Tenmei


Tenmei

. [Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). "Annales des empereurs du japon," pp. 420-421.]

Change of era

*; 1781: The new era name of "Tenmei" (meaning "dawn") was created to mark the enthronement of Emperor Kōkaku. The previous era ended and the new one commenced in "An'ei" 11, on the 2nd day of the 4th month. :As is customary for choosing nengō, the name was selected from a passage in a historical Chinese text. In this case, the text was "Classic of History" (書経) (also quoted in "The Great Learning" (大學)). More specifically from the first of the King Tai Jia (大甲) chapters. It says: "先王顧諟天之明命..." meaning "The former king kept his eye continually on the bright requirements of Heaven, [and...] ." This is continued with a description of reverence, virtue, and prosperity for the lands. From this, the two characters 天 and 明 were selected.

Events of the "Tenmei" era

* "Tenmei 2" (1782): Great "Tenmei" Famine is said to have begun.
* "Tenmei 2" (1782): An analysis of silver currency in China and Japan was presented to the emperor by Minamoto no Masatsuna.Titsingh, p. 420.]
* "Tenmei 3" (1783): nihongo|Mount Asama|浅間山,|"Asama-yama" erupted in Shinano province only 80 miles northwest of Edo -- loss of life estimated at 20,000+. [Today, Asama-yama's location is better described as on the border between Gunma and Nagano prefectures] . Japanologist Isaac Titsingh's published account of the of Asama-yama eruption will become first of its kind in Europe and the West (1820). [Screech, T. (2006), "Secret Memoirs of the Shoguns: Isaac Titsingh and Japan, 1779-1822," pp. 146-148.] The volcano's devastation makes the Great "Tenmei" Famine even worse. Much of agriculture of Shinano and Kōzuke provinces would consequently remain unproductive or under-producing) for the next four or five years. [Hall, John. (1955). " Tanuma Okitsugu, 1719-1788: Forerunner of Modern Japan," p. 122.]
* "Tenmei 3" (1783): Famine was exacerbated, according to 20th century studies, because after 8 years of near or actual famine, neither the authorities nor the people had any reserves left to meet further drought and crop failures of the "Great Tenmei Famine." [Hall, p. 170.]
* "Tenmei 4" (1784): Country-wide celebrations in honor of Kōbō-Daishi, founder of Shingon Buddhism) who died 950 years earlier. [see above] ]
* "Tenmei 4" (1784): The son of the Shogun's chief counselor was assassinated inside Edo Castle. The comparatively young "wakadoshiyori" (junior counselor), Tamuna Okitomo, was the son of the senior councilor Tanuma Okitsugu. The younger Tanuma was killed in front of his father as both were returning to their "norimono" after a meeting of the Counselors of State had broken up. The involvement of senior figures in the "bakufu" was suspected; however, none but the lone assassin himself was punished. The result was that Tanuma-initiated, liberalizing reforms within the "bakufu" and relaxing the strictures of "sakoku" were blocked. [Screech, pp. 148-151, 163-170, 248.]
* "Tenmei 6", on the 8th day of the 9th month (September 17, 1786): Shogun Tokugawa Ieharu) died and was buried in Yedo. [see above] ]
* "Tenmei 7" (1788): Riots in rice shops in Yedo and Osaka.
* "Tenmei 8" (1788): Great Fire of Miyako. A fire in the city, which began at 3 o'clock in the morning of the 29th day of the 1st month of "Tenmei" 8 (March 6, 1788), continued to burn uncontrolled until the 1st day of the second month (March 8th); and embers smoldered until they were extinguished by heavy rain on the 4th day of the second month (March 11th). The emperor and his court fled the fire, and the Imperial Palace was destroyed. No other re-construction was permitted until a new palace was completed. This fire was considered a major event. The Dutch "VOC" "Opperhoofd" in Dejima noted in his official record book that "people are considering it to be a great and extraordinary heavenly portent." [Screech, pp. 152-154, 249-250]

Notes

References

* Hall, John Whitney. (1955). " Tanuma Okitsugu, 1719-1788: Forerunner of Modern Japan, " Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
* Screech, Timon. (2006). "Secret Memoirs of the Shoguns: Isaac Titsingh and Japan, 1779-1822." London: RoutledgeCurzon. ISBN 0-700-71720-X
* Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). [Siyun-sai Rin-siyo/Hayashi Gahō, 1652] , "Nipon o daï itsi ran; ou, Annales des empereurs du Japon." Paris: Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. [http://books.google.com/books?id=18oNAAAAIAAJ&dq=nipon+o+dai+itsi+ran ... Click link for digitized, full-text copy of this book (in French)]

External links

* National Diet Library, "The Japanese Calendar" [http://www.ndl.go.jp/koyomi/e/ -- historical overview plus illustrative images from library's collection]
* National Archives of Japan: [http://jpimg.digital.archives.go.jp/kouseisai/category/emaki/hizenshusanbutsu_e.html "Hinozenshu sanbutsu zuko," scroll showing illustrated inventory of industries in Karatsu Domain, "Tenmei" 4 (1784)]


Tenmei1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th8th9th
Gregorian178117821783178417851786178717881789


Preceded by:
" An'ei"
Era or "nengō":
Tenmei
Succeeded by:
"Kansei"


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