and of the other members of the imperial family to a lesser extent, was made up of the three main shrines ofthe Imperial Palace, the hymn sender/i. In the preceding descriptions of the imperial pageants l have referred to this space as the Palace Sanctuary. On 9 January 1889, two days before the move of the em— peror and empress to the new Imperial Palace, the emperor directed the transfer of the national gods to these three shrines—the kurhikadokoro, the tar-elem, and the rhindm. OF these shrines only the kerhikodm’zom, in which the replica mirror representing the Sun Goddess was en- shrined, had existed in the Kyoto l’alace during the Tokugawa period. The learez'dm, created in r87r, housed the divine spirits of over-2,200 imperial ancestorsm—«emperors, empresses, imperial consorts (kart), and other members of the imperial family 025515574). The rhindefle, originally invented in I 869 and called the burrhimlm, was dedicated to the myriad deities of heaven and earth (tension: rhigi). Within these shrines the emperor and his ritualists performed the sacred imperial rites. It mat~ tered less that the [Ellesmere and rhinden were actually new shrines—and that the majority of rites performed there were also recently invented-— than that both the shrines and the rites appeared to be archaic and created a world mysteriously removed from everyday afiairs.12 In de— THE MONARCHY IN MODERNITY 161 scribing some of these rites shortly after the transfer of the emperor to the new palace, one journalist noted the difficulty of his task, for “with due reverence, the matters above the nincfold clouds are remote and difficult for the ruled (skimoramn) to know.”13 However, it would not have been possible for the emperor to become the unifying symbol of the national community and the legitimator of the existing regime had the governing elites kept him a remote figure detached from the human concerns of everyday life. While most schol« ariy and popular writings emphasize the divine and mystical dimension of the emperor in pre«I94 5 Japan, during the period of our concern it was just as necessary to construct an image of him as a human being. In the 18805, as the leaders within the government sought in earnest to work out the configurations of their future constitutional monarchy, some warned about the dangers of rc-isoiating the Japanese monarch. They worried, in short, about returning to the situation preceding the Restoration, when the emperor had been a figurcso mystical and re- moved from the lives of the common people that his centrality to the national community had been lost. In his fourth report on the English monarchy, for example, Suematsu Kencho reminded Imperial Household Minister TokudaijiSanenori of the necessity of creating a public and human face for the Japanese emperor. And he suggested that this point had been made long ago in Okubo Toshimichi’s famous petition of I 86 8. Paraphrasing from that petition, which called for the transfer of Iapan’s capital to Osaka, Suev matsu noted that the emperor had once been kept too far “beyond the ninefold [clouds]” and treated as “something other than human.” Reverence, taken to an extreme, would result in “the estrangement of the high and low.” Suematsu felt that the meaning of Okubo’s argtb ment was that “the secret {hikei} to harmony between ruler and subjects is mutual acquaintance and mutual love.” He proposed that “there are several Ways for the ruler. One is to dwell deeply and sit quietly—the people precluded from knowing of matters within his gates and walls. One, using authority and power, is to make the people submit from fear. Nevertheless, looking on several millennia of historical experience, there is nothing better for the well-being of the state than to make the people love the ruler, Through this, keep up a constant intimacy and make it unbearable to part from the ruler.”i4 Basing his suggestion on the practice of the English court, Suematsu encouraged the Imperial Household Ministry to advertise the mundane daily activities of the emperor and the crown prince through the capital’s newspapers. He felt Lil 162. MODERN IMl‘ERIAL PAGEANTRY that the dissemination of such information to the people would foster a feeling of intimacy and love (minim no flickers} for the monarch. While advisers such as Suematsu warned that a totally transcendent monarch would be unable to unify the people, others within the gov- ernment feared an even greater dangermnamely, that such a monarch would be able to unify the opposition. As simply a transcendent symbol representing the people and not the government, this imperial symbol could possibly be turned into a critical lever against the existing regime in the name of the people. Itokawa Daikichi has pointed out that the Popular Rights activists of the 18703 and 18805 offered precisely this mode of criticism. They did not reject the idea ofa unique and mystical Japanese political community distinguished especially by the rule of an unbroken succession ofemperors. Instead, even the most radical critics of the Meiji government incorporated this notion of kokntni into their thought. Moreover, in the private draft constitutions that they wrote in opposition to the constitution being prepared by the government’s leaders, they generain stressed the unity of the nation under the rule of the eternal imperial line. Irolrawa has argued, however, that the Popular Rights activists did not-emphasize the centrality of the imperial house— hold to the national Community in order to legitimate the regime. Rather, they hoped to drive a wedge‘between the emperor and the government, thus rendering the government of the Meiji oligarchs vulnerable. The government’s leaders—most notably Ointbo Toshimi— chi, lwakura Tomomi, and Ira Hirobumi—«responded by asserting the reality of direct imperial rule, that is, by identifying the government’s policies with'the cziiiperor.15 Put differently and returning to the notion of incommensutabie temporalities within the national narrative, it is possible to think of this mode of critique as one that was aimed at exposing the seam between the emperorwcentered past, on the one hand, and the present and future, on the other. Thus, through the I 8805 the government’s leaders felt it necessary to foster both the human and societally involved image of the emperor and . the reality of direct imperial rule. These two efforts were related in that direct rule by a human figure was far more conceivable than that by an absolutely transcendent god. Certainly, the oligarchs could to some degree enhance the societally involved aspect of the emperor through the expanding medium of the newspaper, as Suematsu suggestedeow- ever, the mere diffusion of information was insufficient; Publicly dra— matlziug national ceremonial occasions as well as producing more gen erai imperial imagery, aided by the news media, served to create and THE MONARCHY IN MODERNITY 163 sustain an image of the emperor as a man directly involved in govern- mental and military affairs. The manner in which public ceremonials fostered the human and societally involved image of the emperor was often expressed as the cultivation of intimacy (skin’m', thiamine, skinsstm whit/item) between the people and the imperial family. Clearly, such celebrations as imperial weddings and imperial, wedding anniversaries contributed to'the sense of nearness between the ruler and the ruled. The very notion of an emperor’s family, to borrow from Walter Bagehot’s remarks on the English monarchy, “brings down the pride of sovereignty to the level of petty life.” Through depictions of his participation in such a mun- dane matter as the conjugal relation, the emperor could become a more comprehensible figure for the great masses of the Japanese people. Bagehot’s observations on the sovereign tinder the English constitu~ tional system are just as relevant to the modern Japanese monarchy: No feeling could seem more childish than the enthusiasm ofthe English at the marriage of the Prince of Wales. They treated as a great political event, what, looked at as a matter of pure business, was very small indeed. But no feeling could be more like common human nature as it is, and as it is likely to be. . . . A princely marriage is the brilliant edition of a universal fact, and, as such, it rivets mankind. . . . Just so a royal family sweetens politics by the seasonable addition of nice and pretty events. It introduces irrelevant facts into the business of government, but they are facts which speak to “men’s bosoms” and employ their thoughts.” Reflecting on the wedding of the crown prince, one writer for the Chair? Minoan remarked that “the essence (taiyfi) of the restoration of imperial rule {had} consisted of making the Imperial Household and the