Emperor Gokogon (後光厳天皇)

Emperor Gokogon (March 23, 1338 - March 12, 1374), his reign was from September 25, 1352 to April 9, 1371, he was the fourth Emperor of the Northern Court during the period of the Northern and Southern Courts. His first name was Iyahito.

He was excluded from the successive Emperors since the Southern Court was considered the standard era in 1911. (Until then the Northern Court which led to current Imperial line, was considered as standard era.)


He was the second Prince of Emperor Kogon. His mother was Kinhide OGIMACHI's daughter, Yorokumon-in FUJIWARA no Hideko.

Brief Personal History
In his childhood he was supervised by Kogimon-in (Neishi (Yasuko) SAIONJI), who was a high-ranking lady in the court; an empress of Emperor Gofushimi and his grandmother.

In 1351, after the leader of the Northern Court, Takauji ASHIKAGA, submitted to the Southern Court, unification of the Imperial line took place in the Shohei era during the Kanno Disturbance, and the Imperial lineage was given to the Southern Court temporarily. In the following year, 1352, unification had not been concluded after the Southern Dynasty suppressed Kyoto with military force and pursued Yoshiakira ASHIKAGA. When the Northern Court recaptured Kyoto, the Southern Court evacuated and Emperor Kogon (father), Emperor Komyo (uncle), Emperor Suko (brother) and Crown Prince, Imperial Prince Naohito were taken away to Yoshino.

After the three retired Emperors were taken away, public affairs were suspended in the Northern Court, and there was either no Chikun no Kimi to issue commands from the ex-emperor or they did not have the three sacred emblems of the Imperial Family. Although Prince Iyahito was expected to enter Myohoin, after Yoshiakira ASHIKAGA of Kyoto discussed the situation with Yoshimoto NIJO, they asked for help for Kogimon-in, Prince Iyahito received the order to succeed to the throne and was enthroned as Emperor Gokogon in August 17, following the example of ancient Emperor Keitai who was enthroned after being appointed by Enshin (延臣).

The Northern Court became weak due to the lack of orthodoxy on the part of Emperor Gokogon, to the contrary, the Southern Court took positive steps to recapture Kyoto, Emperor Gokogon went down to Kyoto to Omi Province several times.

In 1370 the Emperor requested the government's advice as to why the first Prince, Imperial Prince Ohito (the Emperor Goenyu) was passed over for the throne, his brother, Emperor Suko who returned to Kyoto in 1357, insisted to have his own son, Fushimi no Miya Imperial Prince Yoshihito succeed to the throne. In the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), under the supervision of the third Shogun Yoshimitsu ASHIKAGA, a shogunal deputy (kanrei), Yoriyuki HOSOKAWA answered Emperor Gokogon's, and the following year, 1371 (March 23), the Emperor passed the throne to Prince Ohito and started a cloistered government. In 1374 (January 29) he died of illness.

Eras during his reign

Kanno (August 17, 1351) - September 27, 1352

Bunna September 27, 1352 - March 28, 1356

Enbun March 28, 1356 - March 29, 1361

Koan March 29, 1361 - September 28, 1362

Joji September 28, 1362 - February 17, 1368

Oan February 17, 1368 - (March 23, 1371)

The Imperial mausoleum

The Emperor was entombed in Fukakusa no Kita no Misasagi at Fukakusa Bo-cho Town, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto City.

[Original Japanese]