Emperor Meiji or Prince Sachi no Miya, known during his lifetime in the West by his personal name Mutsuhito. Born in Kyoto on November 3, 1852, was the 122nd Emperor of Japan from February 3, 1867 until his death on July 30, 1912.
According to Japanese imperial tradition, he chose a posthumous name upon his accession to the throne, Meiji, which also refers to the era of his reign, known as the Meiji era. Since then, the custom has developed for his successors to coincide the eras with the reign of the emperors and to give their posthumous name to the period of their reign.
Under his reign began the Meiji period (era of “enlightened government” or “enlightened politics”), equivalent to the period of the Enlightenment in Europe in the eighteenth century. It is a period of radical reforms allowing Japan to emerge from its isolationism established by the Tokugawa family who had been at the head of the shogunate since the beginning of the 17th century, to turn to the West, to industrialize and transform its socio-economic system