Emperor Go-Toba

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Emperor of Japan
Emperor Go-Toba.jpg
Born6 August 1180
Heian Kyō
Died28 March 1239
Oki Island
Ōhara no Misasagi (大原陵) (Kyoto)

Emperor Go-Toba (後鳥羽天皇, Go-Toba-tennō, 6 August 1180-28 March 1239) was the 82nd emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.[1] His reign started in 1183 and ended in 1198.[2]

This 12th century sovereign was named after Emperor Toba and go- () means "later". He is sometimes called the later Emperor Toba. In some older sources, this emperor may be identified as "Toba the Second" or as "Toba II".

Traditional history[change | change source]

Before he became the monarch, his personal name (imina) was Takahira-shinnō (尊成親王),[3] or Takanari-shinnō[4]

He was the fourth son of Emperor Takakura.[5]

Events of Go-Toba's life[change | change source]

Go-Toba was placed on the throne at the age of three.

  • 8 September 1183 (Juei 2, 20th day of the 8th month): In the 3rd year of Antoku-tennō 's reign, the emperor and his court fled the capital. In the emperor's absence, former-Emperor Go-Shirakawa made Antoku's younger brother emperor by decree. A ceremony which marked the young prince's acceptance of the abdication (juzen).[6]
  • 1184' (Juei 3): Emperor Go-Toba is said to have accepted the monarch's role and duties and powers (sokui).[7] This was confirmed in ceremonies.[8]
  • 1192 (Kenkyū 3): Go-Shirakawa died.[9] Go-Toba was the grandson of Emperor Go-Shirakawa.
  • 1198 (Kenkyū 9): In the 15th year of Go-Toba's reign, he abdicated. His successor was his eldest son who became known as Emperor Tsuchimikado.[10]
  • 1210 (Jōgen 4): Go-Toba's 3rd son was named emperor; and he became known as Emperor Juntoku.[11]
  • 1221 (Jōkyū 3): Go-Toba and his supporters tried and failed to take power from the Kamakura shogunate. This was known as the Jōkyū War (Jōkyū no hen)[12] Go-Toba was exiled to the Oki Islands where he stayed until his death.[13]
  • 13 May 1221 (Jōkyū 3, 20th day of the 4th month): Go-Toba's 4-year-old grandson was made emperor; and he became known as Emperor Chūkyō.[14]
  • 14 January 1222 (Jōkyū 3, 1st day of the 12th month): Go-Toba's nephew was made emperor; and he became known as Emperor Go-Horikawa.[15]
  • 1239 (En'ō 1, 2nd month): Go-Toba died at age 60.[16]

After his death[change | change source]

Go-Toba was buried on Dōgo Island in the Oki Islands group. Later a part of his body was re-buried in Kyoto.[17]

According to the Imperial Household Agency, the mausoleum (misasagi) of Go-Toba is in Kyoto. The emperor is traditionally venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine at Ōhara no Misasagi.[1]

Eras of Go-Toba's reign[change | change source]

The years of Go-Toba's reign are marked by more than one era name:.[18]

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), 後鳥羽天皇 (82); retrieved 2011-12-20.
  2. Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du Japon, pp. 207-221; Brown, Delmer et al. (1979). Gukanshō, pp. 334-339; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki. pp. 215-220.
  3. Varley, p. 215.
  4. Titsingh, p. 207; Brown, p. 334.
  5. Titsingh, p. 207.
  6. Varley, p. 216.
  7. Titsingh, pp. 207; Brown, p. 334.
  8. 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.
  9. Titsingh, pp. 219.
  10. Titsingh, p. 221.
  11. Titsingh, p. 230.
  12. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2002). "Jōkyū no Hen" in Japan encyclopedia, p. 431.
  13. Mason, R.H.P. Mason and J.G. Caiger. (1972). A History of Japan, p. 105.
  14. Titsingh, p. 236; Brown, p. 343.
  15. Titsingh, p. 238; Brown, p. 344.
  16. Titsingh, p. 244.
  17. Brownlee, John S. (1991). Political Thought in Japanese Historical Writing: From Kojiki (712) to Tokushi Yoron (1712), p.104.
  18. Titsingh, 207-221; Brown, p. 334-339.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Emperor Go-Toba at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
Emperor Antoku
Emperor of Japan:

Succeeded by
Emperor Tsuchimikado