Appointment to Shogun (将軍宣下)

The appointment to Shogun refers to a ceremony where the Emperor granted the title of seii taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians") as the head of a military government and to govern Japan.

The head of the military government gained the administrative power by his own military force and governed according to feudalism land ownership and law. However, official recognition to hold administrative power as the head was made according to the appointment to Shogun by the Emperor who still maintained the position as the central authority. Therefore, authority could be established only after the acknowledgement of the practical authority and noble birth nature by the appointment.

It means that even the Tokugawa shogun family, who eclipsed Imperial Court's authority, exerted control over Imperial Court by the "Kinchu narabini kuge shohatto" (a set of regulations that applied to the emperor and the Kyoto nobles) etc., and gained the structure of 'kogi' (shogunate) and the position of 'feudal king,' had to rely on the appointment by the Emperor in order to legitimate their dominion. In fact, the head of the Tokugawa head family was simply called 'Ue-sama' (lord) right after the succession. Under the appointment to Shogun, the position of the Genji choja (the top of the Minamoto clan) was finally authorized to qualify as the head of the influential family called Seiwa-Genji (Minamoto clan). At the same time, with the delegation of national authority, he was now called 'Kubo-sama' or 'Shogun-sama' (honorific title for a shogun). Moreover, Tokugawa Shogun, who existed as 'feudal king' and even controlled the Imperial Court, however, followed the order calling himself 'supreme ruler' and the Emperor 'king' when he paid a visit to the Imperial Palace.

Upon the appointment to Shogun, an Imperial envoy goes to Edo-jo Castle and stands in the lower position while the shogun stood on the higher position mostly during the Edo period. However, in the end of the Edo period, the prestige of the Emperor and the court nobles was restored under the rise of imperialism. After Iemochi TOKUGAWA, an Imperial envoy stood on the high position, and the shogun stood on the higher position.

[Original Japanese]