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  • Japanese: 尊王 (Sonnou) or 勤皇 (Kinnou)

Sonnô is a slogan that means "Revere the Emperor". It is typically paired with Jôi ("Sonnô Jôi" - Revere the Emperor, Expel the Barbarians) as a political slogan during the Bakumatsu Period.

Some members of the sonnô movement, followers of Hirata Atsutane, are known to have decapitated or otherwise vandalized statues of the Ashikaga shoguns, seeing the Ashikaga as having betrayed or otherwise wronged the emperor back in the 14th century.[1]

The term originates in the Spring and Autumn Annals, as the Chinese zūnwáng rǎngyí.[2]


  1. Conrad Schirokauer, David Lurie, and Suzanne Gay, A Brief History of Japanese Civilization, Wadsworth Cengage (2013), 165.
  2. Crossley, Pamela Kyle. A Translucent Mirror: History and Identity in Qing Imperial Ideology. University of California Press, 1999, 252.