subjects intimate and eliminating the smallest distance between them?” Prior to the Restoration, he continued, the governments of regents or of warriors had intruded between the imperial household and the people, but with the eradication of such obstructions the people had shown their love for the imperial household by a great outpouring of congratulatory messages and gifts on the occasion of the crown prince’s wedding. The degree of intimacy between a monarch and a people that could be found in Eapan was rate, even in Europe. In concluding his editorial, however, the writer, who wished that the crown prince’s wed- ding celebration had taken place over three days rather than only one, recommended more parading through the city. This would allow greater opportunities for the crown prince and princess personally to 811 164 MODERN IMPERIAL PAGEANTRY receive the felicitations of the people and further increase the ioyalty of the people to the imperial househoid. In fact, in staging these imperial celebrations, a Wide variety of means 7 had been utilized to foster the people’s sense of intimacy with the imperial household. Some of these methods predated the Restoration and the late Meiji period and were only new in their scale. For example, imperiai gifts of money went out to the elderly. When such gifts had been made during the emperor’s early Meiji progresses, however, oniy those living aiong the routes had benefited. But from the time of the Meiji Constitution’s promulgation, as the governing elites attempted to involve ail the peopie of the nation in one imperial ceremony, ali the elderiy in the nation received such gifts simultaneously. In celebration of the Constitution’s promuigation the Imperial Household Ministry used the prefectural officesto make gifts of one and a haif yen to I67 centenarians, one yen to 14,013 persons over ninety, and fifty sen to 277,597 persons over eighty.” Thus over a9o,ooo of Japan’s elderly received imperial gifts in celebration of one event, Even prison inmates might feel the emperor’s direct concern for them, since in many jaiis the authonties fed beef or other treats to the prisoners and wardens ex- plained the importance of the day’s ceremony.” For the natiOnai cei- ebration of the imperial couple’s twenty—fifth wedding anniversary, 289,000 Japanese citizens over the age of eighty again learned of the imperial event and, more important, of the imperial benevolence through direct gifts of money from the emperor.20 The imperial pardon constituted anOther method of demonstrating the emperor’s concern for the common people. At the promulgation of the Constitution the emperor ordered the release of hundreds of po» litical prisoners.21 In granting the pardons, the authorities reminded those who had erred in the past of the greatness of the imperial benev» olence and of their responsibiiity to become good subjects. Miyaltawa Tsumori was one such recipient of imperial benevoience. Formeriy a Shinto priest and secretary of the Poor People’s Party (Kon- minto), he had been jailed for his role in the huge antigovernment rebellion known as the Chichibu incident, an uprising in which perhaps 10,000 people had taken part.22 Shortly after his release, he received a letter and an “admonitory notice” {lasing/mire) from the warden of Saitama Penitentiary. The notice indicated that whiie Miyakawa had been convicted for the crime of organizing a mob, he was being par~ doned because “with the Meiji Constitution’s promulgation, the people had been showered with the emperor’s benevolence,” Not only had THE MONARCHY EN MODERNITY 165 Miyakawa received his freedom, he had aiso‘i‘immediately regained tht honor of having his rights restored, and been enabled to take his placr among the good subjects of the reaim.” The warden advised, “Into the distant Future, while never forgetting this great benevolence, repen‘ deeply; ever loyal in speech and action, devote yourself solely to dili‘ gence in the occupation foiloWed by your house. In this way, you shoulc endeavor wholeheartedly to repay the infinite imperial benevolence”: Most important, the governing elites had fashioned public ceremo nial practices conducive to the creation of a sense of nearness betweet the imperiai househoid and the people. The bonsai cheer, for example expressing the people’s love and respect for the monarch, was ais< developed in conjunction with imperial pageants. Prior to 1889, as : writer for the Trikyci grammar warm explained, the peopie did no . know how to greet the emperor in public. They often failed to removi their hats and scarves or neglected to fold up their parasois. But abovi all, the Iapanese had no practice for hailing their monarch respectfuily “As regards the countries of Europe,” he noted, in examining the way in which the peopie greet their monarchs and pres idents, when they see {the monarchs and presidents] approach, all wav their hats, wave their handkerchiefs and shout a congratulatory “hooray {English in original} in unison. In such places as ceremonial italis they shou “Long iive the icing,” “Long live the queen” [English in original} ([2 bonsai, join? banner}. In France they shout “Vive la Repubiique” or “Viv la France” {French in originai] (kyfiwa Emmi, ankles/tar banana). In thes countries people join together to sing their nationai anthems as we sing lam. 2m was . Suematsu Kencho had also pointed out the marked contrast betwee: the Japanese peopie’s often fearfui greeting of their emperor and th European people’s expression of love and respect for their monarch: Throughout the West, when monarchs pass by, crowds cheer and wave the: hats and scarves. Expressing love and respect in this way is a regular or currence, and on a day when there is an occasion such as a birthday, th people form a crowd in front ofthe palace and cheer. It is often the case til: they wait for the monarch himseif to come out onto the veranda (rents) t greet them. . . . These customs differ greatly from those for the tours ( g; 53.25) of monarchs in the East, where, for example, dignity aione is the ml and the people’s fear is all that is expected; where in the extreme case eve looking upon the imperial procession is not aliowed.25 Whiie I am skeptical about the argument that the Japanese banal cheer was a cornplete late Meiji invention,26 there can be little doui oil 166 MODERN EMPERIAL PAGEANTRY that its widespread popular use dates from the promulgation of the Meiji Constitution, and many Meiji contemporaries believed that their generation had invented the term in emulation of various Wesrern cheers. in 1905, a controversy even broke out between some members of Tokyo’s Imperial University and the _Upper Normal School as to which school had been responsible for creating the cheer.27 In any case, from the time of the Constitution’s promulgation, as one English ob— server put it, “The spirit of the Anglo~Saxon cheer seemed to have descended on the heads of the Tokyo citizens, for such shouts of Ban- zai! Banzai! Ryéiqeikn Banzai! {Long live Their Majesties} made the streets ring that one might well have imagined oneself listening to the lusty cheering of a London cr0wd.”28 Finally, the construction of the human emperor required the {ash ioning of strategies to display the emperor’s and the other. imperial family members’ human bodies. To put these new strategies of visualm ization into perspective we may note that while Tokugawa anti pre— Toicugawa imperial portraits certainly did exist,” they were not pro- duced for broad public consumption and, as I have already explained, commoners knew little about emperors and how they might look. In stead, the bodies of the emperors had been shrouded in mystery; there were no techniques for representing the imperial body before a wide public. Moreover, even as late as the time of the first imperial progress to Tokyo, 21 palanquin completely concealed the young emperor. To be sure, the imperial progress to the East was precisely intended to mark the emperor’s physical presence and movement before the ' people. Yet there was apparently still neither the desire nor the means to reveal him in the flesh. Woodblock prints, the primary visual medium linking the state to the people in the early Meijildecades, both reflected and fulfilled the aims ofthis-campaign. For example, Sakigaltesai Yoshi- toshi’s “Bushfi Rokugo innawataslii no zu” (Figure 16)30 shows the imperial progress’s crossinglof the section of the Tania River known as Rokugo River, on the day before the procession’s entry into Tokyo on :6 November 1868. The use of perspective, with the long and seem— ingly unending procession crossing over the long curving pontoon bridge, as well as the intimation of legs in motion, the fluttering imperial flag and banners, and the weighty imperial