Emperor Ogimachi (正親町天皇)

Emperor Ogimachi (June 18, 1517 - February 6, 1593) was the 106th Emperor (his reign was from November 17, 1557 to December 17, 1586). His posthumous name was Michihito.

Brief Personal History

He enthroned after Emperor Go-Nara died. However, when the accession occurred there was not even an enthronement ceremony; a coronation was held in 1557, as the emperors and court nobles suffered poverty due to financial difficulties. At last there was an enthronement ceremony; a coronation after having donations from Motonari MORI and so on. On the same occasion Ken-nyo, Hosshu (the head of a Buddhist sect) of Hongan-ji Temple was given the title of Monzeki (an imperial prince in holy orders; a priest-prince made) after they gave an enormous donation, whereby Hongan-ji Temple established more authority.

The Imperial Family thus became dependent in its finances, and its authority was diminished. However, the situation changed when Nobunaga ODA came to Kyoto in 1568. Nobunaga pulled back the financial situation of the Imperial Family, which was on the edge of bankruptcy, by applying various policies or helping personally. On the other hand, Nobunaga used the Emperor's authority, and the Emperor often issued imperial peace orders to Nobunaga's opposition. The Emperor issued an imperial peace order at the battles of Yoshikage ASAKURA and Nagamasa ASAI in 1570, the battle of Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA in 1573, and the battle at Ishiyama Hongan-ji Temple in 1580.
(However there is another theory that the court-mediated compromise with Hongan-ji Tempe was requested by the Hongan-ji Temple side.)
During that time, in 1577, the Emperor gave an imperial order to Nobunaga to become a Udaijin (Minister of the Right) (Nobunaga's highest position).

In 1585, the Emperor gave an imperial order to Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI to become Kampaku/chancellor, and after Hideyoshi took political power he also used the Emperor's authority to back him up. Therefore, the Emperor's authority increased. Thus the Oda and Toyotomi governments and the Imperial Family took advantage of each other.

After the Emperor abdicated to let his grandson, Prince Kazuhito (later called Emperor Go-yozei) attain enthronement in 1586, he retired to Sento Gosho (Sento Imperial Palace). He died on January 5, 1593.

It was Nobunaga ODA and Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI's prime time during Emperor Ogimachi's reign. During this time the Emperor, together with Nobunaga, helped restore the debilitated Imperial Palace after the Onin War.

It has been theorized that Nobunaga insisted that the Emperor abdicate.

Nobunaga started minding Emperor Ogimachi in 1573. Subsequently, the Emperor was often asked to abdicate. It is mentioned in "孝親日記" in the same year, on December 8. It is said that two years later the Emperor began looking for a candidate location for the Imperial Palace after his abdication. Nobunaga seemed to have the intention of using the authority of the Imperial Palace after having set up Crown Prince Sanehito as an Emperor at the early stage. However, the Emperor refused this until the end. Due to the above situation, there is a theory that the Imperial Court was involved in the Honno-ji Incident (the Raid on the Honno-ji Temple).

There is also a theory that Nobunaga was opposed to the Emperor's abdication.

However, there is an opposing theory that Emperor Ogimachi wanted to abdicate but Nobunaga was against it. According to internal information (the diary of a court lady's who had served at Seiryo-den), "Oyu-dono no ue no nikki," the Emperor's intention to abdicate the throne was passed to Nobunaga on March 9, just after Nobunaga organized a massive function of Kyoto Oumazoroe in 1581. On March 24, 1581, once this was decided at a conference in the Imperial Palace, the event was even recorded as something to celebrate. Despite the above record, there was an article titled "Kanemi-kyo ki," dated April 1, stating that the abdication was suspended in reversal. It is considered reasonable that only the person in power, Nobunaga, did not agree to the Emperor's abdication, thus there was no financial backup to pay the enormous expense of organizing various related ceremonies or building a palace for the Retired Emperor Ogimachi (Emperor Ogimachi) after he retired.
(It is assumed that the emperors in three eras of the Sengoku period did not abdicate because there wasn't sufficient financial strength for the Imperial Court to support it.)
In the first year of the Tensho, the Emperor Ogimachi was 57 years old (in Tensho 9 he was 65 years old), and Prince Sanehito was 22 years old (in Tensho 9 he was 30 years old). In Tensho 9, it was reported in certain articles that the Emperor was not well. Thus it was a good occasion for the Emperor to abdicate. Because Nobunaga wasn't favorable toward the Emperor's abdication, despite the above, it is considered that Nobunaga was inactive in regard to this development.

Eras during his reign

Koji (October 27, 1557) - February 28, 1558

Eiroku February 28, 1558 - April 23, 1570

Genki April 23, 1570 - July 28, 1573

Tensho July 28, 1573 - (November 7, 1586)

The Imperial Mausoleum

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

[Original Japanese]