Emperor Takakura


Emperor Takakura

Emperor Takakura (高倉天皇 "Takakura-tennō") (September 23, 1161 – January 30, 1181) was the 80th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1168 through 1180. [Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). "Annales des empereurs du Japon," pp. 195-200; Brown, Delmer "et al." (1979). "Gukanshō," pp. 330-333; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). "Jinnō Shōtōki." pp. 212-214.]

Genealogy

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 Norihito"-shinnō" (憲仁親王). [Titsingh, p. 195; Varley, p. 212.] He was also known as Nobuhito"-shinnō". [Brown, p. 329.]

Takakura was the fourth son of Emperor Go-Shirakawa, and thus uncle to his predecessor, Emperor Rokujō. His mother was Empress Dowager Taira no Shigeko, the younger sister of Taira no Tokiko, the wife of Taira no Kiyomori. His empress consort was Taira no Tokuko (later Empress Dowager Kenrei), the daughter of Taira no Kiyomori, and thus his first cousin (as his mother and Tokuko's mothers were sisters).

* Empress consort: Taira no Tokuko (平徳子) - later Kenrei-mon In
** Imperial Prince Tokihito (言仁親王) - later Emperor Antoku
* Shichijō-in (七条院), Bōmon Shokushi [or Fujiwara no Shokushi] (坊門殖子, 藤原殖子)
** Second son: Imperial Prince Morisada (守貞親王) - later Go-Takakura In (後高倉院)
*** Third son of Prince Morisada: Imperial Prince Toyohito (茂仁親王) - later Emperor Go-Horikawa
** Fourth son: Imperial Prince Takahira (尊成親王) - later Emperor Go-Toba
* Lady of Rokujō (六条局), Konoe Michiko/Tsūshi (近衛通子)
* Court Lady Azechi? (按察典侍), Horikawa Toyoko? (堀河豊子)
** Third daughter: Imperial Princess Kiyoko (潔子内親王) - Saigū of Ise
* Court Lady Shōshō (少将内侍), Taira no Noriko (平範子)
** Third son: Imperial Prince Koreaki (惟明親王) (1172-1121), later Imperial Prince and Monk Shōen (聖円入道親王)
* Lady of Sochi (帥局), daughter of Fujiwara no Kimishige (藤原公重) - former nanny of Takakura
** First daughter: Imperial Princess Isako (功子内親王) - Saigū of Ise
* Lady of Kogō (小督局), daughter of Fujiwara no Shigenori (藤原成範)
** Second daughter: Imperial Princess Hanshi/Noriko (範子内親王), Empress Dowager Bō (坊門院)

Events of Takakura's life

Although Takakura is formally enthroned, the reality of his circumstances was that government affairs were controlled by the Emperor's father and his father-in-law.

* "Nin'an 3", on the 19th day of the 2nd month (1168): In the 3rd year of Rokujō"-tennō"'s reign (六条天皇3年), the emperor was deposed by his grandfather, and the succession (‘‘senso’’) was received by his cousin, the third son of the retired-Emperor Go-Shirakawa. [Brown, p. 330; 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.] ]
* "Nin'an 3", on the 19th day of the 2nd month (1168): Emperor Takakura is said to have acceded to the throne (‘‘sokui’’), and he is proclaimed emperor. [Titsingh, p. 195; Varley, p. 44.]

Takakura had his own views on the role of Emperor. He is said to have written::"The Emperor is a ship. His subjects are water. The water enables a ship to float well, but sometimes the vessel is capsized by it. His subjects can sustain an Emperor well, but sometimes they overthrow him." [Kitagawa, Hiroshi "et al." (1975). "The Tale of the Heike", p. 220.]

The ex-Emperor Go-Shirakawa, who was the Emperor's father, exercised the powers attendant the well-settled patterns of cloistered rule. Taira no Kiyomori, who was the father of the Empress, did whatever he pleased as "de facto" Regent.

* "Jōan 2", 10th day of the 2nd month (1172): Taira Kiyomori’s daughter, Tokuko, becomes Emperor Takakura’s consort. [Kitagawa, p. 783.]

* "Jishō gannen" or "Jishō 1", on the 28th day of the 4th month (1177): A great fire in the capital was spread by high winds; and the palace was reduced to cinders. [Titsingh, p. 198.]
* "Jishō 2", on the 12th day of the 11th month (1178): Takakura's consort, Taira-no Tokuko, gave birth to a son. Kiyuomori, the father of the Empress, rejoiced; and all the officers of the court congratulated the parents. In the next month, this infant was declared heir to Emperor Takakura. [Titsingh, p. 199.]
* "Jisho 4", 21st day of the 2nd month (1180): Emperor Takakura abdicates.Kitagawa, p. 784.]
* "Jisho 4", 22nd day of the 4th month (1180): Emperor Antoku’s cornonation ceremony. [see above] ]
* "Jisho 4", 2nd day of the 6th month (1180): Former-emperor Go-Shirakawa-in, former-emperor Takakura-in and Emperor Antoku leave Kyoto for Fukuhara. [see above] ]
* "Jisho 4", 26th day of the 11th month (1180): The capital is moved back to Kyoto from Fukuhara. [see above] ]
* "Jisho 4" (1180): A devastating whirlwind causes havoc in Heian-kyo, the capital. [Kamo no Chōmei. (1212). "Hōjōki."]
* "Jisho 5", 14th day of the 1st month (1181): Emperor Takakura dies. [see above] ]

Soon after the birth of Takakura's son, Tokihito"-shinnō," the Emperor was pressured to abdicate in favor of that newborn son. The one-year-old infant would become Emperor Antoku.

"Kugyō"

"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.

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 Takakura's reign, this apex of the "Daijō-kan" included:
* "Sesshō", Matsu Motofusa, 1144-1230.Brown, p. 331.]
* "Kampaku", Konoe Motomichi, 1160-1233. [see above] ]
* "Daijō-daijin", Fujiwara Tadamasa. [see above] ]
* "Daijō-daijin", Fujiwara Moronaga, 1137-1192. [see above] ]
* "Sadaijin", Ōimikado Tsunemune, 1119-1189. [see above] ]
* "Udaijin", Kujō Kanezane, 1149-1207. [see above] ]
* "Nadaijin", Konoe Motomichi. [see above] ]
* "Nadaijin", Minamoto Masamichi, d. 1175. [see above] ]
* "Nadaijin", Taira Shigemori, 1138-1179. [Brown, p. 332.]
* "Dainagon"

Eras of Takakura's reign

The years of Takakura's reign are more specifically identified by more than one era name or "nengō". [Titsingh, p. 195-200; Brown, pp. 330-331.]
* "Nin'an" (1166-1169)
* "Kaō" (1169-1171)
* "Jōan" (1171-1175)
* "Angen" (1175-1177)
* "Jishō" (1177-1181)

References

* 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
* Kitagawa, Hiroshi and Bruce T. Tsuchida, eds. (1975). "The Tale of the Heike." Tokyo: University of Tokyo. ISBN 0-86008-128-1
* 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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