Emperor Juntoku

Emperor of Japan

Juntoku, Tenshi Sekkan Miei (15th century)
Reign 1210–1221
Predecessor Tsuchimikado
Successor Chūkyō
Born October 22, 1197
Died October 7, 1242 (aged 44)
Burial Ōhara no Misasagi (Kyoto)
Spouse Fujiwara no Ritsushi

Emperor Juntoku (順徳天皇 Juntoku-tennō) (October 22, 1197 – October 7, 1242) was the 84th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1210 through 1221.[1]


Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name (his imina)[2] was Morinari-shinnō (守成親王).[3]

He was the third son of Emperor Go-Toba. His mother was Shigeko (重子), the daughter of Fujiwara Hanki (藤原範季)

Events of Juntoku's life

Morinari-shinnō became Crown Prince in 1200. He was elevated to the throne after Emperor Go-Toba pressured Emperor Tsuchimikado into abdicating.

In actuality, Emperor Go-Toba wielded effective power as a cloistered emperor during the years of Juntoku's reign.

In 1221, he was forced to abdicate because of his participation in Go-Toba's unsuccessful attempt to displace the Kamakura bakufu with re-asserted Imperial power. This political and military struggle was called the Jōkyū War or the Jōkyū Incident (Jōkyū-no ran).

Imperial tomb of Emperor Juntoku and Emperor Go-Toba, Kyoto

After the Jōkyū-no ran, Juntoku was sent into exile on Sado Island (佐渡島 or 佐渡ヶ島, both Sadogashima), where he remained until his death in 1242.[5]

This emperor is known posthumously as Sado-no In (佐渡院) because his last years were spent at Sado. He was buried in a mausoleum, the Mano Goryo, on Sado's west coast.[5] Juntoku's official Imperial tomb (misasagi) is in Kyoto.

Juntoku was tutored in poetry by Fujiwara no Sadaie, who was also known as Teika. One of the emperor's poems was selected for inclusion in the what became a well-known anthology, the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu. This literary legacy in Teika's collection of poems has accorded Juntoku a continuing popular prominence beyond the scope of his other lifetime achievements. The poets and poems of the Hyakunin isshu form the basis for a card game (uta karuta) which is still widely played today.[6]


Kugyō (公卿) is a collective term for the very few most powerful men attached to the court of the Emperor of Japan in pre-Meiji eras.

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 juntoku's reign, this apex of the Daijō-kan included:

Eras of Juntoku's reign

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Emperor Juntoku.

The years of Juntoku's reign are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō.[8]

See also


Japanese Imperial kamon — a stylized chrysanthemum blossom
  1. Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du Japon, pp. 230–238; Brown, Delmer et al. (1979). Gukanshō, pp. 341–343; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki. pp. 221–223.
  2. Brown, pp. 264; n.b., up until the time of Emperor Jomei, the personal names of the emperors (their imina) were very long and people did not generally use them. The number of characters in each name diminished after Jomei's reign.
  3. Titsingh, p. 230; Brown, p. 341; Varley, p. 221.
  4. Titsingh, p. 230; Brown, p. 341; Varley, p. 44; n.b., 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.
  5. 1 2 Bornoff, Nicholas. (2005). National Geographic Traveler Japan, p. 193.
  6. Mostow, Joshua, ed. (1996). Pictures of the Heart: The Hyakunin Isshu in Word and Image, p. 437.
  7. Brown, p. 341.
  8. Titsingh, p. 230; Brown, p. 341.


Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Tsuchimikado
Emperor of Japan:

Succeeded by
Emperor Chūkyō

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