Junna-in Palace (淳和院)

Junna-in Palace was Emperor Junna's Rikyu (an imperial villa) or Goin Palace in Ukyo Shi jo Ni bo (present-day Ukyo Ward, Kyoto Prefecture) in Heian-kyo (the ancient capital of Japan in current Kyoto.)
Later, Genji choja (the top of the Minamoto clan) served as chief of Junna-in Palace as well as Shogaku-in college (Daigaku-besso, and academy for nobles). Another name was Sai or Saiin.


The year of construction is unknown, but in 813 when Emperor Junna's Kotaitei (the younger brother of an Emperor sho is heir apparent) was taking up the reins, his older brother Emperor Saga visited this place called Nanchi-in Palace at that time. After the enthronement of Emperor Junna, it became Rikyu, and on March 26, 833, he declared the abdication of the throne to his nephew Imperial Prince Masara (Emperor Ninmyo) here.
Before this enthronement, the name was changed to 'Junna-in Palace.'
After stepping down from the throne, the Retired Emperor Junna lived here with Empress Dowager, Imperial Princess Masako (Dowager Empress Junna, Emperor Saga's Imperial Princess), and died in seven years. After the Retired Emperor's bereaved child, Imperial Prince Tsunesada was deposed from princess due to the Jowa Incident and confined to Junna-in Palace, Imperial Princess Masako and Imperial Prince Tsunesada were quietly devoted to Buddhism training here. After the palace burned in 874 and was rebuilt, Imperial Princess Masako made this palace a temple for nuns who could not officially become priests due to the Court's Buddhism policy. On January 8, 882, after the death of Imperial Princess Masako, at the request of Imperial Prince Tsunetada, the Court established Kugyo betto at this palace to manage Junna-in Palace, the imperial mausoleums of the Retired Emperor Saga, TACHIBANA no Kachiko and Dowager Empress Junna (Imperial Princess Masako), Daikaku-ji Temple associated with the Retired Emperor Saga and Danrin-ji Temple associated with the Empress Danrin. The Kugyo (a top court official) assigned to this post was called Junnain Betto (chancellor of Junna-in Palace).

Because the Retired Emperor Saga was an ancestor of Saga-Genji (Minamoto clan) as the first Minamoto clan, the idea that the post of Junnain Betto would be connected with the Minamoto clan was gradually accepted. In 1140, MINAMOTO no Masasada, Genji choja (the top of the Minamoto clan) of Murakami-Genji (Minamoto clan) took the posts of both Junnain Betto and Shogakuin Betto (chancellor of Shogakuin,) and after that, the custom that Genji choja served as both Junnain Betto and Shogakuin Betto continued until the Meiji Restoration. Initially, the Genji choja post was filled by people from the Koga family and the Nakanoin family, as these were Murakami-Genji's main branches, though there were cases in which these posts were taken by members of branches of the Koba or Nakanoin families. However, after Yoshimitsu ASHIKAGA, Seii Taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians") of the Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), was assigned to Genji choja in 1383 and at the same time took the posts of both Junnain Betto and Shogakuin Betto, Shogun of the Muromachi shogunate continued to take the two Betto posts. After the Meio Coup, Murakami-Genji again continued to be assigned to the post of the family head of the Minamoto clan and the two Betto posts. However, as a result of confusion in Kyoto in and after the Onin War, it is thought that Junna-in Palace disappeared or was destroyed and Junnain Betto was just a nominal title. When Ieyasu TOKUGAWA established the Edo bakufu, he took the posts of the family head of the Minamoto clan and Junnain Betto and Shogakuin Betto, and after that successive Shoguns continued to take the posts.

In 1927, the Junna-in Palace ruins were excavated and large numbers of Kawara tiles and earthenware were discovered.

[Original Japanese]