Tomomi, Prince Iwakura - Encyclopedia

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TOMOMI IWAKURA, Prince (1835-1883), Japanese statesman, was born in Kioto. He was one of the court nobles (kuge) of Japan, and he traced his descent to the emperor Murakami (A.D. 947-967). A man of profound ability and singular force of character, he acted a leading part in the complications preceding the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate, and was obliged to fly from Kioto accompanied by his coadjutor, Prince Sanjo. They took refuge with the Daimyo of Choshu, and, while there, established relations which contributed greatly to the ultimate union of the two great fiefs, Satsuma and Choshu, for the work of the Restoration. From 1867 until the day of his death Iwakura was one of the most prominent figures on the political stage. In 1871 he proceeded to America and Europe at the head of an imposing embassy of some fifty persons, the object being to explain to foreign governments the actual conditions existing in Japan, and to pave the way for negotiating new treaties consistent with her sovereign rights. Little success attended the mission. Returning to Japan in 1873, Iwakura found the cabinet divided as to the manner of dealing with Korea's insulting attitude. He advocated peace, and his influence carried the day, thus removing a difficulty which, though apparently of minor dimensions, might have changed the whole course of Japan's modern history.

,FIG. 3. - Climbing Shoot of Ivy.

I %ION,' in Greek legend, son of Phlegyas, king of the Lapithae in Thessaly (or of Ares), and husband of Dia. According to custom he promised his father-in-law, Deloneus, a handsome bridal present, but treacherously murdered him when he claimed the fulfilment of the promise. As a punishment, Ixion was seized with madness, until Zeus purified him of his crime and admitted him as a guest to Olympus. Ixion abused his pardon by trying to seduce Hera; but the goddess substituted for herself a cloud, by which he became the father of the Centaurs. Zeus bound him on a fiery wheel, which rolls unceasingly through the air or (according to the later version) in the underworld (Pindar, Pythia, ii. 21; Ovid, Metam. iv. 461; Virgil, Aeneid, vi. 60r). Ixion is generally taken to represent the eternally moving sun. Another explanation connects the story with the practice (among certain peoples of central Europe) of carrying a blazing, revolving wheel through fields which needed the heat of the sun, the legend being invented to explain the custom and subsequently adopted by the Greeks (see Mannhardt, Waldand Feldkulte, ii. 1905, p. 83). In view of the fact that the oak was the sun-god's tree and that the mistletoe grew upon it, it is suggested by A. B. Cook (Class. Rev. xvii. 420) that I icov is derived from 103 (mistletoe), the sun's fire being regarded as an emanation from the mistletoe. Ixion himself is probably a by-form of Zeus (Usener in Rhein. Mus. liii. 345)"The Myth of Ixion" (by C. Smith, in Classical Review, June 1895) deals with the subject of a red-figure cantharus in the British Museum.

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