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Kemmu (建武) was a Japanese era name (年号, nengō, lit. year name) of the Northern Court during the Nanboku-chō period after Shōkyō and before Ryakuō.[1] This period started in January 1334 and ended in August 1338 in the Northern Court,[2] but it lasted until only February 1336 in the Southern Court.[3] The pretender in Kyoto was Emperor Kōmyō (光明天皇, Kōmyō-tennō).[4] Kōmyō's Southern Court rival in Yoshino during this time was Emperor Go-Daigo (後醍醐天皇, Go-Diago-tennō).[5]

Events of the Kemmu era[change | change source]

In 1333-1336, the Kemmu Restoration was an attempt by Emperor Go-Daigo to restore Imperial authority after the fall of the Kamakura shogunate. The failure of this effort led to the creation of two rival Imperial courts.[6]

  • 1334 (Kemmu 1): Emperor Go-Daigo caused Kemmu nenchū gyōji to be written. This was a book which described the ceremonies of the court; and its purpose was to aid the process of reviving ancient court etiquette.[7]
  • 25 October 1334 (Kemmu 1, 27th day of the 9th month): Emperor Go-Daigo made an Imperial progress to Kamo-jinja. No other emperor would visit Kamo's shrines until April 29, 1863 (Bunkyu 3, 11th day of the 3rd month), when Emperor Komei made an Imperial progress to Kamo.[8]
  • 1336 (Kemmu 3): An anonymous author published Kemmu nenkan ki, which was a chronicle of the Kemmu era. The text is a source of information about laws, government, bureaucrats, and arable lands and estates given by the emperor to the nobility or to religious institutions (shōen).[9]
  • 1336 (Kemmu 3): Ashikaga Takauji issued a new legal code with 17 articles (Kemmu-shikimoku).[10]
  • 17 May 1336 (Kemmu 3, 6th day of the 4th month): Former-Emperor Go-Fushimi died.[11]

Southern Court nengō[change | change source]

The previous era ended and the new one commenced in Shōkei 1 as time was reckoned in the Northern Court in Kyoto; and the era began in Genkō 4, as time was ordered in the Southern Court in Yoshino.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Although Kemmu is understood by the Southern Court as having begun at the same time, the era was construed to have begun after Genkō and before Engen.
  2. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Kemmu" in Japan encyclopedia, p. 507.
  3. Nussbaum, "Engen" at p. 178.
  4. Nussbaum, "Kōmyō Tennō," p. 555; Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 286-292.
  5. Nussbaum, "Go-Daigo Tennō," p. 251.
  6. Nussbaum, "Kemmu no Chūkō" at p. 507.
  7. Nussbaum, "Kemmu nenchū gyōji" at p. 507.
  8. Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1956). Kyoto: The Old Capital of Japan, 794-1869, p. 325.
  9. Nussbaum, "Kemmu nenkan ki" at p. 507.
  10. Nussbaum, "Kemmu-shikimoku" at p. 507.
  11. Titsingh, p. 295; Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō), 後伏見天皇 (93); retrieved 2012-6-29.

Other websites[change | change source]

Kemmu 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
1334 1335 1336 1337 1338
Preceded by:
Northern Court nengō:
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Southern Court nengō:
Succeeded by: