Emperor Shijo (四条天皇)

Emperor Shijo (March 17, 1231 - February 10, 1242) was the eighty seventh Emperor (his reign was from October 26, 1232 to February 10, 1242). His posthumous name was Mitsuhito.


He was the first Prince of Emperor Gohorikawa. His mother was Michiie KUJO's daughter, Sohekimon in Sonshi KUJO.

Brief Personal History

He was enthroned when he was two years old after Emperor Gohorikawa passed the throne to him in 1232. He died from an accident in 1242 when he was twelve years old.

Since he was too young, his father, the Retired Emperor Gohorikawa ruled the cloistered government. However since the Retired Emperor Gohorikawa died two years later, the maternal relative, Michiie KUJO and Kintsune SAIONJI took the actual control of politics. The Emperor was cursed by a comet, but he recovered because of 鈍菴慧聡's prayer who was from Hofuku-ji Temple in Bicchu Province, after that the temple became known as Chokugan-ji temple (a temple built from an emperor's prayer). According to Imperial records, it is said that he sprinkled talc in the corridor of the Imperial Palace to play tricks on people inside and then he fell from his own tricks by accident and died when he was twelve years old. There is a theory that he died due to suffering from contusion.

Eras during his reign

Joei (October 14, 1232) - April 15, 1233

Tenpuku April 15, 1233 - November 5, 1234

Bunryaku November 5, 1234 - September 19, 1235

Katei September 19, 1235 - November 23, 1238

Ryakunin November 23, 1238 - February 7, 1239

Eno February 7, 1239 - July 16, 1240

Ninji July 16, 1240 - (January 9, 1242)

The Imperial Mausoleum

The Emperor was entombed in Tsukino Wa no Misasagi in Senzan-cho, Imagumano, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City
This is located at inside Sennyu-ji Temple where his father, Emperor Gohorikawa was also entombed.

Related matters

Emperor Shijo passed away without having any Prince or Princess, thus Imperial Prince Morisada's (the Retired Emperor Gotakakura) lineage ended. Due to this, the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) had to chose the successive emperor from Emperor Gotoba's line who lost the Jokyu Disturbance in 1221. The regent, Yasutoki HOJO let Prince Kunihito (Emperor Gosaga), who was Emperor Tsuchimikado's Prince, succeed to the throne after getting rid of Emperor Juntoku's Prince, Prince Tadanari (Emperor Chukyo's half younger brother), who was recommended by the Court nobles of Michiie KUJO, and others, and there was an interregnum of eleven days.
The interregnum period occurred for the first time in four hundred and sixty two years, the last recorded interregnum period was fifty seven days from the era between Emperor Shotoku and Emperor Konin in 708, after that it did not occur again for a hundred eighty six years until 1428 when there was another interregnum period for seven days between the era of Emperor Shoko and Emperor Gohanazono. (Excluding Northern Court)

[Original Japanese]