palanquin, all convey the dynamism, power, and scale of the new regime. By illustrating the procession’s confident and apparently effortless passage over the river, the print demonsrrates that the imperial power is impervious to natural 01' topographical boundaries. In short, the print is a representation of on bridge the day before his entry into Tokyo in funawatashi no zu, emperor’s procession Over a ponto go “Bushfi Roku Nowmber x868. Sakigakesai YOshitos i, Figure 3:6. Woodblock print of the Meiji of Cultural History. ” 1868. Courtesy oi'Kanagawa i’refecturalMuseum 031 THE MONARCHY IN MODERNITY :7; nothing but an open coach would suffice. One writer for the T 61296 nicbinichi recommended, just prior to the Constitution’s promulgation, that the imperiai couple should ride in an open coach “so that the people are enabied to look directly upon their fine countenances.” In the West, weather permitting, “monarchs always ride in open coaches, receive the salutations of the people, and even politely look around to acknowledge the people”?6 For the imperial review held in conjunction with their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary celebration, the imperial couple did ride in an open carriage, and while not always the rule, this practice has continued throughout the modern era. The Politics of Gendering and the Gendering of Politics yarns Military Parade Pieid just after the Meiji Constitu— A A51 suggested earlier, the modem imperiai binary was a gendered one. I want to elaborate here on the complex of factors that necessitated the construction ofa masculinized emperor and to consider the contexts for and repercussions of such a gender-log. In her enon mously suggestive essay on the gendering (though she does not use the term) of the modern Iapanese emperor,” the feminist activist and writer Kano Mildyo has argued that for the Iapanese people, especialiy during the period of the Fifteen Year War, thealldre of the monarch lay in its “motheriy” dimension. She maintains that the general willingness of men to sacrifice themselves, and of mothers to send their sons and husbands to their deaths, can be explained by the loving, forgiving, all-embracing, and comforting aspect of the imperial image, In short, the active participation of the people in the prewar and wartime emperor system came not from the symbol of the emperor as patriarch, as it i might as first seem, but rather through the mutual identification of the. “imperial heart“ (amigo/learn) and the “motherly” (balm new mane}. One of the great contributions ofKanc'i’s essay is its radical break with the idea that the gendering of the emperor need neceSsariiy be limited by our assumptions about biological sex. Rather, she explains that even the Meiii leaders who sometimes constructed the “fatherly” emperor in order to justify their own ruie typically deployed the “mothcriy” cli~ mension of the monarchy in order to appeal to the masses. Thus rather than harken back to Emperor Iimmn, for exampie, they stressed the monarchy’s reiationship to Amaterasu, the Son Goddess. anpeishiki shinzu,” 1889. Courtesy of Kanagawa Prefec— e Tankei, “Aoyama lc Figure r8. Woodbiocic print showing the emperor and empress at the A0 tion’s promulgation and prior to the review. {non rural Museum of Cuitural History. IZI :72 MODERN EMPERIAL PAGEANTRY There is much explanatory power in Kane’s description of the mod— ern emperor’s “feminized” dimension, most especially in her observa- - tions on the overlapping of the monarchy and “maternity” in the war- time yearswan analysis that seems to demand comparisons with what has been described as the mother—bound or feminized dimension of the European fascism that could mobilize a new type of fascist subject.“ Nevertheless, it is necessary to do more with her passing suggestion that the Meiji rulers also promoted the patriarchal emperor to legitimize their own positions. in fact, I would argue that during the Meiji era the emperor’s physical “body,” what Kantorowicz might have called the emperor’s “body natural,” became masculiniaed and that this mascw linlzation was central to making believable the dominant national nar— rativemone that articulated the emperor as net Only standing for na» tionai continuity and the past but also as the Ruler who was at the center of a powerful nation‘state. As recent works on the intersecrion of nationalism and sexuality/ gentler have shown, in modern times there has been a tendency in Europe, if not so much in the United States, for feminized symbols such as Marianne in France, Britannia in England, or Germania in Germany to represent the nation. George L. Mosse has written that these femi» ninized representations “stood for immutabiiiry rather than progress, providing the backdrop against which men determined the fate ofna- tions.” Maurice Agulhon has similarly conjectured that one of the rea- sons why the feminine allegory came to represent the French Republic was that such a figure could be distinguished from all those realdife male leaders of the French Revolution that eventually “turned into rene~ gades, dictators or monarchs. The French Republic, immumsed by so many disillusionments against the cult of great men, thus strove always to diminish the power of the presidency, to keep a close check on its statesmen and to deity nothing but itself.” 39 In other words, since men dominated the modern world of politics, in the narrow sense of gov“ 'ernment, only a feminized symbol could represent the perpetuity, re- spectability, and beauty of the nation that transcended the mundane and usually suliied affairs of state. Yet in modern'lapan the imperial figuremthough also the symbol of the nation’s past and its perpetuity—~needed to be gendered as male in at least one of his “bodies.” There were at least two reasons for this. in the first place, tire Meiji emperor was masculiniZed with military uni— forms, medals, and facial hair simply because his image was modeled on THE MONARCHY IN MODERNITY 175 that of the male monarchs then reigning in Europe. This mimicry was a matter of great importance in the field of international symbolic rivalry. Through the image oftheir monarch Japan’s leaders represented their nation, state, and people not as childlike, weak, dependent, or womanly, but rather as virile and mature. Through allegory they as- serted Japan’s right to independence from subordination by the West— ern powers and even the legitimacy of their own domination of Asia. A second pressing matter that helped fashion the emperor’s mascw linized image was the ideology particular to Japan in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries—«the ideology of “direct imperial rule.” It is conceivable that had the emperor remained simply a symbol of the nation’s continuity above the fray of everyday political struggles, he could have stayed an ambiguously gendered, or perhaps by modern norms an even somewhat feminine, figure in his Kyoto courtly robes. But according to the official discourse of “direct imperial rule," lie was the central actor in the actually existing contemporary state. And be cause it was an age when the world of politics was becoming a clearly masculinized arena, the suggestion of the emperor’s deep immersion in it could only be believed insofar as he was imaged as a man. Thus putting aside for now the question of how “maternalized” the emperor might have been in Meiji, a question that Kano has raised but that is too complex to be considered here, we can surmise that he could not be only the feminized sign of the nation, because the concept of “direct imperial rule” connoted not only reign but also rule. During the earlier Tokugawa period, when emperors had been ltept “above the clouds,” dissociated from direct political action in both form and facr, they had neither a military function nor a masculine image by modern norms. Rather, living largeiy within a secluded world domi~ nated by court ladies, even male emperors had been what might now be considered effete figures, their hairless faces softened with white powder and their long hair tied back in the genteel style of the court nobility. In general, Tokugawa—period men did not display facial hair; as Kuroda Hideo has pointed out in his study of imperial and shognnal portraits, whereas during the medieval (chrisez’) period representations of empero ors depicted them with beards and moustaches. This practice ended after the reign of Emperor Goyozei (I 586u1611).4° When the British diplomat Ernest Satow first saw the Meiji emperor in May 1 86 8, he was apparently struck by the paleness of the young mOnarch’s face and the passivity of his demeanor. Perhaps revealing much about his own Hi :74 MODERN IMPERIAL E’AGEANTRY European expectations that modern ruiers be masculine and dynamic, he