Tsuchimikado Haruo (土御門晴雄)

Haruo TSUCHIMIKADO (June 28, 1827 to November 9, 1869) was a Kugyo (high court noble) at the end of shogunate period and he was in reality the last headmaster of the Abe family's Onmyodo (way of Yin and Yang; occult divination system based on the Taoist theory of the five elements). His father was Harechika TSUCHIMIKADO, and Haruei TSUCHIMIKADO was his son. Fujiko TSUCHIMIKADO was his younger sister. His Karoku (hereditary stipend) was 183 koku of crop yield.

In 1833, he was appointed Jugoinojo (Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade) and in 1839, he reached the manhood and became a Jugoinojo Daizen no daibu (Master of the Palace Table). In 1842, he became the Onmyo no kami (Director of Onmyoryo, or Buereau of Divination). In 1849, he also served as the Uhyoe no suke (assistant captain of the Right Division of Middle Palace Guards). In 1855, he became Shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade), and in 1858, he participated in the Teishin 88-kyo Ressan Jiken (Incident of Demonstration by 88 Courtiers). During the inauguration ceremony of the 14th seii taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians") of the Edo Shogunate Iemochi TOKUGAWA held on December 1 of the same year, he was sent to the Edo-jo Castle as an envoy with his attendant Nagasachi TAKAKURA. He became Minbukyo (Minister of Popular Affairs) the next year, and in 1864, he became Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank). In 1868, he resigned from Minbukyo.

When the Edo Shogunate was collapsed by Meiji Restoration, he appealed to the new government to urge the abolition of the astronomical officials of the old shogunate. Not only did he succeed in grasping the authority in making and announcing the calendar, he also succeeded in making Onmyoryo (a government office that had jurisdiction over calendar preparation, astronomy, divination, etc.) seize the jurisdiction over measurements and astronomy. Within the new government at that time, the concern about astronomy or calendars, which was not related directly to 'wealthy nation and strong army' and 'encouragement of new industries', was extremely low. In addition, objecting the introduction of the solar calendar by the western scholars, he proposed to continue the use of the lumar-solar calendar by revising Tenpo reki (Tenpo calendar). However, on the contrary, the low degree of the concern of the new government did harm this time, and the revision of the calendar was not accepted. Though Haruo still demanded the revision of the calendar, he was taken with illness and died young at an age of 43.

His heiress son Kazumaru (the later Haruei), who succeeded him, was still young. In addition, even within the new government, some people started to point out the risk associated with the fact that astronomy and measurements, which were indispensable to smooth operations of the army and the navy, were controlled by the old Onmyoryo, and others pointed out that unscientific Onmyodo might become an obstacle to the introduction of modern science into Japan. In 1870, the next year of Haruo's death, the new government resolutely carried out the dismantlement of Onmyoryo.

[Original Japanese]