Kashuji Akiteru (勧修寺顕彰)

Akiteru KASHUJI (January 11, 1815 - February 10, 1861) was a Kugyo (court noble) in the late Edo Period. He was a son of Toshiaki BOJO, and adopted by Tsunetoki KASHUJI. His sons were Tsunenori HONAMI and Akichika NAGAO and his adopted son, Tsuneosa KASHUJI.


Akiteru was adopted by Tsunetoki KASHUJI (a nephew of Toshiaki BOJO) who had no biological child, and entered Imperial Court in March 1824 after he had his coming of age ceremony, and became Jiju (Imperial Household Agency staff) in 1831. However, after the adoption, Tsunetoki, Akiteru's foster father, had his biological sons, Akomaru (later Tsuneharu HONAMI) and Inamaru (later Tsuneosa KASHUJI). As Akiteru wanted to make his biological son, Takemaru (later Tsunenori HONAMI), the heir to the reigns of the Kashuji family, confrontation was raised between him and some vassals who wanted one of the Tsunetoki's biological sons to be an heir to abide by the will left by Tsunenori who died in 1836. In the end, the successor problem was settled by Nariko KASHUJI (a daughter of Tsunehaya KASHUJI and a younger sister of Toshiaki BOJO), Naishi no Kami (Principal Handmaid) of Emperor Ninko, and others: Akomaru was adopted by the Honami family to become the heir and adopted Takemaru, and Inamaru was admitted as an heir to the Kashuji family in 1839 as he was conferred a peerage. During the settlement process, Akiteru suffered from mental unsoundness as he had to deal with several problems such as expelling opponent vassals, financial tightness caused by the Tempo Famine (triggered decrease in income and price run-up) and decline of the opportunity to perform the work of Jisha Tenso (liaison officers between the imperial court and temples and shrines), the government post that the family had been in charge of, and the friction with his aunt, Nariko, who had a great influence in the Imperial Court caused by the successor problem. Although Akiteru was appointed to Kurodo (Chamberlain), the government post the Kashuji family had been successively appointed to, he shut himself off from the public, saying that he was 'exhausted and sick' from the lingering various problems surrounding him after showing 'behavioral disorder' at 'Hojoe (the ritual for releasing living beings)' in the autumn of 1846. (The section of February 14, the 4th year of Koka era in "Yamashiro no Kuni Kyoto SODEOKA Genbanosuke Kaki" [The Family Chronicle of Genbanosuke SODEOKA in Kyoto, Yamashiro Province] written by Fumikage SODEOKA [a Zassho [or Karei: butler] of the Kashuji family]). During the New Year of 1847, the next year, Akiteru was drunk and escalated into violence as to point his sword at his guest, and moreover, he didn't attend the enthronement ceremony of Emperor Komei, which was held in the same year.
His discourtesy made Masamichi TAKATSUKASA, Kanpaku (chief adviser to the Emperor), furious and Akiteru was dismissed from Kurodo in November 1847 and from other posts including Sashoben (Minor Controller of the Left) in January 1848. (The official record reads that he tendered his letter of resignation voluntarily.)
Akiteru had his will to return to the post of Kurodo after the recuperation, so he tendered his letter of resignation over consultation with his biological father, Toshiaki BOJO; although he secretly hoped that his resignation would not be accepted or would be given a chance to come back to the position, he was dismissed and he wrote 'all I can do is to sigh and lament over the past' in his diary (the section of twelfth and thirteenth of October, the fourth year of Koka era of "Akiteru Diary"). Later, he was forgiven and appointed to Sachuben (Middle Controller of the Left) in November 1857 and participated in Teishin hachiju-hachi kyo ressan jiken (Demo of eighty-eight retainers of Imperial Court) together with his adopted child Tsuneosa, and biological child, Tsunenori HONAMI. Akiteru was conferred Shoshiinojo (Senior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade) in 1859. He died of disease at the age of 48 and was buried in Seigan-ji Temple in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto Prefecture.

[Original Japanese]