Gosho Sendo-mairi (御所千度参り)

Gosho Sendo-mairi is an incident occurred on July 21, 1787, in which many people circled around the Gosho (Imperial Palace) to make sendo-mairi (literally a visit to shrine a thousand times for prayer).

The Gosho Sendo-mairi started around July 21, 1878. It started with only a few people but the number gradually increased, reaching three million on July 24 and seven million on Augist 1, respectively, some historical materials said. It is said that the people practicing Gosho Sendo-mairi came from not only Kyoto and its nearby regions but also Kawachi Province, Omi Province, Osaka City and other regions.

Kyoto was overflowed with the people and the Emperor Gosakuramachi handed out 30,000 apples to them. In addition, Arisugawa no Miya (Imperial Prince) and the Ichijo family served tea and the Kujo family and the Takatsukasa family distributed rice balls.

The Emperor Kokaku, deeply concerned with the situation, requested a relief of the people suffering from famine to the Edo bakufu (feudal government controlled by a shogun) through the Kyoto shoshidai (Kyoto deputy). This act was obviously in violation of the Kinchu narabini Kuge Shohatto (a set of regulations that applied to the emperor and the Kyoto nobles). Therefore, Sukehira TAKATSUKASA, who was the Emperor's uncle serving as Kanpaku (chief advisor to the Emperor), made a similar request, expecting to be severely punished. In response to that, the bakufu decided to release 1,500 hyo (bales) of rice to the Kyoto citizen and to overlook the violation of the regulations as the act by the Emperor and the Kanpaku could be considered justifiable due to the serious situation.

It is considered that the bakufu considered the Tenmei Famine as well as they were expected of tokusei (benevolent rule) as Ienari TOKUGA became the Seii taishogun (literally, great general who subdues barbicans, commonly referred to as Shogun) in May of the same year. The act by the Imperial Court led to the actual relief reminded the people of the existence of the Imperial Court, which had been almost forgotten throughout the Edo period due to the tight control on the Imperial Court by the bakufu, as a result this incident became one of the causes to rise the sonnoron (imperial loyalism).

[Original Japanese]