Emperor Go-Ichijō

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Emperor of Japan
Reign 1016–1036
Coronation 1016
Predecessor Sanjō
Successor Go-Suzaku
Born October 12, 1008
Tsuchimikado Tei (土御門邸), Heian Kyō (Kyōto)
Died May 15, 1036(1036-05-15) (aged 27)
Seiryō Den (清涼殿) in Dairi (内裏), Heian Kyō (Kyōto)
Burial Bodaijuin no misasagi (菩提樹院陵) (Kyoto)
Spouse Fujiwara no Ishi
House Yamato
Father Emperor Ichijō
Mother Fujiwara no Shōshi

Emperor Go-Ichijō (後一条天皇, Go-Ichijō-tennō, October 12, 1008 – May 15, 1036) was the 68th emperor of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession.[2]

Go-Ichijō's reign spanned the years from 1016 through 1036.[3]

This 11th century sovereign was named after Emperor Ichijō and go- (後), translates literally as "later;" and thus, he is sometimes called the "Later Emperor Ichijō", or, in some older sources, may be identified as " Emperor Ichijō, the second."

Traditional narrative[edit]

Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name (imina)[4] was Atsuhira -shinnō (敦成親王).[5] He was also known as Atsunari-shinnō.[6]

Atsuhira was the second son of Emperor Ichijō. His mother, Fujiwara no Akiko/Shōshi (藤原彰子) (988–1074), was a daughter of Fujiwara no Michinaga. In her later years, Ichijō's chūgo consort was known as Jōtō-mon In (上東門院).[7]

Events of Go-Ichijō's life[edit]

Atsuhira-shinnō was used as a pawn in Imperial court politics when he was only a child.

Atsuhira became emperor at the age of 8, upon the abdication of his first cousin once removed, Emperor Sanjō.

  • March 10, 1016 (Chōwa 5, 29th day of the 1st month): In the 5th year of Emperor Sanjō's reign (三条天皇五年), he abdicated; and the succession (‘‘senso’’) was received by a cousin. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Go-Ichijō is said to have acceded to the throne (‘‘sokui’’).[9]

During the initial years of Go-Ichijō's reign, Fujiwara no Michinaga actually ruled from his position as sesshō (regent).[10]

  • June 5, 1017 (Kannin 1, 9th day of the 5th month): The former-Emperor Sanjō died at the age of 41.[11]
  • 1017 (Kannin 1, 8th month): Prince Atsuakira, the eldest son of Emperor Sanjo, had been named Crown Prince. But after he is struck by a skin disease and intense pressure from Michinaga; he withdrew from this role and his younger brother, Prince Atsunaga, was named Crown Prince in his place.[12]
  • 1017 (Kannin 1, 9th month): Michinaga made a pilgrimage to the Iwashimizu Shrine accompanied by many courtiers. The travelers divided themselves amongst 15 boats for a floating trip down the Yotogawa River. One of the vessels overturned, and more than 30 people lost their lives.[13]
  • 1017 (Kannin 1, 12th month): Michinaga was elevated to the office of Daijō-Diajin.[13]
  • May 15, 1036 (Chōgen 9, 17th day of the 4th month): Emperor Go-Ichijō died at the age of 29.[11]

The actual site of Go-Ichijō's grave is known.[1] This emperor is traditionally venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine (misasagi) at Kyoto.

The Imperial Household Agency designates this location as Go-Ichijō's mausoleum. It is formally named Bodaijuin no misasagi.[14]


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

Eras of Go-Ichijō's reign[edit]

The years of Go-Ichijō's reign are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō.[17]

Consort and children[edit]

Tomb of Emperor Go-Ichijō and one of his daughters, Kyoto

Go-Ichijō had one Empress and two Imperial daughters.[11]

Empress (chūgū): Fujiwara no Ishi (藤原威子) (999–1036), third daughter of Fujiwara no Michinaga


Japanese Imperial kamon — a stylized chrysanthemum blossom
  1. ^ a b Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō): 後一条天皇 (68)
  2. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p. 74.
  3. ^ Brown, Delmer et al. (1979). Gukanshō, pp. 307–310; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki. p. 195-196; Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du Japon, pp. 156–159., p. 156, at Google Books
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Varley, p. 195
  6. ^ Titsingh, p. 156; Brown, p. 307.
  7. ^ Titsingh, p. 156; Brown, p. 309.
  8. ^ Titsingh, p. 154.
  9. ^ Titsingh, pp. 155–156; Brown, p. 307; 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.
  10. ^ Brown, pp. 308–309; Varley, p. 195.
  11. ^ a b c Brown, p. 310.
  12. ^ Titsingh, p. 156.
  13. ^ a b Titsingh, p. 157.
  14. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, p. 421.
  15. ^ a b c Brown, p. 308-309.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g Brown, p. 309.
  17. ^ Titsingh, p. 156-159; Brown, p. 310.


See also[edit]

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Sanjō
Emperor of Japan:

Succeeded by
Emperor Go-Suzaku