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During 60+ years of the 14th century, Kyoto was the seat of an pretender Imperial group known as the Northern Court. The series of pretender emperors in Kyoto were supported by the Ashikaga shogunate, but some disputed whether they were true monarchs.
During these years, a Southern Court was established in the Yoshino District of what is today Nara Prefecture. The series of emperors in Yoshino were rejected by the Ashikaga shoguns and their supporters.
In 1392, the Southern court stopped fighting; and the Northern Court seemed to have won the long struggle. However, the claims of the Kyoto pretenders were undermined by scholars and historians. The so-called "emperors" in Kyoto did not have of the essential Imperial regalia until after 1392. The succession (senso) was not passed to them from Emperor Go-Daigo. The pretenders were not confirmed with valid ceremonies (sokui).
In 1911, an Imperial decree confirmed that the only legitimate reigning monarchs of this period were the Southern Court emperors.
Northern Court pretenders
- Emperor Kōgon, 1331–1333
- Emperor Kōmyō, 1336–1348
- Emperor Sukō, 1348–1351
- Emperor Go-Kōgon, 1352–1371
- Emperor Go-En'yū, 1371–1382
- Emperor Go-Komatsu, 1382–1412
Southern Court emperors
- Emperor Go-Daigo, 1318–1339
- Emperor Go-Murakami, 1339–1368
- Emperor Chōkei, 1368–1383
- Emperor Go-Kameyama, 1383–1392
- Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). "Nambokuchō," Japan Encyclopedia, p. 694.
- Nussbaum, "Hokuchō" at p. 344.
- Thomas, Julia Adeney. (2001). Reconfiguring modernity: concepts of nature in Japanese political ideology, p. 199 n57, citing Mehl, Margaret. (1997). History and the State in Nineteenth-Century Japan. p. 140-147.
- Nussbaum, "Kōgon Tennō" at p. 543.
- Nussbaum, "Kōmyō Tennō" at p. 555.
- Nussbaum, "Sukō Tennō" at p. 911.
- Nussbaum, "Go-Kōgon Tennō" at p. 255.
- Nussbaum, "Go-En'yu Tennō" at p. 251.
- Nussbaum, "Go-Kōmatsu Tennō" at p. 255.
- Nussbaum, "Go-Daigo Tennō" at p. 251.
- Nussbaum, "Go-Murakami Tennō" at p. 257.
- Nussbaum, "Chōkei Tennō" at p. 120.
- Nussbaum, "Go-Kameyama Tennō" at p. 253.