The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Cloistered rule

Cloistered Rule, also known as the Insei system, is a distinct feature of Japanese history and politics and sometimes in business. In almost all governments and administration units the nominal ruler and governor has no practical power and instead regents and any other kinds of advisors have actual power. The titles used to exercise cloistered rule are:

Cloistered rule was a process used by some Emperors of Japan by which they would ostensibly retire to a monastery and hand over power to a successor, but continue to exert power and influence from behind the scenes. Retired emperors are called Jōkō (上皇)

The first retired emperor who exercised this rule in Japan was Empress Jito.

The term retired emperor is used primarily when discussing a period in Japanese history when this was a common practice; a retired emperor could have more influence than when he had been on the throne, because he retained the prestige of the title and was freer to speak publicly.

Although the actual influence of cloistered rule may have been exaggerated by some historians, it must be seen in the context of the increasing dominance over the aristocracy by the warrior class. In later eras, an emperor would be overshadowed by his shogun as surely as if there was still a cloistered emperor present.

Famous emperors who adopted cloistered rule:

Last updated: 08-26-2005 01:38:18
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