Emperor Seiwa (清和天皇)

Emperor Seiwa (May 10, 850 - January 7, 881) was the fifty-sixth Emperor (he reigned during the early Heian period). His reign was from November 7, 858 to November 29, 876. He was the earliest ancestor of the Seiwa-Genji (Minamoto clan) (which, in subsequent ages, would act as the leader of samurai), and his posthumous name was Korehito.


He was the fourth prince of Emperor Montoku. His mother was a high-ranking lady in the court (a wife of an emperor), FUJIWARA no Meishi, Akirakeiko (Some dono no kisaki), who was the daughter of Grand Minister FUJIWARA no Yoshifusa. He was Prince Koretaka's (844 - 897) younger half-brother.

Brief Personal History

Under the supervision of his maternal grandfather, FUJIWARA no Yoshifusa, he became the crown prince after the dismissal of Prince Koretaka. Emperor Seiwa succeeded to the throne after Emperor Montoku when he was nine years old, so Yoshifusa took control of politics as the Emperor's maternal relative.

In 866 there was the Oten-mon Gate fire incident, which was presumably started by TOMO no Yoshio. Because the Emperor trusted TOMO no Yoshio, after Yoshifusa sorted out the incident, the Emperor officially appointed Yoshifusa as a regent to spare his feelings, although Emperor Seiwa celebrated his coming of age in 864.

It is said that when Emperor Seiwa abdicated from the Imperial Throne in 879 and suddenly became a priest, he started an impossible fast but died due to his illness.

He was born in 850. He became the crown prince in the year described above.

He was enthroned as the Emperor (858) when he was nine years old.

In 866, the Oten-mon Gate fire incident occurred.

In 876, at age 27, he abruptly abdicated the throne and entered the priesthood.

He died in 880.

Many of Emperor Seiwa's descendents left the Imperial Family and called themselves the Seiwa-Genji (Minamoto clan).

Posthumous name, Tsuigo, a different name

Given the direction of the imperial mausoleum, he is called Emperor Mizu-no-o.

Eras during his reign



The Imperial Mausoleum

He was cremated, and his ashes/remains were buried in Mizu no o yama no misasagi (round burrow) in what is now the Ukyo Ward of Kyoto City.

[Original Japanese]