Cloistered Rule, also known as the Insei system, is an distinct feature of Japanese history and politics and sometimes in business. In almost all, governments and administrations units, the nominal ruler and governor has no practical power, and instead, regents and any other kind of advisors have actual power. The titles used to exercise cloistered rule are:
- Sodanyaku - advisors in banks.
- Sessho and Kampaku - regents in Imperial Court in Kyoto.
- Shikken - in the Kamakura shogunate
- Kanrei - in the Ashikaga shogunate
- Tairo and Karo - in the Tokugawa shogunate
The first retired emperor who exercised this rule in Japan was Empress Jito of Japan.
The term retired emperor is used primarily when discussing a period in Japanese history when this was a common practice; a retired emperor could have more influence than when he had been on the throne, because he retained the prestige of the title and was freer to speak publicly.
Although the actual influence of cloistered rule may have been exaggerated by some historians, it must be seen in the context of the increasing dominance over the aristocracy by the warrior class. In later eras, an emperor would be overshadowed by his shogun as surely as if there was still a cloistered emperor present.
Famous emperors who adopted cloistered rule: