Emperor Montoku

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Emperor of Japan
Born22 January 827
Kyoto (Heian kyō)
Died27 August 858
Tamura no misasagi (Kyoto)

Emperor Montoku (文徳天皇, Montoku-tennō, 22 January 827–27 August 858) was the 55th emperor of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession.[2]

His reign started in 850 and ended in 858.[3]

Traditional narrative[change | change source]

Before he became the monarch, this prince's personal name (imina)[4] was Michiyasu (道康).[5] He was also known as Tamura-no-mikado[6] or Tamura-tei.[7]

He was the eldest son of Emperor Ninmyō.[6]

Montoku had six Imperial consorts and 29 Imperial sons.[8]

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

Before he became the monarch, he was Crown Prince for 8 years.

  • 6 May 850 (Kashō 3, 21st day of the 3rd month): In the 17th year of Ninmyō-tennō 's reign (仁明天皇17年), the emperor died. His eldest son received the succession (senso).[9]
  • 850 (Kashō 3, 4th month): Emperor Montoku formally acceded to the throne (sokui).[10] This was confirmed in ceremonies.[11]
  • 850 (Kashō 3, 5th month): The widow of Emperor Saga, who was the mother of Emperor Ninmyō and the grandmother of Emperor Montoku, died.[10]
  • 850 (Kashō 3, 11th month): The emperor named Korehito-shinnō, the 4th son of Emperor Montoku as his heir.[12] This 9-month-old baby was also the grandson of Fujiwara no Yoshifusa who was Minister of the Right (udaijin).[13]
  • 855 (Saikō 2, 1st month): The Emishi organized a rebellion. In response, a force of 1,000 men and provisions were sent to the north.[14]
  • 855 (Saikō 2, 5th month): The head of the great statute of Buddha in the Tōdai-ji fell off.[14]
  • 7 October 858 (Ten'an 2, 27th day of the 8th month): Montoku died at the age of 32.[15]

After his death[change | change source]

According to the Imperial Household Agency, the mausoleum (misasagi) of Montoku is in Kyoto. The emperor is traditionally venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine at this location.[1] The site is formally named Tamura no misasagi.[16]

Eras of reign[change | change source]

The years of Montoku's reign are identified by more than one era name or nengō.[10]

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), 文徳天皇 (55); retrieved 2011-10-26.
  2. Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, pp. 64-65.
  3. Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 112; Brown, Delmer M. (1979). Gukanshō, pp. 264-265; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, p. 165.
  4. Brown, pp. 264; before to Emperor Jomei, the personal names of the emperors were very long and people did not generally use them; however, the number of characters in each name were shorter after Jomei's reign.
  5. Titsingh, p. 112; Brown p. 285.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Varley, p. 165.
  7. Ponsonby-Fane, p. 8.
  8. Brown, p. 285.
  9. Titsingh, p. 112; Brown, p. 284.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Titsingh, p. 112.
  11. 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.
  12. Brown, p. 286.
  13. Titsingh, p. 113.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Titsingh, p. 114.
  15. Brown, p. 285-286; Varley, p. 165.
  16. Ponsonby-Fane, p. 420.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Emperor Montoku at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
Emperor Ninmyō
Emperor of Japan:

Succeeded by
Emperor Seiwa