- Emperor Kōtoku
name = Emperor Kōtoku
title =36th Emperor of Japan
reign =645 - 654
consort =Princess Hashihito(?-665)
royal house =
royal anthem =
father =Prince Chinu
mother =Princess Kibitsu-hime
date of birth =596
place of birth =
date of death =the 10th Day of the 10th Month of "Hakuchi" 5 (654) (aged 58)
place of death =Toyosaki no Miya (Ōsaka)
place of burial=Ōsaka-no-shinaga no "Misasagi"|nihongo|Emperor Kōtoku|孝徳天皇| "Kōtoku-tennō" (
596- November 24, 654) November 24, 654corresponds to the Tenth Day of the Tenth Month of 654 (kōin) of the traditional lunisolar calendarused in Japan until 1873.] was the 36th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. The years of his reign lasted from 645 through 654. [Titsinh, Isaac. (1834). "Annales des empereurs du Japon," pp. 47-30; Brown, Delmer "et al." (1979). "Gukanshō," pp. 266-267; Varley, H. Paul. "Jinnō Shōtōki." p. 132-133.]
Before his ascension to the
Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name (his "imina") [Brown, pp. 264. [Up until the time of Emperor Jomei, the personal names of the emperors (their "imina") were very long and people did not generally use them. The number of characters in each name diminished after Jomei's reign.] ] was Karu-no-"Ōji" (軽皇子), also known as Ame-Yorodzu Toyo-hi (meaning "Heaven-myriad-abundant-sun"). [Aston, William. (2005). "Nihongi," p. 195-196; Brown, p. 266.]
He enacted the
Taika Reform Edicts.
He was a descendant of
Emperor Bidatsu. He was a son of Chinu no ōkimi (Prince Chinu, 茅渟王) by Kibitsuhime no ōkimi (Princess Kibitsuhime, 吉備姫王). Empress Kōgyoku was his elder sister from same parents. Chinu was a son of Prince Oshisaka hikohito no ōe whose father was the Emperor Bidatsu. He had at least three consorts including his Empress, Hashihito no Himemiko (Princess Hashihito), the daughter of Emperor Jomeiand his sister Empress Kōgyoku.
Events of Kōtoku's reign
He ruled from
July 12, 645 July 12, 645corresponds to the Fourteenth Day of the Sixth Month of 645 (isshi).] until his death in 654.
In 645 he ascended to the throne two days after Prince Naka no Ōe assassinated
Soga no Irukain the court of Kōgyoku. Kōgyoku abdicated in favor of her son and crown prince, Naka no Ōe, but Naka no Ōe insisted Kōtoku should ascend to the throne instead.
* "In the 3rd year of Kōgyoku", in the summer of 645: In the 3rd year of Kōgyoku"-tennō"'s reign (皇極天皇3年), the empress abdicated; and the succession (‘‘senso’’) was received by her younger brother. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Kōtoku is said to have acceded to the throne (‘‘sokui’’). [Titsingh, pp. 47-48; Brown, p. 266; Varley, p. 44. [A distinct act of "senso" is unrecognized prior to Emperor Tenji; and all sovereigns except Jitō, Yōzei, Go-Toba, and Fushimi have "senso" and "sokui" in the same year until the reign of Go-Murakami.] ]
According to "
Nihonshoki" he was of gentle personality and was favor in Buddhism.
In 645 he created a new city in the area called Naniwa, and moved the capital from
Yamato provinceto this new city (see Nara). The new capital had a sea port and was good for foreign trade and diplomatic activities.
In 653 Kōtoku sent an embassy to
Tang Dynasty, but not all ships could reach China because of wrecking.
Naka no Ōe held the rank of crown prince and was the de facto leader of the government. In 653 Naka no Ōe proposed to move the capital again to Yamato province. Kōtoku denied. Naka no Ōe ignored the emperor's policy and moved to the former province. Many courtiers and loyals in the court including Empress Hashihito followed him. Kōtoku was left in the palace. In the next year he died because of illness. After his death, Naka no Ōe wouldn't ascend to the throne. Instead, his mother and the sister of Kōtoku, the former Empress Kogyoku ascended to the throne under another name, Empress Saimei.
The system of "hasshō kyakkan" (eight ministries and a hundred offices) was first established during the reign of Emperor Kōtoku. [Varley, p. 133.]
"Kugyō" (公卿) is a collective term for the very few most powerful men attached to the court of the
Emperor of Japanin pre-Meiji eras.
In general, this elite group included only three to four men at a time. These were hereditary courtiers whose experience and background would have brought them to the pinnacle of a life's career. During Kōtoko's reign, this apex of the "
Sadaijin", Abe no Kurahashi-maro (阿部倉梯麻呂) (?-649), 645-649.Brown, p. 266.]
* "Sadaijin", Kose no Tokoda (巨勢徳太) (593-658), 649-658. [see above] ]
Udaijin", Soga no Kura-no-Yamada no Ishikawa-no-maro (蘇我倉山田石川麻呂) (?-649), 645-649. [see above] ]
* "Udaijin", Ōtomo no Nagatoko (大伴長徳) (?-651), 649-651. [see above] ]
Naidaijin"(内臣), Nakatomi Kamako (中臣鎌子) ( Fujiwara no Kamatari, 藤原鎌足) (614-669), 645-669. [see above] ]
Eras of Kōtoku's reign
Consorts and Children
Empress: Princess Hashihito (間人皇女) (?-665), daughter of
"Hi": Abe no Otarashi-hime (阿部小足媛), daughter of Abe no Kurahashi-maro
*Prince Arima (有間皇子) (640-658)
"Hi": Saga no Chi-no-iratsume (蘇我乳娘), daughter of Soga no Kura-no-Yamada no Ishikawa-no-maro
* Aston, William G. (2005). "Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to A.D. 697." Tokyo:
Charles E. Tuttle Company. ISBN 0-804-83674-4
* Brown, Delmer M. and Ichirō Ishida, eds. (1979). [
Jien, c. 1220] , " Gukanshō(The Future and the Past, a translation and study of the Gukanshō, an interpretative history of Japan written in 1219)." Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-03460-0
* Titsingh, Isaac, ed. (1834). [Siyun-sai Rin-siyo/
Hayashi Gahō, 1652] , " Nipon o daï itsi ran; ou, Annales des empereurs du Japon, tr. par M. Isaac Titsingh avec l'aide de plusieurs interprètes attachés au comptoir hollandais de Nangasaki; ouvrage re., complété et cor. sur l'original japonais-chinois, accompagné de notes et précédé d'un Aperçu d'histoire mythologique du Japon, par M. J. Klaproth." Paris: Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. [http://books.google.com/books?id=18oNAAAAIAAJ&dq=nipon+o+dai+itsi+ran ...Click link for digitized, full-text copy of this book (in French)]
* Varley, H. Paul , ed. (1980). [
Kitabatake Chikafusa,1359] , " Jinnō Shōtōki("A Chronicle of Gods and Sovereigns: Jinnō Shōtōki of Kitabatake Chikafusa" translated by H. Paul Varley)." New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-04940-4
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