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History Kampaku (関白)

kampaku (関白) – an Imperial regent who served a number of functions, including the chief advisor and secretary.

In Japan, Sesshō (摂政) was a title given to a regent who was named to act on behalf of either a child Emperor before his coming of age or an empress regnant. The Kampaku (関白) was theoretically a sort of chief advisor for the Emperor but was in practice the title of both first secretary and regent who assisted an adult Emperor. For much of the Heian period (794–1185), the sesshō and kampaku were the effective rulers of Japan, with little, if any, effective difference between the two titles, and several individuals merely changed titles as child Emperors grew to adulthood, or adult Emperors retired or died and were replaced by child Emperors. The two titles were collectively known as sekkan (摂関), and the families that exclusively held the titles were called sekkan-ke (sekkan family). After the Heian period, shogunates took over power. Both sesshō and kampaku were styled as denka (or tenga (殿下) in historical pronunciation; translated as "(Imperial) Highness"), as were Imperial princes and princesses. A retired kampaku was called taikō (太閤), which came to commonly refer to Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

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