|Emperor of Japan
|Reign||21 October 1392 – 5 October 1412|
|6th Northern Emperor|
|Reign||24 May 1382 – 21 October 1392|
|Born||1 August 1377|
|Died||1 December 1433
Fukakusa no kita no Misasagi (Kyoto)
|House||Imperial House of Japan
Emperor Go-Komatsu (後小松天皇 Go-Komatsu-tennō) (August 1, 1377 – December 1, 1433) was the 100th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession, and the sixth and final Emperor of the Northern Court.
He is officially considered to have been the Northern pretender from May 24, 1382 to October 21, 1392, when upon Emperor Go-Kameyama's abdication, Go-Komatsu is understood to have been a legitimate emperor (the 100th sovereign) from that date. Go-Kameyama reached an agreement with Go-Komatsu to alternate control of the throne between the Northern and Southern courts on a ten-year plan. However, Go-Komatsu renegaded, not only ruling for 20 years until his own abdication on October 5, 1412, but was succeeded by his own son, rather than by one from the former Southern Court. According to pre-Meiji scholars, Go-Komatsu's reign as a legitimate emperor spanned the years from 1392 through 1412. The present Japanese Imperial Family is descended from the Northern Court emperors.
This Nanboku-chō "sovereign" was named after the 9th-century Emperor Kōkō, and go- (後), translates literally as "later." Jien's Gukanshō explains that Kōkō was called "the Emperor of Komatsu". The 14th-century pretender and emperor may be called the "later Emperor Kōkō" or the "later Emperor Komatsu". The Japanese word go has also been translated to mean the "second one;" and in some older sources, this would-be emperor may be identified as "Komatsu, the second", or as "Komatsu II."
Go-Komatsu was the first son of Emperor Go-En'yū. His mother was Tsūyōmonin no Itsuko (通陽門院厳子), daughter of the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal Sanjō Kimitada (三条公忠).
- Consort: Sukeko (資子) Daughter of Hino Sukekuni (日野資国)
- First son: Imperial Prince Mihito (実仁親王) (Emperor Shōkō)
- Second son: Ogawa-no-miya (小川宮) (Emperor Shōkō's crown prince)
- First daughter: Princess Riei
- Adopted son: Prince Hikohito (彦仁王), son of Imperial Prince Sadafusa, Prince Fushimi (伏見宮貞成親王), grandson of the Northern Pretender Emperor Sukō, became Emperor Go-Hanazono
- Consort: Unknown (the daughter of a retainer from the Southern Court)
He was named after Emperor Kōkō, who had the alternate name Komatsu, because they both returned the throne to their families, in the case of Emperor Go-Komatsu, by defeating his Southern Court rivals, and in the case of Emperor Kōkō, by succeeding his elder brother's grandson, Emperor Yōzei.
Events of Go-Komatsu's life
In his own lifetime, Go-Komatsu and those around him believed that he occupied the Chrysanthemum Throne from May 24, 1382 through 1412.
He was raised in the turbulent Nanboku-chō period of rival northern and southern courts in the mansion of Hino Sukenori (日野西資教). He succeeded as Northern Emperor upon the abdication of his father, the Northern Pretender Emperor Go-En'yū. With the help of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, his father ruled as Cloistered Emperor. In 1392, following the post-Nanboku-chō unification of the two formerly contending courts, the Southern Emperor Emperor Go-Kameyama turned over the three sacred treasures, which officially signaled the end of the southern court's claims to sovereignty. Thus, Emperor Go-Komatsu became the acknowledged, undisputed and legitimate emperor of Japan on October 21, 1392.
- 1392: Emperor Go-Kameyama conveyed the Imperial Regalia to Go-Komatsu, which meant that he ceded the Chrysanthemum throne to his former rival. Go-Komatsu received the succession (senso); and he is understood to have formally acceded to the legitimate Imperial power and position (sokui).
In the peace at that time, it was agreed that the northern and southern courts would alternate. However, in 1412, when Emperor Go-Komatsu abdicated, the agreement was thrown away, and, instead, he was succeeded by his son, Emperor Shōkō, and all subsequent Emperors were descended from the Northern Court. Until 1911, the Northern Court Emperors were considered the legitimate ones, and the Southern Court to be illegitimate. However, now the Southern Court is considered to have been legitimate, primarily because they retained the three sacred treasures, and thus, Emperor Go-Komatsu is not considered to have been legitimate for the first 10 years of his reign.
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-Komatsu's reign, this apex of the Daijō-kan included:
Eras of Go-Komatsu's reign
- Nanboku-chō northern court
- Eras as reckoned by legitimate Court (as determined by Meiji rescript)
- Nanboku-chō southern court
- Eras as reckoned by pretender Court (as determined by Meiji rescript)
- Post-Nanboku-chō court
- Eras merged as Meitoku 3 replaced Genchū 9 as Go-Kameyama abdicated.
Southern Court rivals
- Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō): 後小松天皇 (100); retrieved 2013-8-28.
- Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 317–327.
- Brown, Delmer M. (1979). Gukanshō, p. 289; excerpt, "Koko's personal name was Tokiayasu, and he was called the 'Emperor of Komatsu'. He received the throne on the 4th day of the 1st month of 884 ...."
- Titsingh, p. 317.
- Sansom, George (1961). A History of Japan, 1334-1615. Stanford University Press. pp. 117–118. ISBN 0804705259.
- Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p. 423.
- 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
- Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan. Kyoto: Ponsonby Memorial Society. OCLC 194887
- Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). [Siyun-sai Rin-siyo/Hayashi Gahō, 1652], Nipon o daï itsi ran (Annales des empereurs du Japon). Paris: Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland.
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