remarked: As the Mikado Stood up, the upper part of his face, including the eyes, became hidden from View, but I saw the whole of it whenever he moved. His complexion was white, perhaps artificially so rendered, his mouth badly formed, what a doctor would call prognathous, but the general contour was good. His eyebrows were shaven off, and painted in an inch higher up. His costume consisted of a long black loose cape hanging backwards, a white upper garment or mantle and voluminous purple trousers. . . . Sir Harry [Paz‘ltesl stepping forward put the Queen’s letter into the hand of the Mikado, who evidently feit bashde or timid, and had to be assisted by Yamashina no Miya.41 However, Emperor Meiji’s physical appearance changed dramatically as he quickly became “dressed” to be the principal in politics, the Ruler. As the active agent in politics the old imagewpassive, nonmartial, and whitened—“gave way to a new onewmasculinized, active, and milita~ ristic. Thus in 1871 the emperor declared through an internal rescript that he would reform the existing style of court dress because these clothes, originally from Tang models, “gave the impression of weak- ness” (hammer: raan o nerar)..fle reminded those ciose to him that the nation had originally been ruled militarily, that the emperor had been the commanderuinthief, and that he had appeared before the peopie as such, His new-image was further enhanced by the adoption in 1873 of a short haircut, a moustache, and a beard. Within the next few years, as the historian Sasaid Suguru has pointed out, when the emperor ap— peared before the people, he almost invariabiy did so in military uni— form. Thus Sasaki notes that of the fifty~one different woodblock print depictions of the emperor between £877 and 1888 that he has seen, Forty~seven show him in military dress."‘2 ' Moreover, as earlier descriptions of the emperor’s military ceremo- nials and the militarization of the emperor’s capital suggest, the mili~ tarization and hence masculinizarion of the emperor and his city con- tinued through the late Meiji years. In his role asthe generaiissimo of the army and navy, the nation’s icacler in war, he demonstrated his absolute involvement in the critical affairs of the nationai community. He was, of course, the iawgiver, who created internai order in the national community through his Constitution. Both: the iate nine~ teenth and early twentieth centuries, when no greater threat to the integrity of the nation existed than the foreign powers, he dramatized THE MONARCHY 1N MODERNITY 173 Figure I9. Uchida Kuichi’s.137a portrait of the Meiji emperor. From Sudé Mitsuaki, Meiji rennégyodm (Tokyo: Kaneo Bun‘endo, 119112). - his protection of'the nation both through his iniiitaiy persona and through the military embeliishment of the capital. There is perhaps no better way to illustrate the rapidity and dcci~ siveness with which the new Meiji political elite refashioned the imperiai body than by comparing the Meiji government’s three officiai photo.- graphic portraits of the ernperor.‘13 While the first two were both taken by the professional photographer Uchida Kuichi, the first photograph, taken in 1372, captures the emperor before his spectacular transforma- tion (Figure r9),He is dressed in the rokutai formai court styie, with flowing robes looser enveioping his body. His hair is tied back and on EZI I76 MODERN IMPERIAL PAGEANTRY Figure 20. Uchid'a Kuichi‘s 1373', portrait is the: Meiji emperor. From Sudo Mitsualti, Meiji $312146 graders" - (Toltyo:'l(anco Bun’endo, I912). '- -- '- top of it is a tail, spindly headpiece. He is seated'on 'a- low chair, wearing high clogs, and his face is youthful, with no facial hair-._The second photograph, taken in the foliowing year, is quite different (Figure 20). Though he stiil has a youthful visage, he now wears" a tightwfitting Western military uniform. His hair has been cut short and parted, and he displays a monstache and heard. He sits on a westernwstyle chair, wears Western shoes, and holds a saber prominently in front of him. Thus already in the, early Meiji years and very cloSer' coinciding with the emperor’s move to the Eastern Capital, the governing elite created for him a masculinized, active, and militaristic image. This was the look THE MONARCHY 1N MODERNITY 177 appropriate for an emperor who supposedly ruied personally, and it contrasred sharpiy with the appearance of the Kyoto courtiers, whom Ckubo Toshimichi in a letter of May 1868 once disparagingly likened to “women in a harem.”4‘4 ' . However, the photographic portrait crafted by the Italian artist Edoardo Chiossone in r888, which became the oiiicial portrait distrib uted throughout Japan in the second half of Meiji, did even more to construct the emperor as a dignified man. Interestingly, this portrait was not a photograph of the emperor himself, but: rather 'a copy of a copy of a representation of the emperor. Chiossone, who was employed by Iapan’s Mint Bureau, first sketched the emperor. He then drew a seated portrait of the emperor based on his sketches. The Japanese photogra- pher Maruid Toshiaici then photographed Chiossone’s drawing. Yet, for most people in Japan in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centu- ties, this simulacrum three steps removed was the emperor’s reai pres- ence (Figure 2.x). ‘ r _ _ '_ " Following and building upon Taki Koji’s numerhus insights, we can note that this real emperor of the portrait was a considerably more dignified, miiitarized, and masculinized man than even the emperor of Uchida’s 1873 photograph. To be sure, the emperor who had been sketched in 1888 had matured physically from the youth of the earlier photograph, but there were many more subtle matters of composition that enhanced the later imperial image. The emperor of the 1873 por— trait is almost slouching in his chair, whereas the emperor of the 1888 portrait sits forward stifliy with his back straightened. The iat'ter, mere diseiplined and more militarized posture gives the emperor a far more majestic bearing and suggests his greater capacity as a political actor. The earlier portrait, even though. it portrays - the full iength of the emperor’s body, contains a considerable amount of empty space so that the imperial body relative to the entire frame seems much smallerand has a iess imposing presence than the body in the later photograph. In the later portrait the body is not depicted in its entirety but nevertheiess fills up most of the picture. Finally, while the iate'r'e'mperor places his right arm away from the front of his body to reveal a large and heaviiy decorated chest, the earlier emperor has his arms crossed‘rather weakly in front of his body in order to grasp the saber. _ _ Woodbiock prints also provided an important site-for the construction of a masculinized emperor. As an exampie, let us here examine Yoshfi Chikanohu’s print, “Hokkaido gojunko no zu,” that depicts the Meiii emperor’s departure from Tokyo on 30 Itily 188 t, for his tour through 1721 I78 MODflRN EMPERIAL PAGEANTRY Figure 2.1. Edoardo Chiossoiie’Is 1-8818 portrait-Of the Meiji emperor. From Watanabe Gintaro; Gomz'sfi go- :hoshin chef, v01. 1? (Tokyo: Shinbashitié Shétfin5-19I2). Yamagata, Akita, and Hokkaido (Figure 2.1)}? The emperor is now cleariy visible, and the uncovered window of the imperial carriage invites us to look in on the emperor’s physieai body. The curtains which might porentiaiiy conceal the carriage’s interior are tied haek' so that the window creates a frame rather than an obstruction for'xiiewing the body of a moustacth man with his hair cut short and wearing tight—fitting, mil— itary~style Western ciothes. Here we have not o'niy ari einpéi'or in physical motion, an image enhanced by the militarized bedy; we also see him marked with what had been becoming a Sign ofmascuiinity, facial hair. Woodblock prints continued to promote this miiitariicd and mas- cuiinized image of the emperor for the period under consideration, g the Meiji emperor’s departure fi'om Tokyo on his tour of the Yamagata, Akita, and / shfi Chikzinobu, “Hokkaido gojuhkt') no 312,” 188:. Courtesy of Kanagawa Prefecture] Museum of Cuimral Figure 22. Woodbiocic print depictir: 5 Hokkaido region. Y Historv. $31 130 MODERN lMPERlAL PAGEANTRY reaching a Climax with Japan’s victory over China in 1895. Baido Koltunimasa‘s “Daigensui heika gochaltu hogeimon no an” {Figure 2.3 )46 depicts the emperor’s triumphal return to Tokyo on 30 May 18 9 5 after his spending nearly the entire war period at the Japanese Supreme Command (dailmn’zi) located in Hiroshima. The emperor is shown almost full face, moustached, bearded, and wearing his military uniform, and in the background is the enormous “triumphai arcade” (game aakeido) that had been built for the occasion