Yanagiwara Sakimitsu (柳原前光)

Sakimitsu YANAGIWARA (1850 - September 2, 1894) was a Court noble who was born in Kyoto, Yamashiro Province and he later became a count. He was the elder brother of Naruko YANAGIHARA, who was the real mother of Emperor Taisho.

The Yanagiwara family followed the line of the Hino Family, a branch family of the Fujiwara Hokke (one of the four Fujiwara family lines), whose founder was Sukeakira HINO. The Kakaku (family status) was Meike (or Kuge) (the fourth highest status for court nobles). His father was Mitsunaru YANAGIWARA, who was a giso (a position conveying what the congress decides to the emperor) and Gon Chunagon (Provisional Middle Counselor) Shonii (Senior Second Rank).

He served Emperor Meiji and his younger sister Naruko YANAGIHARA was the real mother of Emperor Taisho. A poet Byakuren YANAGIHARA who became famous through Byakuren Incident was the second daughter of Sakimitsu (a daughter of Oryo, who was a geisha (Japanese professional female entertainer at drinking party) and his concubine). Sakimitsu's eldest daughter, Nobuko got married to Viscount Tamemori IRIE. Sukemasa IRIE, who was a famous essayist and a Jiju (Imperial Household Agency staff) of Emperor Showa, was a grandson of Sakimitsu (Sukemasa was the third son of Tamemori and Nobuko IRIE).

In 1868, he filled a post of the lieutenant governor of the force calming Tokaido in the Boshin War. In March 1868, he entered into a tenryo (a shogunal demesne), Kai Province, and established the office organisation at Kofu-jo Castle. He abrogated Jodai (chamberlain) and filled a post of Kofu Chinbushi (temporary government post) until the November of the same year. After Meiji Restoration, he entered Ministry of Foreign Affairs and concluded Japan-Qing Treaty of Friendship as the Gaimu-taijo (post of Foreign Ministry). At Seinan War, he visited Kagoshima as an Imperial envoy and he interviewed Tadayoshi SHIMAZU and Uzuhiko SHIMAZU.

Later he became Genroin gikan (councilor of Chamber of Elders or Senate) (Japan) where he engaged in discussion of Penal Code and Chizaiho (the Criminal Procedure Law of 1880 -1890), and filled posts of a minister to Russia, President of Decoration Bureau and the chairman of Genroin (the Chamber of Elders). Moreover he became a privy councilor and involved in the establishment of the Imperial House Act, but he died at age of 45.

[Original Japanese]