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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

These words are said to have profoundly moved Yasutoki


this child, Kanenari, who lived a virtual prisoner in Kyoto for thirteen years subsequently, the Bakufu declined to give the title of Emperor. Not until the Meiji Restoration (1870) was he enrolled in the list of sovereigns under the name of Chukyo.


There had not been any previous instance of such treatment of the Imperial family by a subject, and public opinion was not unnaturally somewhat shocked. No little interest attaches, therefore, to an explanation given by Yasutoki himself and recorded in the Biography of Saint Myoe (Myoe Shonin-deri). Visiting the temple after his victory, Yasutoki was thus addressed by Myoe:

The ancients used to say, "When men are in multitude they may overcome heaven for a moment, but heaven in the end triumphs." Though a country be subdued by military force, calamities will soon overtake it unless it be virtuously governed. From time immemorial in both Japan and China sway founded on force has never been permanent. In this country, since the Age of Deities down to the present reign, the Imperial line has been unbroken through ninety generations. No prince of alien blood has ascended the throne. Everything in the realm is the property of the Crown. Whatever the Throne may appropriate, the subject must acquiesce. Even life must be sacrificed if the cause of good government demands it. But you have broken an Imperial army; destroyed

Imperial palaces; seized the persons of sovereigns; banished them to remote regions, and exiled Empresses and princes of the Blood. Such acts are contrary to propriety. Heaven will inflict punishment.

These words are said to have profoundly moved Yasutoki. He replied: I desire to express my sincere views. The late shogun (Yoritomo) broke the power of the Heike; restored peace of mind to the Court; removed the sufferings of the people, and rendered loyal service to the sovereign. Among those that served the shogun there was none that did not reverence the Emperor. It seems that his Majesty recognized these meritorious deeds, for he bestowed ranks and titles. Yoritomo was not only appointed dainagon and taisho, but also given the post of so-tsuihoshi with powers extending to all parts of the empire. Whenever such honours were offered, he firmly declined to be their recipient, his contention being that not for personal reward but for the sake of the Throne he had striven to subdue the insurgents and to govern the people mercifully. Pressed again and again, however, he had been constrained finally to accede, and thus his relatives also had benefitted, as my grandfather, Tokimasa, and my father, Yoshitoki, who owed their prosperity to the beneficence of the cloistered Emperor.

But after the demise of his Majesty and of the shogun, the Court's administration degenerated. The

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