and that suggests the immensity of national and imperial power, as well as, once again, the idea of the emperor in morion, even as the age of the great imperial tours had already come to an end. While inventing a masculinized, militarizeci, and dynamic figure for the emperor as political actor, the makers of the modern monarchy also fashioned a new public image for the women of the imperial household as serving and nurturing, as representations of the ryfimi kenba {good wife, wise mother} ideal. This took place within the context of the production ofthe Meiji fiction of an imperial family, and it was part of the construction of an intricate web of officialized meanings that placed men and women, both inside and outside the imperial household, in a neat binary opposition, wherein the one was implicated in the defini— tion, clarification, and exclusion of the other. Thus even as the leaders of the Meiji government eliminated the possibility ofwonien inheriting the emperorship, a possibility that-had been rare but not unknown in the Tokugawa period and earlier, by declaring in Article II of their new Constitution that “The succession to the throne shall devolve upon male descendants of the imperial House”-~w~in other words, legally de- fining the emperor as male—mthey created a new public image for women of the imperial family. The subordination of these women within the imperial family took place, then, not through their withdrawal from public view, but rather by their becoming more visible than any imperial consorts had ever been in all of previous Japanese history. As the descriptions of the individual imperial celebrations have shown, the women of the imperial family—~most notably the empress and, to a slightly lesser extent, Princess Sadako—were important and visible performers in Japan’s first modern imperial ceremonies. More- over, two of the greatest imperial pageants of the late Meiji era cele- brated the imperial marriage and created unprecedented opportunities to construct domesticated imagesofthe imperial consorts. The empress also began to accompany the emperor publicly, riding in the same coach for the first time for the military review held in conjunction with the emperor’s triumphs} return to Tokyo from Hiroshima following the Sinovlapanese War. the Meiji :1 wt)-.. L:~«:mn~— w— ~.. (Ch.1~-—..~:L n:‘- _— —L..1.—_ 23‘ Woodblock print-of Y/-I-.. Figure b .i A z QZI I82. MODERN IMPERIAL PAGEANTRY Constitution’s promulgation. For the promulgation ceremony held in the new Throne Room, she sat on a specially prepared throne, just off to the emperor’s side. To watch the bargain; performance held on their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, the emperor and empress sat to- gether, Moreover, on all of these public occasions the empress accorrr panied the emperor as he greeted Japanese and foreign dignitaries. Later, for Emperor Taisho‘s salmi accession ceremony held in 191 5, the court’s ritual specialists fashioned a throne, called the michédai, for the new empress’s participation in that rite. Though appearing to date from remote antiquity, no such throne had existed until then because impe- rial consorts had not taken part in the salami ceremony.” In addition to noting that woodblocks of various imperial ceremo« nials represented and hence helped to produce and circulate'an image of a militarized and masculinized emperor, it is important to recognize that such media were also involved in the production and circulation of images of the imperial women as subordinated to and less dynamic than the imperial men. Take, for example, Chikanobu’s print cited earlier (see Figure 22). Here we see very clearly the empress and then the empress dowager in the two carriages following that of the emperor. Yet as newspapers indicated, the women had only gone as far as senjfi to send the emperor off on his long and arduous journey. In fact, with the second of the Six Great Imperial Tours, the Tohoku Tour of a lunemar Iuly r876, this practice of the two most prominent women of the imperial household sending off the emperor but not accompanying him became a custom; it was repeated with every one of the great tours. In I915 the Englishman William Elliot Griflis observed that a great transformation in the empress’s image had taken place since his arrival in Japan during the early 18705. Reflecting as much about his own Victorian ideal of womanhood as the new Japanese cmpress’s image, he wrote: As man advances so also must woman. ,The first lady of the land was now to win fresh honors with her husband. The time was ripe for the Empress to be more of a wife and a woman and participate in the new and broader life of the nation. . . . The Mikado’s wife, in Kyoto days, had never been considered his equal. She was never addressed with the corresponding title, not awarded the same honors as a woman of like rank and name in Europe. Such equality of wiféhood is logically impossible in any country where a harem, or seraglio, or, legalized concubinagc exists. By the new privileges accorded to his consort Mutsuhito recognized that the freedom enjoyed by women in Western countries was “in accordance with the right Way be— THE MONARCHY IN MGDERNITY r83 tween Heaven and earth,” and here again his example has been porverful with his people. . . . . So far as Haruko, the wife of Mutsuhito, being an “Empress,” in the European sense of the word, the Japanese of the early seventies, as i can testify, strenuously objected to speakingpf the gracious lady as “Her Mai- esty.” But now Japanese would be indignant if one did not address or speak of the Emperor’s wlfeas “Empress,” for they see things more clearly."‘8 The women of the imperial family, like the men, did not withdraw into the private quarters of the palace during the late Meiji period; rather, they emerged as public figures, Subordinate to but actively supporting their husbands and families. How can this sudden emergence of the imperial family’s women be explained? Part of the explanation may again be sought in the Meiji leaders’ emulation of Western monarchles. In Europe, as some Japanese ob« servers noted, sovereigns generally appeared in public with their spouses. The court bureaucrat Fujinami Kototada wrote of the English monarchy, for example, that the widespread European practice of hus~ bands and wives accompanying one another extended to royal families. Furthermore, fojinami observed that emperors and empresses always appeared in public together for military reviews. “Though it is said that this is a man’s world,” concluded Fujinami about European countries, “the empress generally accompanies. The consort ofFrance’s Napoleon III, for example, always rides along on horseback.”49 The image of Louis Napoleon’s spouse accompanying the emperor on horseback caught the attention of Suematsu Kencho as well, for in one of his reports on the English monarchy he also described this French practice while more broadly considering the proper public dis play of monarchs and their spouses.50 The main subject of this report was Queen Victoria’s visit to France in :85 5, when with England and France allied in the Crimean War it was necessary to “represent the increasing friendship and harmony between the two countries.” But Snematsu used this retrospective account of Victoria’s foreign visit of some sixteen years before to reflect in some detail upon how the lap— anese imperial household might emulate European practices. He noted that “throughout the West sovereigns and their consorts always acconr pany one another (except when there are unusual circumstances), whether it be on pleasure outings or ceremonials for official functions and they thereby demonstrate the virtue of marital harmony.” The members of an envoy sent by the old Tokugawa bereft; had witnessed a dramatic demonstration of an empress assisting an emperor when they [.31 134 MODERN iMPliRIAL PAGEANTRY visited Paris and saw Napoleon III’s consort not only ride behind him during a great military review but even come to the aid of a cavalryman who had fallen off his horse. Yet in making his concrete suggestions of what the lapanese imperial household might learn from the West, Suematsu emphasized that this practice of appearing in public as a married couple had an impact far beyond the kings and queens or emperors and empresses themselves. They provided an example that helped to sway the minds of all the people. T his was an example, he went on, that would also be useful to have in Iapan. As even the practices found in a textlilte the Tale uf‘G’mji demonstrated, while women in the past sometimes sat with men at functions within the court confines, they did not accompany men in the outside world. Moreover, this custom had not undergone a complete change in the present. “Isn’t