Emperor Daigo (醍醐天皇)

Emperor Daigo (February 6, 885 - October 23, 930) was in power during the Heian period. He was the sixtieth Emperor. His reign was from August 14, 897 to October 16, 930. The first posthumous name was Korezane, but subsequently it was changed to Atsugimi/Atsuhito.

He was the first prince of Emperor Uda. His mother was the daughter of Naidaijin FUJIWARA no Takafuji, FUJIWARA no Inshi. His mother-in-law was Empress FUJIWARA no Onshi (the daughter of the supreme minister and chancellor to an (adult) emperor, FUJIWARA no Mototsune). He had more than 20 nyogo and koi, and he had 36 children followed by Prince Yasuakira (Bunken-gen-taishi), Prince Yoshiakira, Prince Shigeakira (Riho-O), MINAMOTO no Takaakira (who was demoted from nobility to subject (commoner)), Prince Kaneakira (Saki no chusho), Prince Hiroakira (the Emperor Suzaku), Prince Nariakira (the Emperor Murakami) and so on.

Brief Personal History
The Emperor was born as Minamoto no Korezane, the first son of MINAMOTO no Sadami, on February 6, 885. In 887 his father returned to the Imperial Family and was enthroned as an Emperor, whereupon Emperor Daigo became a member of the Imperial Family. In 889 he received a Shino senge and became a crown prince on April 2, 889. He had a coming-of-age ceremony on July 3 in the same year as above, on which day he succeeded to the throne and became the Emperor on July 13. He ordered FUJIWARA no Tokihira and SUGAWARA no Michizane to serve as Udaijin (Minister of the Right) and Sadaijin (Minister of the Left), respectively, following his father's instructions. In this government, the Emperor ruled the politics directly without regents or chancellors [chief advisers to the Emperor] as a matter of form, and his time, which was admired as 'Engi no chi (the peaceful era of Engi),' continued for 34 years; however, it is said that the Shotai no Hen (the Shotai Incident), which occurred in 901 when SUGAWARA no Michizane's position was lowered to Dazai no Gon no Sochi after Tokihira made a false charge against him, was the biggest mistake of the government ruled by a son of Heaven. In recent years it has been considered that this incident was constructed as a means for the Emperor and Tokihira to rid themselves of the political power of the Retired Emperor Uda. Tokihira was keen to complete reform by issuing the first Decree Restricting the Expansion of Private Estates. He finished making National History, "Nihon San-dai Jitsuroku" and also entered into editing the San-dai Kyakushiki government, which was the basic law of ritsuryo codes, but he died without finishing it, and in 927 his brother FUJIWARA no Tadahira succeeded in Tokihira's desire to finish it.

The Emperor paid attention to the reform of Japanese poetry, and in 905 he ordered KI no Tsurayuki to edit "Kokin Waka shu (Collection of Ancient and Modern Japanese Poetry)." The Emperor himself was a talented poet who had 43 poems included in an anthology collected by imperial command. There is a Kasyu "Engi Gyoshu." It has been handed down to succeeding generations with the title "Engi Tenryaku Gyoki sho," and together with Emperor Murakami's Gyoki there are only unfinished stories left from 宸記 "Engi Gyoki," of which 20 issues were written over 33 years.

The eldest son of the Emperor and FUJIWARA no Onshi, who was the second consort of an Emperor, Prince Yasuakira became the crown prince; however, because he died young, his son, Prince Yoriyoshi, was set up as a crown prince, but he too died young. There was a rumor that all the bad luck had been caused by SUGAWARA no Michizane's curse, so in 923 the Emperor tried to console Michizane's soul by decimating the imperial rescript of him being relegated to a lower position, returning him to the Udaijin and conferring the posthumous honor.

On October 16, 930, he abdicated and passed the throne to Crown Prince Hiroakira because of his illness; he died seven days later, on October 23, 930. He was buried in the ground under Onodera Temple on the north of Daigo-ji Temple and west of Mt. Kasatori-yama.

Posthumous, Tsuigo, a different name
The Tsuigo of 'Emperor Daigo' comes from the name of the palace called Daigo, which is located near Daigo-ji Temple, the temple built by order of the Emperor.
The Emperor was not called 'Daigo-in.'
He was instead called 'Engi-tei,' a name that came from the major eras of his reign.

Eras during his reign





The Imperial Mausoleum
The Imperial mausoleum was under the supervision of Daigo-ji Temple; today it's one of the few mausoleums whose location was known in the Heian period. It is located at Nochi no Yamashina no Misasagi, Furumichi-cho Town, Daigo, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto City.

[Original Japanese]