Emperor Gomurakami (後村上天皇)

Emperor Gomurakami (1328 - April 6, 1368) was the 97th emperor in the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (in Japan) and the second emperor of the Southern Court. (He reigned from September 26, 1339 until April 6, 1368). His personal name was Yoshinori or Norinaga. He later changed a Chinese character in the name. See reading of the name of a son of Emperor Godaigo as to the two readings for his name.

As the Southern Court was legitimated in 1911, he became recognized as a legitimate emperor in history.

Yoshino in Nara, Sumiyoshi-angu in Osaka were his temporary residents.

Brief Personal History
When Kamakura bakufu fell in 1333, his father Emperor Godaigo started the Kenmu Restoration. The little prince served by Mutsu no kami (the governor of Mutsu Province) Akiie KITABATAKE and Chikafusa TAKABATAKE went to Taga-jo Castle in Mutsu Province to subdue remnants of the Hojo clan and to control the Togoku Samurai. In 1335, Takauji ASHIKAGA defected from the new government, and the prince, along with the parent and child of KITABATAKE, returned to Kyoto to defeat Takauji. He celebrated his coming of age at Hieizan, and returned to Oshu (Northern Honshu, the region encompassing Mutsu and Dewa provinces) when Takauji was defeated in Kyoto and fled to Kyushu in 1336, but in 1337, he turned back to Saigoku (western part of Japan (esp. Kyushu, but ranging as far east as Kinki)) because Taga-jo castle was assaulted. Takauji ASHIKAGA regained Kyoto, and Emperor Godaigo and his followers fled to Yoshino and established the Southern Court. While Emperor Godaigo dispatched his princes to various places to rally the forces of the Southern Court throughout Japan, Yoshinori, along with Imperial Prince Muneyoshi, Chikafusa KITABATAKE and others, left for Oshu from Ominato in Ise province, but on the way, they were overtaken by a storm and broken up, and then Yoshinori returned to Yoshino. He became the Crown Prince in 1339 and on September 26 of the same year, he became emperor upon the abdication of Emperor Godaigo just before his death.

In 1348, KO no Moronao on the side of Ashikaga attacked Yoshino, and eventually he moved to Ano in Yamato (Gojo City, Nara Prefecture). When Kanno Disturbance broke out, Tadayoshi ASHIKAGA and Takauji ASHIKAGA offered surrender alternately and he accepted it. Shohei itto (temporal unification of the Northern and Southern Courts) was realized with Takauji's surrender to the Southern Court, Emperor Gomurakami took over the Three Sacred Treasures of the Imperial Family on the side of the Northern Court (Godaigo had insisted that they had been imitations) and gave an Imperial order to hunt down and kill Tadayoshi ASHIKAGA. When takauji headed for Saigoku to subjugate Tadafuyu ASHIKAGA, an adopted child of Tadayoshi, Emperor Gomurakami seized the opportunity to expel Yoshiakira ASHIKAGA and regained Kyoto, but when Takauji came back to Kyoto, he was ousted from Kyoto.

On April 12, 1352, he entered Otokoyama in Yamashiro Province (Yawata City, Kyoto Prefecture), and Masanori KUSUNOKI beat Yoshiakira ASHIKAGA in the Battle of Shichijo Omiya to recover Kyoto. Yoshiakira escaped, leaving the three Retired Northern Emperors: Emperor Kogon, Emperor Komyo and Emperor Suko, and the Imperial Prince Naohito, who were later taken to Otokoyama by the Southern Court. However, he had to abandon Kyoto after a counter-attack by Ashikaga in April. They barricaded themselves in Otokoyama, but fled to Tojo in Kawachi Province after an attack by Yoshiakira, and returned to Ano in July.. They tried to regain Kyoto putting forward Tadafuyu ASHIKAGA, who had again submitted to the Southern Court, but were defeated by the forces of Takauji and Yoshiakira, which foiled the attempt.

On January 12, 1362, after the submission of Kiyouji HOSOKAWA, a steward of the bakufu who had lost his position in a political battle, he attacked Kyoto along with Kiyouji and Masanori KUSUNOKI and temporary recovered Kyoto. However, Yoshiakira quickly fought back and they evacuated Kyoto by January 30, 1362. They continued trying to recover Kyoto, but the Southern Court's power was already weakened, and on April 6, 1368 (old calendar), the Emperor demised at an Imperial chamber, Sumiyoshi-Angu (Sumiyoshi Ward, Osaka City) of Tsumori clan, the chief priest of Sumiyoshitaisha Shrine.

He is said to have been talented at music and literature.

Posthumous title/ Another name
His father, Emperor Godaigo idealized Engi, Tenryaku no chi (reign of Emperor Daigo and Murakami), and determined his title as Godaigo with respect for Emperor Daigo, before his death. Following the story above, he was posthumously titled Gomurakami.

Eras in his reign

Engen era (August 16, 1336-April 28, 1340 (old calendar))

Kokoku era (April 28, 1340-December 8, 1346 (old calendar))

Shohei era (December 8, 1346-March 11, 1368 (old calendar))

Imperial Tomb/Mausoleum
He was buried in Hinoo no Misasagi Mausoleum in the precincts of Kanshin-ji Temple in Teramoto, Kawachinagano City, Osaka Prefecture.

He is also enshrined at Tagajo-jinja Shrine located on the north side of Taga-jo Castle in Tagajo City, Miyagi Prefecture. All the emperors are enshrined at Koreiden (Ancestral Spiritual Sanctuary), one of the Three Shrines in the Imperial Palace.

[Original Japanese]