there room for some thought?” he asked, “for times have changed, human sentiments have been transformed, and we are now in a world where it is believed that a nation’s progress lies in the mutual assistance of men and women.” He concluded that perhaps the Iapanese empress should accompany the emperor on func- tions such as the opening of exhibitions and that she and even the empress dowager might join him in viewing the items displayed on such occasions. I Thus imitation of the behavior of European royalty can only partly explain the imperial women’s new prominence in public life. Instead, as Suematsu undersrood as early as 1881, the imperial family could be« come a model for social practices at large, and by late Meiji it was widely believed that the emperor and his family members had become such a model—~“the source of social morals,” as the influential writer Tol<u~ tomi Soho put it.51 The Filmer; 31236, a magazine that took pride in reporting on “customs of the nation-state, both old and new” (leoklea: fiizokn no kokin), told its readers that “because the multitudes looit up to the Imperial Household for its standards, this [the crown prince’s wedding] is not simply a ceremony of the Imperial Household; it pro vides a model for the subjects‘of tile-Empire.”52 During the 18903 and through the turn of the century—that is, precisely the period ofthe rise of imperial pageantrymthe official policy on education for girls turned toward ryfimi kmba they; the “good wife, wise mother doctrine.” As one educator put it in 1895, a woman had three great roles in life: daughter, wife, and mother. As a daughter, she ought to be gentle and ladylike (shakaja); as a wife, she ought to be “completely dutifulin obeying her husband”; and as a mother, she THE“. MONARCHY 1N MODERNITY 185 should be “completely devoted to the proper upbringing of the child whom she has borne.” By fulfilling these three roles, wrote Samusawa Shinsaku, a woman’s purpose in life could be accomplished.53 The zyfimz' [2372er policy became entrenched in girls’ education after the Sinoulapanese War (r894—95}. The Girls’ Upper School Edict of 1899 {rears jogekka ref) emphasized the teaching of skills likely to be beneficial for managing the household~sewing, homemaking, eti- quette, and the artswat the expense of a more general education. And girls learned thatthey should be “gentle, modest, and ladyiike.”S4 Moreover, one authority on the Japanese family has written that “by around I899 thedehate on women had been completely stifled due to the dominance of lyrical lambs slat/13355 The modern image for the women of the imperial family was formed during the production of this discourse on women. As in many other cases, emulation of the images andpractices of Western courts met a domestic need; for the women of the imperial family not only became respectable around the world, they aiso became the paragons of worn- anly virtues for the Japanese citizens. They were portrayed as ideal mothers and wives, trained in the feminine arts and possessed of the proper ladylilte and nurturing qualities. Even when seen or represented in nondomestic activities, they displayed the “womanly” and “moth- erly” qualities ofnnrturing or service, most conspicuously in war relief efforts, nursing, and charity work.56 Their supportive and nurturing role was, of course, displayed in the widely publicized imperial pageants. However, lest the message of the images be too oblique, the official image found its way into news media. Typically, at the time of the imperial couple’s twenty~fiith wedding anniversary, the Ffizakn gar/96 described the empress as having from a young age “far exccilled] other young ladies in the virtues of modesty and grace (seiskukn), and even admirably distinguishing herself in such accomplishments as reading and calligraphy?” Princess Sadako’s vir- tues, not surprisingly, were nearly the same as thosetof-her mother-in— law, except perhaps that because She would be the mother of the fiiture emperor, much was made of her physical health. Thus one newspaper noted that Princess Sadalto “had been healthy in mind and body from an early age; and with an outstanding reputation for brightness, and possessing chaste and gentle feminine virtues (Marketa), she laclts none of the qualifications to be the future ‘national mother’ Mackinac)?“ Social commentators also took the opportunity of the imperial cel— ebrations to explain ways in which Japanese women could, in following SZl I86 MODERN lMPERIAL I’AGEANTRY the example of the imperial family, become good wives and wise mothers. An anonymous writer for the Migrate slainth suggested one method by which a tradition in the popular folklore could be tefashioned to become a part of what I have been calling the folklore ofthe Meiji regime. The writer believed that people should revive the traditional doll festival (Pamela/inmate"), but with a new national and didactic significance. First of all, the date of the festival should be moved to 9 March in order to coincide with the wedding anniversary of the imperialcouple Also, when a couple married, they should make a doll for this annual festival fash- ioned to resemble the emperor. It would be the duty of the new bride and children to care for and make offerings to the doll. Reconstituting the festival in this way would have several benefits. It would transform a formerly private festival into a national observance in which “loyalty to the monarch” could be shown. It would also “nurture the Way of Man and Wife” {a subject to which I shall return below}. And finally, the main point to be made here, such a festival would be highly educational for women. Apparently because women would be primarily responsible for caring for the dolls, “in becoming wives, [women] would be moral and tender in their social relations; and in becoming mothers they would with their beautiful hearts manage the honsehold.”59 Even advertising made the connection between these. imperial cele— brations and the fostering of “good wives and wise mothers.” A one‘ half page advertisement in the Ma'yako ablazan on the day of the crown prince’s wedding went to great lengths to claim that the use of its product, “Anzanto” (safe childbirth water), would make patriotic women—meaning mothers. In what is presented as a discussion about the crown prince’s wedding, several speakers agree that the preservation of ' the mental and physical health of oneself and one’s children and descendants is the first step in serving the nation. “Even today, on this ' auspicious occasion,” exhorts the primary speaker, “it is precisely due to our physical health that we are enabled to see the crown prince’s pro- cession.” Furthermore, the necessity of preserving one’s health does not apply to men alone. Women must also do the same. Women have the duty to bear children, the glory of the nation. However, if their bodies are not healthy they will not be able to promote the growth of the fetus. Moreover, if they are sickly they will be unable to raise the child that is born. The ill health or sicldiness of a mother is a great misfortune for a child. Naturally, this will also bring misfortune upon the nation. Therefore, on a small scale the ill health or sickliness of a woman leads to the detriment of oneself and one’s family; on THE MONARCHY IN MODERNITY 287 a large scale it leads to the detriment of the realm, the nation. On the occasion _of this splendid ceremony, blessed with the opportunity of living in this great reign, I hope that our compatriots will build strong bodies and will be inspired to reader service to the nation. ' Another speaker agrees and adds that it is precisely because of thi patriotic necessity of maintaining the health of women that he makes hi: wife and daughter take a good medicine. The potion turns out to b: none other than “Anzanto,” a concoction that apparently leads to the birth of healthy children such as the one shown in the advertisement The picture is of a robust-looking boy riding on the backs of two turtle: with storks flying in the backgroundwtnrtles and storks, of course signifying long life. The child is holding up a streamer of carp, identifier with vigor; and behind him rises the majestic Mt. Fuji. “Anzanto,”. thi advertisement claims, is a cure-all for women’s maladies and is ever guaranteed to make “barren women pregnant.”69 ‘ Not only did the celebrations of imperial marriages provide oppor tunities to display ideal women, they also helped redefine the qualitie: of imperial men and the families in which women would fulfill the role: of wife and mother. The restructuring of the imperial family, with a single and permanent marital bond between emperor and empress (o: crown prince and princess), sanctified by a wedding performed in thc Shinto style, can