Emperor Go-Reizei (後冷泉天皇, Go-Reizei-tennō, August 28, 1025
– May 22, 1068) was the 70th emperor of Japan, according to the
traditional order of succession.
Go-Reizei's reign spanned the years 1045–1068.
This 11th century sovereign was named after the 10th century Emperor
Reizei and go- (後), translates literally as "later;" and thus, he is
sometimes called the "Later
Emperor Reizei". The Japanese word "go"
has also been translated to mean the "second one;" and in some older
sources, this emperor may be identified as "Reizei, the second," or as
1 Traditional narrative
1.1 Events of Go-Reizei's life
2 Eras of Go-Reizei's reign
3 Empresses and consorts
6 See also
Before his ascension to the
Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name
(imina) was Chikahito-shinnō (親仁親王). He was the eldest
Emperor Go-Suzaku. His mother was Fujiwara no Kishi
(藤原嬉子), formerly Naishi-no kami, daughter of Fujiwara no
Michinaga. Go-Reizei had three Empresses and no Imperial sons or
Events of Go-Reizei's life
Decorative emblems (kiri) of the Hosokawa clan are found at Ryoan-ji.
Go-Reizei is amongst six other emperors entombed near what had been
the residence of
Hosokawa Katsumoto before the Ōnin War.
Emperor Go-Suzaku abdicated on February 5, 1045, his eldest son
received the succession (‘‘senso’’) on the same day. Emperor
Go-Reizei formally acceded to the throne (‘‘sokui’’) shortly
after, and the era name was changed the following year to mark the
beginning of his reign. His father Go-Suzaku died at the age of
37 on February 7, 1045 of unknown causes The one major event in
Go-Reizei's life occurred in the year 1051, when Abe no Sadatō and
Munetō instigated a rebellion that became known as the Nine Years War
(1051–1062). In response,
Minamoto no Yoriyoshi is appointed
governor of Mutsu and he is named chinjufu shōgun. He is given these
titles and powers so that he will be able to restore peace in the
north. Yoriyoshi would have been the first to receive this specific
shogunal title, although his grandfather (Minamoto no Tsunemoto) had
been seitō fuku-shōgun (assistant commander for pacification of the
east). Go-Reizei later died on May 22, 1068 at the age of 44
leaving no direct heirs to the throne. He was succeeded by his
father's second son Takahito-shinnō aka
The actual site of Go-Reizei's grave is known. This emperor is
traditionally venerated at a memorial
Shinto shrine (misasagi) though
at Kyoto. The
Imperial Household Agency
Imperial Household Agency designates this location as
Go-Reizei's mausoleum. It is formally named Enkyo-ji no misasagi.
Go-Reizei is buried amongst the "Seven Imperial Tombs" at Ryoan-ji
Temple in Kyoto. The mound which commemorates the Hosokawa Emperor
Go-Reizei is today named Shu-zan. The emperor's burial place would
have been quite humble in the period after Go-Reizei died. These
tombs reached their present state as a result of the 19th century
restoration of imperial sepulchers (misasagi) which were ordered by
Kugyō (公卿) is a collective term for the very few most powerful
men attached to the court of the
Emperor of Japan
Emperor of Japan in pre-Meiji eras.
Even during those years in which the court's actual influence outside
the palace walls was minimal, the hierarchic organization persisted.
In general, this elite group included only three to four men at a
time. These were hereditary courtiers whose experience and background
would have brought them to the pinnacle of a life's career. During
Go-Reizei's reign, this apex of the
Kampaku, Fujiwara Yorimichi, 992–1074.
Kampaku, Fujiwara Norimichi, 997–1075.
Daijō-daijin, Fujiwara Yorimichi.
Sadaijin, Fujiwara Norimichi.
Udaijin, Fujiwara Sanesuke, 957–1046.
Udaijin, Fujiwara Yorimune, 993–1065.
Udaijin, Fujiwara Morozane, 1042–1101.
Nadaijin, Minamoto Morofusa, 1009–1077.
Eras of Go-Reizei's reign
The years of Go-Reizei's reign are more specifically identified by
more than one era name or nengō.
Empresses and consorts
Empress (kōgō): Fujiwara no Hiroko/Kanshi (藤原寛子)
(1036–1127), eldest daughter of
Fujiwara no Yorimichi
Fujiwara no Yorimichi (藤原頼通)
Fujiwara no Kanshi (藤原歓子) (1021–1102),
second daughter of
Fujiwara no Norimichi (藤原教通)
Empress (chūgū): Imperial Princess Akiko/Shōshi (章子内親王)
(1026–1105), first daughter of
Emperor Go-Ichijō, thus his first
Japanese Imperial kamon — a stylized chrysanthemum blossom
^ a b
Imperial Household Agency
Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō): 後冷泉天皇 (70)
^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p. 76.
^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp.
162–166; Brown, Delmer et al. (1979). Gukanshō, pp.
311–314; ; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki. p.
^ Brown, pp. 264; prior to
Emperor Jomei, the personal names of the
emperors were very long and people did not generally use them. The
number of characters in each name diminished after Jomei's reign.
^ Titsingh, p. 162; Brown, p. 311, Varley, p. 197.
^ a b Brown, p. 311.
^ Brown, p. 311; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, 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
^ Titsingh, p. 160; Brown, p. 311.
^ Varley, pp. 197–198.
^ a b c Brown, p. 313; Varley, p. 198.
^ Ponsonby-Fane, p. 421.
^ The "Seven Imperial Tombs" at
Ryoan-ji are the burial places of Uda,
Kazan, Ichijō, Go-Suzaku, Go-Reizei, Go-Sanjō, and Horikawa.
^ a b Moscher, Gouveneur. (1978). Kyoto: A Contemplative Guide, pp.
^ a b c d e f Brown, p. 312.
^ Titsingh, pp. 161–166; Brown, p. 313.
Brown, Delmer M. and Ichirō Ishida, eds. (1979). Gukanshō: The
Future and the Past. Berkeley: University of California Press.
ISBN 978-0-520-03460-0; OCLC 251325323
Moscher, Gouverneur. (1978). Kyoto: A Contemplative Guide.
ISBN 9780804812948; OCLC 4589403
Ponsonby-Fane, Richard Arthur Brabazon. (1959). The Imperial House of
Japan. Kyoto: Ponsonby
Memorial Society. OCLC 194887
Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Nihon Odai Ichiran; ou, Annales des empereurs
du Japon. Paris: Royal Asiatic Society, Oriental Translation Fund of
Great Britain and Ireland. OCLC 5850691
Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki: A Chronicle of Gods and
Sovereigns. New York: Columbia University Press.
ISBN 978-0-231-04940-5; OCLC 59145842
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