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Emperor Go-Toba

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Emperor of Japan
Emperor Go-Toba.jpg
Reign 1183-1198
Born 6 August 1180
Birthplace Heian Kyō
Died 28 March 1239
Place of death Oki Island
Buried Ōhara no Misasagi (大原陵) (Kyoto)
Predecessor Antoku
Successor Tsuchimikado
Father Takakura

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

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

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]
  • 1210 (Jōgen 4): Go-Toba's 3rd son was named emperor; and he became known as Emperor Juntoku.[11]
  • 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

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

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

Related pages


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

Media related to Emperor Go-Toba at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
Emperor Antoku
Emperor of Japan:

Succeeded by
Emperor Tsuchimikado