only be fully appreciated by noting its relation to tilt new official emphasis on marriage as a sacred institution, which als< dates from the 18905. The relationship between husband and wife had, of course, been om of the Five Relations. The maintenance of these relations, according tr the Confucian tradition, was the foundation upon which a well—orderet society rested. However, both hard statistics and the obServations o contemporaries indicate that most Japanese treated marriage with con siderable laxity in the first half of the Meiji period and through most 0 the 18905. Men of [rabbi origin openly ltept mistresses, while common ers entered rather casually into marriage and then dissolved them witl great frequency~most likely because of the absence of legal restrictions and perhaps more important, of moral sanction (such as Christian con demnation) against divorce?1 In the years between t 88 I (the first year for which complete data an available) and I 897 {the year before the new Meiji Civil Code went intt effect}, the national rate of marriages to divorces ranged from 2.2l (I88 5} to 4.34 (1876}, and averaged 3 38.62 Put diH‘erently, statisticall} 631 188 MODERN EMPERIAL PAGEANTRY one out of every three marriages ended in divorce. Tokyo had an even" lower marriage to divorce ratio in these years: the lowest figure was :t .90 (1880), the highest 4.50 (1896), and the average 2.74.63 In the years of highest divorce, then, around one in every two marriages was dissolved. Remarking sarcastically on the discord between the ideal marriage exemplified in the ceiebration of the emperor’s twenty-fifth wedding anniversary and the great frequency of divorces among the Iapanese people, one writer noted that while many people ought to be celebrat— ing silver wedding anniversaries, few were entitled to: “While many have passed riventy-five to thirty years in marriage, this means ten years with one’s first wife and fifteen years with one’s second wife; it means fifteen years with one’s first husband, and ten years with one’s second husband. In the extreme case, some people are married five or six times without ever achieving twentysfive years of marriage?“ The family and inheritance provisions of the Meiji Civil Code, which went into effect in I898, helped put an end to the rather lax popuiar perception of marriage and divorce. First, it required the official regis~ trarion of all marriages and divorces. In the past, although some mar- riages had been registered, filing was far from universal, and unregis- tered marriages as well as divorces were recognized in law. More important, the new provisions stipulated that divorces would be allowed only for a limited number of very specific reasons. This also contrasted with past iegal practices that had acknowledged divorces without grounds (made when)“ Thus marriages, once entered into, became iegaliy fixed and, from the point of view of the governing elites, pro- tected from the whims of popular practice. indeed, the statistics might lead one. to assume that these legai changes alone led immediateiy to a precipitous decline in divorces. In the year between 1897 and 1898 the national ratio of marriages to divorces jumped from 2.94 to 4.74. Then, in what appears to have been a unique development among modern nations, the Japanese divorce rate, with only a few brief periods of exception, continued to decline steadily throughout the twentieth century until the mid-sixties. At that time marriages outnumbered divorces by over 13 to 1.66 Legal changes alone, however, cannot explain the consrant drop in the divorce rate through most of the century. The creation of a moral atmosphere sanctifying lifelong marriage must also he considered. As the most visible family, the imperial family provided a national model, especiaily on occasions such as Weddings and wedding anniversaries. THE MONARCHY EN MODERNITY 189 This fact was not lost on newspaper writers, who explained to their readers the exemplary role ofthe imperial family. A writer for the Miyaleo drinkers, for example, correctly pointed out that both international and domestic Concerns had led to the imperial family’s adoption of the twenty-fifth wedding anniversary celebration. On the one hand, because of Japan’s increasing contact with foreign countries, “adoption of such matters as the ceremonies of foreign countries is natural.” On the other hand, the author believed that the emperor wished to make the cele- bration of wedding anniversaries a regular custom so that “the people, without distinction between the noble and the mean, would value the sanctity ufmnrringr and uplaon public morality ( 101212916); and in so doing increase their happiness” {emphasis added)” T he Kaknmie Shiraan noted that “the Way of Man and Wife is the Great Foundation of human ethics”; and it added rhetorically: “Doesn’t the celebration of the emperor’s twentyhfth wedding anniversary have the magnanimous intention of teaching the Great Foundation of human ethics to the people of the nation?”68 Another writer-while he did not think it a good idea to maize dolls of the emperor that could be worshipped as “the god of matrimonial harmony” { fa'ifrr wage? no knmi)——eujoined the Japanese peopie to follow the example of the emperor in celebrating their own wedding anniversaries: “There can be no more auspicious sign than for the great numbers of subjects to learn from the emperor’s wedding anniversary ceremony. From their weddings through their siiver, golden, and diamond wedding anniversaries, they should aiso value marriage eternally and realize the beauty of the relation between Man and Wife by practicing matrimonial harmony.”69 , Writers made the same point in conjunction with the crown prince’s wedding, stressing the beauty of the projected monogamous relation between the crown prince and Princess Sadalco. While evading the discomfiting fact that the reigning emperor was not monogamous and that the crowu prince was the biological son not of Empress Ramiro hut of the court lady Yanagiwara Narulco, the newspapers condemned the . practice of polygamy and praised the younger imperial couple for pro— viding “the most beautiful and finest model for social customs”?0 One commentator accurately explained that until the crowu prince’s wedding, imperial marriage rites had not existed. Rather, the consorts of emperors and crown princes had simply been installed as empresses and princesses. Therefore, the crown prince’s wedding was an innovas tion that “forthwith made the Way of monogamy clear.” He con ciuded, “We subjects, in keeping with the emperor’s wish, shouid GEE 190 MODERN IMPERIAL PAGEANTRY understand that the great foundation for gOVerning one’s family is the Way of Man and Wife; and in practicing this {Way}, we must by all means strive not to err?“ Similarly, a journalist for the Chat: slainan declared that the crown prince's wedding was “a great ceremony, shin- ing brilliantly for all time as a model for the relation between the men and women of the nation. To put it frankly, it abolishes the pernicious old custom of polygamy. The imperial family eniightens sociew by being first in taking monogamy as the proper principle.” Furthermore, the writer rejected the opinion that since the imperial wedding was-not as important as an accession ceremony, it should not be celebrated on an overly grand scale. “This {erroneous opinion},” he concluded, “stems ultimately from the mistaken view that the great imperial wed- ding is merely a normal, everyday wedding This is an opinion of ig- norant people who do not know that this great imperial wedding will revolutionize (team) the moral character of our citizens?”2 While it is doubtful that two imperial ceremonies alone could have revolutionized popular attitudes toward marriage, from the late Meiji period the iapanese people witnessed numerous imperiai weddings and wedding anniversaries as they became accepted occasions for national ceiebrations. In these imperial ceremonies the people saw a single and Eifeiong marriage bond,- sanctified by Shinto rites conducted in the most sacred space of the nation’s capital. In pre~Meiji Japan the marriage rites of the common people throughout the country,'lilte those of the im- perial family members, had not been conducted before sacred beings.” But to a great extent because of the precedent set by the imperial family, the Shinto-style wedding had by the 19403 come to be recognized as a “traditional” custom for the Iapanese people?4 Along with the force of law, the exemplary role of the imperial family must be recognized as having played an important part in making the modern Japanese mar— riage inviolable. Ultimately the ryém Jeanna doctrine, the insistence upon marriage as a lifelong commitment, and the dramatization of these ideas