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Kangen (寛元) was a Japanese era name (年号, nengō, lit. "year name") after Ninji and before Hoji. This period spanned the years from February 1243 to February 1247.[1] The reigning emperor was Go-Saga-tennō (後嵯峨天皇).[2]

Change of era[edit]

  • Kangen gannen (寛元元年); 1243: The new era name was created to mark an event or a number of events. The previous era ended and a new one commenced in Ninji 4.

Events of the Kangen era[edit]

  • 1244 (Kangen 2): In the spring of this year, a number of extraordinary phenomena in the skies over Kamakura troubled Yoritsune deeply.[3]
  • 1244 (Kangen 2, 4th month): Yoritsune's son, Yoritsugu, had his coming-of-age ceremonies at age six. In the same month, Yoritsune asked Emperor Go-Saga for permission to give up his responsibilities as shōgun in favor of his son, Kujō Yoritsugu.[3]
  • September 11, 1245 (Kangen 3, 7th month): Yoshitsune shaved his head and became a Buddhist priest.[3]
  • 1246 (Kangen 4, 7th month): Yoritsune's son, now Shōgun Yoritsugu (who is only 7 years old) marries the sister of Hōjō Tsunetoki (who is himself only 16 years old).[3]
  • 1246 (Kangen 4): In the 4th year of Go-Saga-tennō's reign (後嵯峨天皇4年), he abdicated; and despite the succession (senso) was received by his 4-year-old son. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Go-Fukakusa is said to have acceded to the throne (sokui).[4]


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Kangen" in Japan encyclopedia, p. 470; n.b., Louis-Frédéric is pseudonym of Louis-Frédéric Nussbaum, see Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Authority File Archived 2012-05-24 at archive.today.
  2. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du Japon, pp. 245-247; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki. p. 228-232.
  3. ^ a b c d Titsingh, p. 247.
  4. ^ Titsingh, pp. 247-248; 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.


  • Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 58053128
  • Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Nihon Odai Ichiran; ou, Annales des empereurs du Japon. Paris: Royal Asiatic Society, Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. OCLC 5850691
  • Varley, H. Paul. (1980). A Chronicle of Gods and Sovereigns: Jinnō Shōtōki of Kitabatake Chikafusa. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-04940-5; OCLC 6042764

External links[edit]

Preceded by Era or nengō

Succeeded by