Emperor Gofukakusa (後深草天皇)

Emperor Gofukakusa (June 28, 1243 - August 17, 1304) was the eighty ninth Emperor during the Kamakura period (his reign was from February 16, 1246 to January 9, 1259). His posthumous name was Hisahito.


He was the second Prince of Emperor Gosaga (the fourth Prince among others who became priests). His mother was the Grand Minister, Saneuji SAIONJI's daughter, Omiyain Kitsushi SAIONJI.

Brief Personal History

He was born at his maternal grandfather Saneuji's Imadegawa residence, who was the Grand Minister, in June 1243 and became Crown Prince when he was just two months old. In the New Year of 1246, he succeeded to the throne after Emperor Gosaga passed the throne to him when he was four year old. During his reign he did not in fact control politics since the Retired Emperor Gosaga ruled the cloistered government. He became sick from Warawayami (similar to malaria fever) in 1259 and passed the throne to Emperor Kameyama in November at the age of 17 after accepting Emperor Gosaga's request.

During this time intervention by the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a Shogun) into the Imperial Palace affairs became more obvious, the council system supervised by a retired emperor was established, and the cloistered government was also controlled. Also in 1252, Imperial Prince Munetaka, Emperor Gosaga's third Prince was accepted as a seii taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians") by the Kamakura bakufu.

In 1268 Emperor Kameyama's Prince, Imperial Prince Yohito, became Crown Prince at the request of Retired Emperor Gosaga, although there was another possible successor to the throne, Gofukakusa in's Prince, Hirohito who was older than he. This was the beginning of two parties, Emperor Gofukakusa's lineage (the Jimyoin Imperial line) and Emperor Kameyama's lineage (the Daikakuji Imperial line) opposing each other. In 1272 the Retired Emperor Gosaga left his will to approve the Kamakura bakufu for making decisions in terms of choosing who will rule the cloistered government or who should succeed the Imperial throne, then after he died, the government was not able to chose either Emperor Gofukakusa nor Emperor Kameyama, and they asked the Emperor's mother, Omiyain, and she mentioned that the Cloistered Emperor wished Emperor Kameyama to rule the government directly, thus, two years later, in the New Year of 1274, Emperor Kameyama abdicated and passed the throne to Emperor Gouda and started ruling the cloister government as Chiten no Kimi. The Gofukakusa in was not happy about the situation, he demonstrated his dissatisfaction by declining from his position as the retired emperor and to receive the respected name in 1275, Sanekane SAIONJI, who was the Kanto Moshitsugi in this period and favored the Retired Emperor Gofukakusa, negotiated with the regent, Tokimune HOJO, he succeeded to have Gofukakusa's Prince, Imperial Prince Hirohito (the Emperor Fushimi) to become Crown Prince in the same year. The Gofukakusa-in started a movement for Emperor Gouda to abdicate and to appoint the newest Crown Prince since 1280, finally, when Emperor Fushimi succeeded to the throne in October 1287, Gofukakusa-in began his cloistered government. Also the sixth Prince, Imperial Prince Hisaaki became the Kamakura Shogun in October 1289, and afterwards the situation continued, for a while, to be favorable for the Jimyoin Imperial line.

He became priest in February 1290 and had the Buddhist name of Sojitsu, he stopped officially ruling the cloistered government, however he continued to be involved in politics and later contributed as a main person in the Jimyoin Imperial line. He died at Reizei Tomi no Koji dono (mansion) in 1304 when he was sixty two years old.

Eras during his reign

Kangen (January 19, 1246) - February 28, 1247

Hoji February 28, 1247 - March 18, 1249

Kencho March 18, 1249 - October 15, 1256

Kogen October 15, 1256 - March 14, 1257

Shoka March 14, 1257 - March 26, 1259

Shogen March 26, 1259 - (November 26, 1259)

Posthumous name, Tsuigo, different name

His posthumous name was 'Gofukakusa-in,' named from the Mausoleum (Fukakusa Kita no Misasagi). Since the different name of the fifty-fourth Emperor, Emperor Ninmyo was Fukakusa tei, his posthumous name has the character go, when the name is read in Onyomi (Kanji character read in the Chinese way), it is called 'Gofukausa' which means someone undutiful to his parents, therefore it is said that only this Emperor's name is called 'Nochi no - Fukausa' in ('Go' read by Kun yomi) (Kazunaga Kyo Ki ("The Diary of Kazunaga Higashibojo"). However, according to another source, the Emperor was still called 'Gofukausa' inside the Imperial Palace, and there is no proof of the above information. After the Meiji period, the "in" title was abolished and he was called Emperor Gofukakusa.
Due to this change, the name was officially called 'Gofukakusa.'
There are different names related to other Palaces he lived in such as Tokiwai dono (mansion) or Reizei Tomi no Koji dono (mansion).

The Imperial mausoleum

In accordance with his will, the Emperor was entombed in on Mt. Fukakusa, located within Fukakusa Kita no Misasagi in Fukakusa Bo-cho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto City.

[Original Japanese]