Emperor Enyu (円融天皇)

Emperor Enyu (April 12, 959 - March 1, 991) was the sixty-fourth Emperor (his reign was November 5, 969 to September 24, 984). His posthumous name was Morihira.


He was the fifth prince of Emperor Murakami, and his mother was an Emperor's second consort, FUJIWARA no Anshi, who was the daughter of FUJIWARA no Morosuke, the minister of the right. He was the younger half-brother of Emperor Reizei. He had a close relationship with his older sister, Princess Shishinai, and she was conferred the rank of Ippon Shinno, the highest rank given to a member of the Imperial Family.

Initially, the chancellor (chief adviser to the Emperor) FUJIWARA no Kanemichi's daughter Koshi became the Emperor's second consort, but after she died (in 979), Junshi, daughter of the chancellor FUJIWARA no Yoritada, took over her position. Also, the Emperor gave approval for FUJIWARA no Kaneie's second daughter, FUJIWARA no Senshi, to enter the Imperial Palace as a consort bride; she gave birth to an only prince, Yasuhito (later called Emperor Ichijo).

Brief Personal History

On September 1, 967, he became the crown prince at the age of nine instead of his older brother, Imperial Prince Tamehira.
Prior to that point, there was a three-month period in which no one succeeded to the position of crown prince
The Fujiwara clan caused the Anna Incident, as they did not like Imperial Prince Tamehira having an empress who was a daughter of MINAMOTO no Takaakira; so, after he lost his position, Emperor Enyu became a successor, followed by Emperor Reizei.

The Emperor was 11 years old when he was enthroned, so the grand minister, FUJIWARA no Saneyori, became a regent. After Saneyori died in 970, the Emperor's father-in-law, FUJIWARA no Koremasa, took over the position of regent. In 972, after Koremasa died after about a year in his position, there was a fierce battle between his brothers, Kanemichi and Kaneie, to take over the position of regent. The Emperor appointed Kanemichi as the chancellor, following his mother's will, but after that Kanemichi became very ill in 977 and the Emperor appointed FUJIWARA no Yoritada, a distant relative, to take over Kanemichi's position, since that was Kanemichi's wish. This was partly due to Kanemichi's power; one theory asserts that Emperor Enyu preferred Yoritada, who had sent his daughter Junshi to him, but on the other hand Kaneie did not send any of his daughters to Emperor Enyu, although he did so for the Retired Emperor Reizei, so the Emperor did not have complete trust in Kaneie.

Subsequently, Kaneie sent his daughter Senshi to the Emperor, and Senshi gave birth to the Emperor's only prince, Yasuhito (later Emperor Ichijo). Despite the above, the Emperor appointed Junshi, who could not have children, as the second consort of an Emperor. A chain of events led Kaneie to hold a grudge against the Emperor; consequently, Kaneie returned to his hometown with Senshi and Prince Yasuhito, and never let them return to the palace. On the other hand, the Emperor tried not to rely on Kaneie by using Kanemichi's palace, Horikawa dono (residence) (it was still used after the Emperor abdicated the throne) or using the palace of Chancellor Yoritada as a temporary palace when, on two occasions, fires occurred in the palace, so the relationship between the Emperor and Kaneie was sensitive.

Thus the Emperor was at the mercy of a power struggle within the Fujiwara clan, and he abdicated and passed the throne to Emperor Kazan in 984 after Imperial Prince Yasuhito became the crown prince. It is said that during Emperor Ichijo's reign, Emperor Enyu seized strong leadership over the young Emperor Ichijo, and intended to rule a cloister government; however, this isn't certain.

Posthumous name, Tsuigo, a different name

After he abdicated from the throne, he was called Retired Emperor Suzaku-in, named after go-in, which was a candidate place for the Emperor to stay after abdicating the throne. In August 985 he was given the orders of the priesthood by Kancho Dai-sojo (the head priest of a Buddhist sect), and became a priest, whereupon he lived at Enyu-ji Temple.
Due to the above, upon his death he was given the posthumous name 'Enyu-in.'

Eras during his reign






Eigan, Eikan

The Imperial Mausoleum

His mausoleum is Nochino murakami no Misasagi, located at Fukuoji-cho Town, Utano, in the Ukyo Ward of Kyoto City. All the past emperors are enshrined in Koreiden, one of the three palace sanctuaries.

[Original Japanese]