- Apr 2010
- T'Republic of Yorkshire
I'm talking about the pre-modern Japanese emperors, not post-Meiji ones. They had a theoretical spiritual power but in practise, they "ruled" at the pleasure of whoever was in control of the Imperial capital Kyoto. Most of them abdicated after a few years, so they could have *more* influence. post 11th century, the Japanese emperor could not issue political edicts - that was the province of the Shogun, or the Shogun's regent.Yeah, there is some nuance to what I am saying. A Japanese Emperor's power was more imagined than practical: he still had to placate the military, and the "constitution" was stacked almost as much in favor of the IJN/IJA as much as it was the Emperor (either branch could dissolve a cabinet, regardless of the Emperor). Either branch could **** over a cabinet by refusing to name minister. It would be like if the US Army, Navy (with Marines) or Air Force (with Space Force) could force a Presidential election by refusing to approve a Secretary of the Army, Navy or Air Force. Or after the reorgznation, even collectively refusing to approve a SECDEF.
However, a Japanese Emperor was worshipped to an extreme not usually seen in European monarchs. When I compare emperors like the "Five Good Emperors", some may have been officially "gods", but when you look at how they held power, it was clear they were mortal. Japanese Emperors were worshiped to the point of the suicide bombers I saw in Iraq and Afghanistan worshiped fundamentalist Islam.