Among East Asian / Confucian empires (China and Vietnam, maybe others), emperors ruled under a philosophical concept known as Mandate of Heaven - that is, heaven will grant a specific ruler the right of government based on virtue, and natural disasters were seen as signs of heaven's displeasure with the current ruler. Under this belief system, the emperor has the title of Son of Heaven (天子).
Unlike Japanese emperors that also have the same title (tenshi) who are literally descended from Amaterasu, there is no lineage in the Chinese system, only a title anointed by heaven. But who or what is "heaven"? Is it an actual god, like the supreme god Shangdi? The Celestial Bureaucracy as a whole - and if so, are there gods within the "mandate" system, such as judges, bringers of natural disasters and so on? Or some other concept of "heaven" entirely?