Ogimachisanjo Sanenaru (正親町三条実愛)

Sanenaru OGIMACHISANJO (December 5, 1820-October 20, 1909) was Kugyo (a Court noble) from the latter part to the end of the Edo period and a politician in the Meiji period. His official court rank was Junior First Rank Dainagon (Major Counselor). His father was Saneyoshi OGIMACHISANJO and his mother was a daughter of Mitsutsura MATSUDAIRA, the lord of the Matsumoto domain. Kinto SAGA was his son. His go (byname) were Seio (成翁), Shisei (子成), Shinsei (真成) and So (叟).

Biography

He served the three emperors of Ninko, Komei and Meiji. In 1822 he was conferred a peerage. After that, he had been promoted to jiju (a chamberlain), an officer of Konoefu (the Headquarters of the Inner Palace Guards), Shinseiwain (an empress) betto (steward) and Hoheishi (an imperial messenger to a Shinto shrine) Suke (assistant director). In 1848 he was promoted to Jusani (Junior Third Rank) Sangi (councilor) and ranked with Kugyo. He held positions such as an officer of Tanba Province, Chunagon (middle councilor), Toka no sechie Geben (a kugyo who supervised many matters outside Jomei Gate at Toka no sechie [Imperial Court Ceremony]) and an officer of Emonfu (Headquarters of the Outer Palace Guards).

When the Edo bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) required an imperial sanction for the conclusion of the Treaty of commerce of the Imperial Court in 1858, he opposed against it as one of the Teishin hachiju-hachi kyo (eighty-eight retainers of Imperial Court). For this reason, he was implicated in 'Ansei no Taigoku' (suppression of extremists by the Shogunate) by Naosuke II. In 1859, he was promoted to Dainagon (Major Counselor). He was assigned to giso (a position conveying what the congress decides to the Emperor) in 1860 and Kokuji goyogakari (a general official of the Imperial Household in charge of the State affair) in 1862. However, since he supported Kobu Gattai (Union of Court and Camp) movement led by the Satsuma domain and approved 'Kokai enryaku saku' (a strategy to trade foreign countries in order to strengthen the power of state), he was regarded as an enemy by supporters of the doctrine of restoring the Emperor and expelling the barbarians. As a result, he was overthrown in the following year, 1863.

After he came back to the Imperial Court by the Coup of August 18 in the same year, he approached the Satsuma domain and led the Imperial Court as one of the Kugyo of anti-Shogunate group. He was assigned to gijo (official post) of the new government in 1868 and an official of Gyobusho (Ministry of Justice) in 1869. After that, he held positions such as the governor of the Department of Home Affairs and Kyobukyo (a director of the Ministry of Religion). In 1871 he changed his surname to Saga. In 1880 he received Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun. In 1883 he was assigned to Goyogakari (a general affairs official of the Imperial Household) of Imperial Princess Shigenomiya Akiko and Emperor Taisho. In 1909 he died at the age of 90.

Remarks

At the time of the departure of Emperor Komei from the capital in 1855, he followed the Emperor with 6 Umazoi (horse drivers), 2 toneri (servants), 1fuku toneri (an assistant servant), 6 Zoshiki (low-level functionaries), 1 Ikai (a stableman) and 1 Kasa (an umbllera holder).

He played a role in transmitting 'the secret Imperial command to attack the Shogunate' to the Satsuma domain.

Some people say that Emperor Komei was murdered by Sanenaru and Tomomi IWAKURA. However, according to an article of "Was the Emperor Komei killed with poison?" by Kiyoshi HARAGUCHI, it is pathologically clear that he died of smallpox. After this article was announced, it is commonly denied.