Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado

Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado

(July 3, 1442 – October 21, 1500) was the 103rd emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1464 through 1500. [Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). "Annales des empereurs du Japon," pp. 352-364.]

This 15th century sovereign was named after the 12th century Emperor Tsuchimikado and "go-" (後), translates literally as "later;" and thus, he could be called the "Later Emperor Tsuchimikado". The Japanese word "go" has also been translated to mean the "second one;" and in some older sources, this emperor may be identified as "Tsuchimikado, the second," or as "Tsuchimikado II."


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 nihongo| Fusahito"-shinnō"|成仁親王.Titsingh, p. 352.]

He was the eldest son of Emperor Go-Hanazono. His mother was Ōinomikado (Fujiwara) Nobuko (大炊御門(藤原)信子), daughter of Fujiwara Takanaga (藤原高長)
*Lady-in-waiting: Niwata (Minamoto) Asako (庭田(源)朝子)
**First son: Imperial Prince Katsuhito (勝仁親王) (Emperor Go-Kashiwabara)
**Second son: Imperial Prince ?? (尊敦親王)
*Lady-in-waiting: Kajūji (Fujiwara) Fusako (勧修寺(藤原)房子)
**Third daughter: Princess ?? (応善女王)
**Third son: Prince ?? (仁尊法親王) (Buddhist Priest)
**Fourth son: Imawaka-no-miya (今若宮)
*Consort: Kasannoin (Fujiwara) ?? (花山院(藤原)兼子)
**First daughter: ?? (大慈光院宮)
**Second daughter: Princess Tomonobu ?? (知円女王)
**Fourth daughter: Princess Michihide (理秀女王)

Events of Go-Tsuchimikado's life

* "Kanshō 5", in the 7th month (August 21, 1464): In the 36th year of Go-Hanazono"-tennō"'s reign (後花園天皇25年), the emperor abdicated; and the succession (‘‘senso’’) was received by his son. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado is said to have acceded to the throne (‘‘sokui’’). [Titsingh, p. 351; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). "Jinnō Shōtōki," 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.] ]

Shortly after his enthronement, the "Ōnin" War took place. Temples, shrines, and mansions of court nobles, among others, were burned to the ground. The Imperial Court's finances dried up, and the Court declined.

Until former-emperor Go-Komatsu died in 1433, Go-Hanazono held the title of formal head of the Daïri, the real power in the court was wielded by his uncle, who continued a practice known as cloistered rule. After this, Go-Hanazono enjoyed 30 years of direct imperial rule, until his abdication; and then the conventional pattern of indirect government by cloistered emperors was again resumed. The extended duration of Go-Tsuchimikado's reign -- lasting thirty-six years, 2 months -- is the longest of any sovereign in the historical period prior to Emperor Meiji.

After the end of the War, there was little enthusiasm for reviving the Imperial Court's ancient ceremonies. On October 21 1500, the Emperor died. His successor Go-Kashiwabara lacked the funds to pay for the funeral ceremony, and the deceased emperor's body lay in a palace storeroom for over a month before a donation was made to the court, and the funeral could be observed.


"Kugyō" (公卿) is a collective term for the very few most powerful men attached to the court of the Emperor of Japan in pre-Meiji eras. Even during those years in which the court's actual influence outside the palace walls was minimal, the hierarchic organization persisted.

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 Go-Tsuchimikado's reign, this apex of the "Daijō-kan included:
* "Sadaijin"
* "Udaijin"
* "Nadaijin"
* "Dainagon"

Eras of Go-Tsuchimikado's reign

The years of Go-Tsuchimikado's reign are more specifically identified by more than one era name or "nengō". [see above] ]
* "Kanshō" (1460-1466)
* "Bunshō" (1466-1467)
* "Ōnin" (1467-1469)
* "Bunmei" (1469-1487)
* "Chōkyō" (1487-1489)
* "Entoku" (1489-1492)
* "Meiō" (1492-1501)


* Brown, Delmer M. and Ichirō Ishida, eds. (1979). [ Jien, 1221] , "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, ful-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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