Emperor Gohanazono (後花園天皇)

Emperor Gohanazono (July 10, 1419 - January 18, 1471), his reign was from September 7, 1428 to August 21, 1464, he was the hundred and second Emperor during the Muromachi period. His posthumous name was Hikohito.


He was Imperial Prince Fushiminomiya Sadafusa's second Prince. (The third representative of the Fushiminomiya family, Emperor Suko's grandchild, Gosuko-in.)
His mother was Tsuneari NIWATA's daughter, Fuseimon in, MINAMOTO no Koshi. This was the main family line of the Jimyo-in Imperial line.

Later on he was adopted by Emperor Gokomatsu.

Brief Personal History

Emperor Shoko was not well and had been in critical condition since 1422, and because he did not have any children, the Retired Emperor Gokomatsu felt the need to restrain the progression of the Daikaku-ji Imperial line. It was decided to adopt a child from the Fushiminomiya family before Emperor Shoko passed away. In 1428 when Emperor Shoko was in critical condition, the Second Southern Court began revealing their active political ambitions, the 6th Shogun in the Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), Yoshinori ASHIKAGA protected Prince Hikohito in the Fushimi Imperial Palace, and demanded Retired Emperor Gokomatsu, Chiten no kimi (ex-emperor who is in control of politics by ruling the cloister government), to appoint a new emperor. After Emperor Shoko died, Emperor Gohanazono succeeded to the throne on December 27, 1429 without having Shino senge (the title Prince by Imperial order).

Emperor Gokomatsu ruled the cloister government until 1433. Since then, the Emperor ruled the direct government for about thirty years, during his reign when there were peasant uprisings in many places, he acted in a political role by issuing Jibatsu Rinji (an official document of punishment issued by the Emperor) to regulate the Eikyo and Kakitsu Disturbances.
In 1439 the edition of Shin Shoku Kokin Waka Shu was completed, which was the last edition of Chokusen Waka Shu. (twenty one volumes)
In 1443, the Second Southern Court forces made a night attack on the Tsuchimikado Palace and Emperor Gohanazono escaped, then the Kinketsu Disturbance occurred and one of three sacred emblems of the Imperial Family was stolen. A stolen sword was found in Kiyomizu-dera Temple, however the scared jewel (Shinji, Magatama) was taken away by someone. In 1455 the Emperor gave Shinno senge (title Prince by Imperial order) to the direct line of Imperial descent, Kidera no Miya for the purpose of reconstruction. In 1457 after the Choroku Incident occurred when Akamatsu clan's remaining aides, who lost in battle during the Kakitsu War, took away the sacred jewel (Shinji, Magatama) and fought against the Second Southern Court to exterminate them, during the following year the three sacred jewels were handed over to the Northern Court. In 1461the Emperor gave Shino senge (title Prince by Imperial order) to Tokiwai no Miya to maintain the legitimate Daikaku-ji Imperial line. On August 21, 1464 he passed the throne to Emperor Gotsuchimikado and became a retired emperor, and then he started ruling the cloister government. In 1467 when the Onin War occurred in Kyoto, the Emperor escaped to Muromachi Mansion together with Emperor Gotsuchimikado.

He died on December 27, 1470 in the Muromachi Mansion.

He enjoyed cockfighting, Sarugaku (comical mimicry and speech performance during the Heian period) and Matsu Hayashi (a festival held at a temple or shrine, where people prayed for good luck and put a pine tree up). There was an episode where the Emperor sent a Chinese poem to Shogun, Yoshimasa ASHIKAGA to admonish him when the Choroku, Kansho Famine occurred.

The poem written by the Emperor

I think about my own special destiny where I was born, just like there is only one sun shinning in the sky.

Eras during his reign

Shocho (July 28, 1428) - September 5, 1429

Eikyo September 5, 1429 - February 17, 1441

Kakitsu February 17, 1441 - February 5, 1444

Bun-an February 5, 1444 - July 28, 1449

Hotoku July 28, 1449 - July 25, 1452

Kyotoku July 25, 1452 - July 25, 1455

Kosho July 25, 1455 - September 28, 1457

Choroku September 28, 1457 - December 21, 1460

Kansho December 21, 1460 - (July 19, 1464)

The Imperial Mausoleum

The Emperor was entombed in Nochi no Yamakuni no Misasagi at Keihoku Ido-cho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, and part of his remains were kept in Hanshuin no Misasagi in Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City. It is called Emperor Gohanazono's cremation mound (a burial mound wherer cremated remains are stored) and it exists in the same Ward, this cremation mound is known for the most accurate historical information in the study of the Imperial Mausoleums and cremation mounds of the early modern ages that exist in Kyoto Prefecture.

[Original Japanese]