Emperor Tenji

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Tenji
Emperor of Japan
Hyakuninisshu 001.jpg
Reign 661–668 (regency)
668–672
Born 626
Died January 7, 672)
Place of death Ōmi no Miya(Shiga)
Buried Yamashina no misasagi (Kyoto)
Predecessor Saimei
Successor Kōbun

Emperor Tenji (天智天皇 Tenji-tennō?, 626 – January 7, 671), also known as Emperor Tenchi, was the 38th Emperor of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession.[2] His reign started in 661 and ended in 671.[3]

Traditional narrative[change | change source]

Before he became the monarch, his personal name (imina) was Prince Naka-no-Ōe (中大兄皇子 Naka-no-Ōe no Ōji?).[4]

He was the son of Emperor Jomei.

Events of Tenji's life[change | change source]

Prince Naka no Ōe was made heir apparent and Crown Prince in 661.

  • 661: In the third year of Empress Saimei's reign, she died. Her son received the succession (senso), but he governed as Crown Prince for the next six years. He did not formally accept the monarch's role and duties and powers.[5]
  • 672: Tenji is said to have compiled the first Japanese legal code. This was the Ōmi Code, consisting of 22 volumes. These law became effective in the last year of Tenji's reign.[9]

Prince Ōtomo (Ōtomo-shinnō) was the favorite son of Emperor Tenji; and he was also the first to be accorded the title of Daijō-daijin.[10]

Memorial Shinto shrine and mausoleum honoring Emperor Tenji

Tenji improved the military forces which had been established during the Taika reforms.[11]

After his death[change | change source]

The actual site of Tenji's grave is known.[1] This emperor is traditionally venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine (misasagi) at Yamashina-ku, Kyoto.

The Imperial Household Agency designates this location as Tenji's mausoleum. It is formally named Yamashina no misasagi.[12]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

The chrysanthemum symbol of the Japanese emperor and his family
  1. 1.0 1.1 Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō): 天智天皇 (38)
  2. Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p. 52.
  3. Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du Japon, pp. 52-58.
  4. Titsingh, pp. 52-53.
  5. Titsingh, pp. 52-54.
  6. Titsingh, p. 54.
  7. Varley, p. 44; a distinct act of senso is unrecognized prior to Emperor Tenji; and all sovereigns except Jitō, Yōzei, Go-Toba, and Fushimi have senso and sokui in the same year until the reign of Emperor Go-Murakami. Compare Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō), Ceremony of Accession (Sokui-no-Rei); retrieved 2011-12-23.
  8. Aston, William George. (1896). Nihongi, p. 289 n2.
  9. Ponsonby-Fane, p. 52; Varley, p. 136 n. 43.
  10. Ponsonby-Fane, p. 53.
  11. Asakawa, Kan'ichi. (1903). The Early Institutional Life of Japan, p. 313.
  12. Ponsonby-Fane, p. 420.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Emperor Tenji at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
Empress Saimei
Emperor of Japan:
Tenji

661–672
Succeeded by
Emperor Kōbun