by mem~ bers of the imperial family were all complicit in the construction of modern and stable families made up of disciplined individuals. With women secure in their marriages as the stabilizing influence, such nor— malized families might serve as the primary units of the national com— munity. At the same'time, since by the 18903 the nation was coming to be represented in the dominant discourse of the time as a family writ large, as a “nationstate family” (lenzoim leakiea}, in which the imperial household and the people were mysticaily bound together as a family THE MONARCHY IN MODERNITY 191 and where “the righteousness ( gi) betWeen the ruler and his subjects and the intimacy between father and child are absolutely the same,”75 it was imperative that the family itself be a properly ordered model for the nation. in other words, for the metonymic relationship between the family and the nation to work as an effective mechanism of control, it was neCCssary that the part, the family, be understood as the stable and properly hierarchized social unit that would correspond to the stable and properly hierarchized whole, the nation. In fact, we might alSo note that only the emperor’s children could unproblematicaliy enact the equation made in the knzoku koizkn discourse between “loyalty” (civil) and “filial piety” (1:5). For even if it was said that all the nation’s citizcmsubjects should equate “loyalty” with “filial piety” {theta-i1:- ponron),76 only the imperial children were positioned to do so with no slippage between the two concepts. In any case, through education, law, imagery, and drama the official model of the family spread through society, attaining during the twen- tieth century ’d'ie dominant place in social practice. Moreover, the in vention of the imperial familyw—where women represented what men were not, and vice versaw—provided the contexr for the masculinization of the emperor in his “body natural,” a man in both senses of the term, who could be imagined as directly and actively involved in society and politics. At the same time, the politics of gendeting the imperial household’s members resonated withmthat is to say, was both implicated in and reflective of—the masculinization of politics in its conventional and limited sense of governance. In this regard it is possible to conceive of the bodies of the imperiai household’s members and the space of mod- ern politics as mutually cngendering (in both meanings of the word) culturai sites. Whiie men marked themselves as men with facial hair and short hairciits'in the fashion for the Meiji political elite (and as wehave seen, the emperor), and while they also ran'the national and local governments and then from I8 90 began to vote, the state systematically exciudcd women from political activities and prescribed guidelines for their physical appearance. A series oflegai measures, including the I89c Law on Associations and Meetings (Jbzikni ayobi karma he?) and the Security Police Law (claims keisarm im’) of 1900 explicitly prohibited women’s participation in political meetings or political organizations.” Somewhat earlier, an I 87?. law had already banned women from cutting their hair short, as men did, and in r 873 the empress demonstrated the proper ionic?8 r91 MODERN {MPERIAL PAGEANTRY Hence it wouid be improper to naively maintain that the body ofthe emperor that represented his immersion in poiitics became “mascuiin- ized” in some universal or ahistoricai sense during the‘Meiji era. I am arguing from the position of many recent theorists of gender and sex— uality that there are no timeless and universal categories of “femininity” or “masculinity” and that not inst women and men proper but that all phenomena, including forms of social organization, tend to be under- stood, differentiated, and hierarchized according to gendered catego— ries.” What must he understood here is that the Meiji emperor became “masculinized” oniy to the extent that he was refashioned according to the modern norms of masculinity that were being produced at preciseiy the same moment that the ruling elites created him. The corresponding claim couid be made for the women of the imperial family. At the same time, the men and women of the imperial famiiy acted out what it meant to be men and women-webs: former were dynamic and actively involved in political aficairs~and were marked as such as they participated in the constructiOn of dominant expectations of manhood and womanhood. In the end, in modern Iapan politics in its narrow sense of involvement “1.1.!2'. . . ,. in has (‘1. [El in government became a masculinized arena and closed to women at the same time that the emperor in his “body natural” became the paradig~ matic man and the women of the imperiai household became respect- abie models of womanhood. ‘ a- 3:3 3 1 " ' r g 1 ‘ i H‘ During the Meiji era the governing elites constructed an emperor who could be imagined to have not one but at least two bodies. Homoio- gous to the relationship of the two capital cities on the nation’s Symbolic and rituai landscape, the one imperial body was a human and mascuv liniaed body that represented the mundane and changing prosperity of the nationai community in history, while the other body, often invisible or described as wrapped in ancient courtiy robes, represented the em» peror’s godiiness or transcendence and the immutability of the nation. Thus while the metaphor of the palace as a place “above the ninefold clouds” continued to be used, on occasions such as the celebratory imperial pageants the emperor descended down into the streets and- other places of the capital in new imperiai conveyances designed to make him open to public View. Through such public displays and other visual representations of him in the flesh, the emperor became a palpable figure—not only a god, but a man involved in the critical affairs of society and government. 11.53 ......,ive,a V 'l :-.'L — mingl. _ E‘ -l. . ZEI 194 MODERN IMPERIAL PAGEANTRY This bodily and symbolic duality is neatly diagrammed in a litho~ graphic representation of the Meiji emperor’s funeral that has as its title “Detail of the Meiji Emperor's Grand Funeral Procession” (“Meiji- tenno gotaisogi on gybretsu shomitsu an”; Figure 24.).30 First, it is important to notice the presence of not one imperial body, but rather two. The figure of the Meiji emperor that has been taken from Chios- sone’s official portrait 01’1888 occupies the top center ofthe scene. This is the masculinized, militariZed, politically engaged, unique, historically located, and ultimately human emperor31 that is homological to the entire right half of the lithograph as we view it. Thisright side is dominated by the spectacle of a scene of military men and civilian officials-mthat is to say, by a representation of military activity and governance-who are dressed mostly in various tight-fitting and West- ernwstyie uniforms. They are pouring out of Tokyo’s Imperial Palace through the Nijfibasbi passageway. The great events of the Meiji em— peror’s lifetime and reign are inscribed on an opened scroll that frames the emperor’s portrait. Between the dates of his birth and death we can read the arrival of I13. warships in I 8 5 3. , the Restoration, the renaming of Edo as Tokyo, the imperial progresses and'the major imperial pag~ eants of the late Meiji era, including the military ones, the establishment of the new educational system and military conscription, the promul» gation of the Constitution, and many other great moments in the establishment of the modern bureaucratic state and constitutional mon- archy, as well as military campaigns in Taiwan and Korea and their annexations. The chronology and the scroll-the latter looking as if ready to be rolled upmsuggest a closure to the emperor’s life and reign. There is, however, another body at the bottom of the picture and at the center of the funeral cortege. This is a body whose presence is indicated by the imperial hearse, but which remains invisible. To be sure, in an uncomplicated sense one could simply say that this is the Meiji emperor’s corpse, but the presentation of the body is not onethat suggests his natural infirmities and limitations. Rather, it is one that glorifies-the deceased emperor’s return to an ever-present past, a living tradition. This body, in other words, is homologous to the scene on the lithograph’s left half where we see the spectacle of antiques and men in loose-fitting court robes bound for the Aoyama Funeral Grounds. This space is framed by clouds and stamped with signs of pastness and the traditional, such as shrine gateways and the “Shinto’tstyle fiineral hall, and it is the site from which the body will depart for its journey to Kyoto. ...
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