Kujo Michitaka (九条道孝)

Michitaka KUJO (June 11, 1839-January 4, 1906) was Kugyo in the end of the Edo period. He was a politician in the Meiji period. He was Prince of Junior First Rank and a member of Kizokuin (the House of Peers). At first, his name Michitaka (道孝) was also written in other Chinese letters as 道隆. His father was Hisatada KUJO (Michitaka was his eldest son) and his foster father was Yukitsune KUJO (the adoptive heir of Hisatada). Empress Dowager Eisho who was nyogo (a high-ranking lady in the court [a consort of an emperor]) of Emperor Komei was his elder sister. His daughter Setsuko was the Empress of Emperor Taisho (Empress Teimei). He was the maternal grandfather of Emperor Showa. He was the last Toshi choja (head of the Fujiwara clan).

He was the eldest son of Hisatada KUJO, but was adopted as the heir of Yukitsune KUJO. He was assigned to Kokuji goyogakari (a general official of the Imperial Household in charge of the State affair) in 1864 and Sadaijin (minister of the left) in 1867. Before Taisei Hokan (transfer of power back to the Emperor), he promoted cooperation with bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) as his father Hisatada did. For this reason, he was punished with the prohibition from entering Imperial Palace when the Decree (of 1867) for the Restoration of Imperial Rule was announced. However, he was pardoned in 1868.

In the same year, he was appointed to Toshi choja (the last choja) after abolishment of Sessho Kanpaku (regent and chief adviser to the Emperor) and assigned to Ou Chinbu-sotoku (Commander Office of Ou region suppression campaign) of the government. In Boshin War, he moved from place to place in the Tohoku region to fight. After the Meiji Restoration, he was in charge of an adviser of Emperor Meiji.

He was involved in the establishment of Tokio Marine Insurance Company which was the first marine insurance company (present Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance), recommended by Yataro IWASAKI. He was conferred Prince as the head of old Sekke (line of regents and advisers) when the system of peerage was established and became a member of Kizokuin (the House of Peers) when the Imperial Diet was founded. In 1900 he was conferred the supreme order and received Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum. In 1906 he died at the age of 68.

[Original Japanese]