Emperor Toba (鳥羽天皇)

Emperor Toba (February 24, 1103 - July 20, 1156) was the seventy-fourth Emperor in the late Heian period (his reign was from 1107 - 1123). His posthumous name was Munehito.


He was the prince of Emperor Horikawa. His mother was the Empress Dowager (posthumously conferred), FUJIWARA no Ishi. His maternal grandfather was FUJIWARA no Sanesue. His children were Emperor Sutoku, Emperor Konoe and Emperor Goshirakawa. According to the description in "Kojidan," it was said that Emperor Sutoku was Emperor Shirakawa's child.

Brief Personal History

His mother, Ishi, died soon after the Emperor was born, and then he was then taken and raised by his grandfather, the Cloistered Emperor Shirakawa. He succeeded to the throne when he was five, after the death of his father, the Emperor Horikawa. The Cloistered Emperor Shirakawa took actual control of the government. In 1117, the Cloistered Emperor Shirakawa's adopted daughter, FUJIWARA no Shoshi (Taiken mon in), made her bridal entry as an Imperial Consort into the court, whereupon she became the second consort of the Emperor, and had five boys and two girls. On January 23, 1123, the eldest child, Emperor Sutoku, succeeded to the throne; however, after this the Cloistered Emperor Shirakawa retained control of the government.

After the Cloistered Emperor Shirakawa died, Emperor Toba started ruling his cloister government in 1129. The Emperor called back FUJIWARA no Tadazane, who was disfavored by the Cloistered Emperor Shirakawa, and he then arranged his daughter, FUJIWARA no Taishi (Kaya no in) an Imperial Consort's bridal entry into the court, and filled all the significant posts with his close aides. Furthermore, the Emperor loved FUJIWARA no Tokushi (Bifuku mon in), taking over as the second consort of the emperor, Shoshi who lost support from the Cloister government Goshirakawa, and appointed his son, Prince Narihito (the Emperor Konoe) to succeed the throne. He held control of the politics for 28 years, during the three generations from Emperor Sutoku, Emperor Konoe and Emperor Goshirakawa. In 1142 he became a Cloistered Emperor after being ordained as a Buddhist priest by receiving the orders of Buddhism at Todai-ji Temple Kaidan in [the building that houses the 'ordination platform'].

He disfavored the retired Emperor Sutoku since he followed Empress Bifuku mon in, and indirectly caused the Hogen War just after the death of the Cloistered Emperor Toba.

Eras during his reign

Kasho (August 9, 1107) - August 3, 1108

Tennin August 3, 1108 - July 13, 1110

Tenei July 31, 1110 - July 13, 1113

Eikyu July 13, 1113 - April 3, 1118

Genei April 3, 1118 - April 10, 1120

Hoan April 10, 1120 - (January 28, 1123)

The Imperial Mausoleum

The Emperor was entombed in Anrakujuin no misasagi, Uchihata-cho Town, Takeda, in the Fushimi Ward of Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture.

Related television programs, movies

"Shin Heike Monogatari (The New Tale of the Heike)" (a 1955 movie directed by Kenji MIZOGUCHI, played by Shunji NATSUME)
"Shin Heike Monogatari (The New Tale of the Heike)" a 1972 NHK period drama, played by Manzo NOMURA (seventh generation)
(TBS TV drama series) (1992, TBS, played by Hiroki MATSUKATA)

[Original Japanese]