Daikakuji-to (大覚寺統)

Daikakuji-to is a royal ancestry between the late Kamakura Period to the Northern and Southern Courts Period and used to oppose to Jimyoin-to. Daikakuji-to is descendent of the ninetieth Emperor Kameyama, son of eighty-eighth Emperor Go-Saga. Both Emperor Kameyama and Go-Uta put great effort into reconstructing Daikaku-ji Temple, which was located in the suburbs of Sagano in Kyoto, and the reason Daikakuji-to was given a name based on the name of this temple was because both Emperors established a cloister government here after they entered the priesthood.


The retired Emperor Go-Saga, who started a cloister government, left a will stating that among the imperial princes, the younger brother Emperor Kameyama's descendant should succeed to the Imperial Throne instead of Emperor Go-Fukakusa's descendant, thus causing a mutual conflict; it was therefore decided by the Kamakura shougunate to share the Imperial Throne between ancestors from both sides on the basis of a ten-year rotation (Ryoto Teiritsu) and to continue running the cloister government.

After the death of Emperor Go-Nijo, his father, the retired Emperor Go-Uta, insisted that the Emperor Go-Nijo's brother, Emperor Go-Daigo, succeed to the Imperial Throne until his son, Imperial Prince Kuniyoshi (Kuninaga), reached adulthood.

Both the retired Emperor Go-Uta and Imperial Prince Kuniyoshi (Kuninaga) resisted this, and the Emperor Go-Daigo aborted the cloister government in order to fight against it; he even tried to bring down the Kamakura shogunate. Due to this situation the Daikakuji-to had to dispel a crisis. Jimyoin-to and the Kamakura shogunate supported Imperial Prince Kuniyoshi (Kuninaga), but after his sudden death, they arranged for his son (Imperial Prince Yasuhito) to become the crown prince for Jimyoin-to's Emperor Kogon in order to demonstrate their rejection of Emperor Go-Daigo's line. This was done to ensure the imperial succession, but due to the collapse of the Kamakura shogunate, Emperor Go-Daigo was restored to the throne and the enthronement of Kidera-no-Miya (who was of Emperor Go-Nijo's line) did not take place.

It seemed that the imperial line was unified into Daikakuji-to (Emperor Go-Daigo's line) by the Kemmu Restoration; however, within two-and-a-half years the government collapsed. The Emperor from Daikakuji-to (the Southern Court) escaped to Yoshino and Takauji ASHIKAGA backed up the Emperor from Jimyoin-to (the Northern Court), thus giving rise to a period of conflict known as the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (refer to the section on the Southern Court for additional details).

At the Kanno Disturbance, Kyoto was recaptured and the era was unified (Shohei itto), but it collapsed within half a year. Later, Yoshimitsu ASHIKAGA helped organize the official enthronement ceremony and there was a condition for sharing the Imperial Throne (Ryoto Teiritsu); in terms of succession to the imperial enthronement, Emperor GO-KAMEYAMA from Daikakuji-to gave three holy durables to Emperor KOMATSU, thus marking the end of the division of the Northern and Southern Courts (the Meitoku Treaty or Meitoku Compromise).

Although there was an official ceremony to return holy durables to Nancho (the Southern Court), there was no enthronement ceremony and Emperor GO-KAMEYAMA was treated as "a special retired Emperor not officially enthroned." Subsequently, succession to the Imperial Throne was kept only from the Jimyoin-to side, and the ancestors of Daikakuji-to complained about this; on one occasion a surviving retainer from Nancho (the Southern Court) stole the holy durables from the palace and barricaded himself, and incidents of this sort continued to occur until the mid-fifteenth century (Second Southern Court).

[Original Japanese]