Emperor Goyozei (後陽成天皇)

Emperor Goyozei (December 31, 1571 - September 25, 1617), his reign was from December 17, 1586 to May 9, 1611, he was the hundred and seventh Emperor between the Azuchi-Momoyama period and the Edo period. His posthumous name was initially Kazuhito, later named Katahito.


He was the first Prince of Emperor Ogimachi's Prince, Imperial Prince Sanehito (Retired Emperor Yokoin). His mother was Haresuke KAJUJI's daughter, Shin Jotomon in Haruko KAJUJI.

Brief Personal History

In July 1586, Emperor Ogimachi's Crown Prince, Imperial Prince Sanehito died of illness, his grandchild, Katahito succeeded to the throne on December 15 in the same year, after his grandfather, Emperor Ogimachi passed the throne to him.

The Emperor Goyozei's reign was between the government of the Toyotomi family and the early Edo Government, he was treated differently in the early half of his reign compared to the latter half of the reign. Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI contributed to restoring the authority of the Imperial Palace, since he used the position of chancellor (chief advisor to the emperor) and Taiko as authority to control the government, thus he respected the Emperor and supported his potency. In 1588 Hideyoshi organized the big event of the Emperor's Jurakudai Mansion visit. After Hideyoshi died, Ieyasu TOKUGAWA was appointed to a seii taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians") in 1603 and began the Edo bakufu. The Edo bakufu initiated governmental interference at the Imperial Palace to suppress their authority, the government took control of having the right to appoint official positions and change in era name. In 1609, the Emperor demanded severe punishment for the shogunate's military governor stationed in Kyoto when the Inokuma Incident occurred, whereby a court lady committed adultery.

Emperor Goyozei appointed his first Prince, Cloistered Imperial Prince Kakushin to succeeded the throne based upon Hideyoshi's advice that led up to the incident. However, after Hideyoshi died, Emperor Goyozei decided that he did not this idea and that he wished Imperial Prince Hachijo no Miya Toshihito to succeed him on the throne instead, but court officials and Ieyasu opposed him on this. After the Battle of Sekigahara, Emperor Goyozei forced Imperial Prince Nagahito to abdicate from the throne to allow him to became a priest at Ninna-ji Temple, he then appointed the third Prince, Imperial Prince Kotohito to succeed to the throne.

He abdicated and passed the throne to Imperial Prince Kotohito (Emperor Gomizunoo) in 1611, then retired to the Sento Palace. However, it is said that Emperor Goyozei did not enjoy a good relationship with his son, Gomizunoo for a long time. He died when he was forty seven years in 1617.

He wrote "Genji Monogatari Kikigaki" (Commentary of the Tale of Genji) and "Ise Monogatari Guan sho" (The foolish tales of the tale of Ise), and also published the "Nihon Shoki" (Chronicles of Japan) as Keicho Chokuhan (published by Imperial order).

Posthumous name, Tsuigo, different name

After he died, he received the posthumous name of 'Goyozei in' as Kago-go (name with go in the beginning) of the Emperor Yozei. The above name does not seem appropriate because the Emperor did not have a good reputation. It is considered that his son, Emperor Gomizunoo chose this name so, to look down upon his father. It shows a serious discord between the father and the son.

Eras during his reign

Tensho (November 7, 1586) - December 8, 1592

Bunroku December 8, 1592 - October 27, 1596

Keicho October 27, 1596 - (March 27 1611)

The Imperial Mausoleum

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

[Original Japanese]