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Emperor En'yū
64th Emperor of Japan
Reign The 13th day of 8th month of Anna 2 (969) - The 27th day of 8th month of Eikan 2 (984)
Coronation The 23rd day of 9th month of Anna 2 (969)
Born The 2nd day of 3rd month of Tenchō 4 (959)
Birthplace Heian Kyō (Kyōto)
Died The 12th day of 2nd month of Shōryaku 2 (991)
Place of death Heian Kyō (Kyōto)
Buried Nochi-no-Mukarami no Misasagi (Kyōto)
Predecessor Emperor Reizei
Successor Emperor Kazan
Consort Fujiwara no Kōshi
Fujiwara no Junshi
Father Emperor Murakami
Mother Fujiwara no Anshi

Emperor En'yū (円融天皇 En'yū-tennō) (March 2, 959-February 12, 991) was the 64th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 969 through 984.[1]



Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name (his imina) was Morihira-shinnō.[2]

Morihira-shinnō was the fifth son of Emperor Murakami by the empress consort Anshi, the daughter of Fujiwara no Morosuke, therefore the brother of Emperor Reizei.

In 967, Morihira-shinnō was appointed as the crown prince, bypassing his elder brother by the same mother, since his brother had no support from the Fujiwara clan.

En'yū had five Empresses or Imperial consorts and one Imperial son.[3]

Events of En'yū's life

  • September 27, 969 (Anna 2, 13th day of the 8th month): In the 3rd year of Emperor Reizei's reign (冷泉天皇3年), he abdicated; and the succession (‘‘senso’’) was received by a younger brother.[4]
  • 969 (Anna 2, 9th month): Emperor En'yu is said to have acceded to the throne (‘‘sokui’’).[5]
  • June 8, 976 (Ten'en 2, 11th day of the 5th month): The Imperial Palace burned down; and the Sacred Mirror was blackened to such an extent that it reflected no light.[3]
  • December 31, 980 (Tengen 3, 22nd day of the 11th month): The Imperial Palace burned down; and the Sacred Mirror was half destroyed.[3]
  • December 5, 982 (Tengen 5, 17th day of the 11th month): The Imperial Palace burned down; and the Sacred Mirror was reduced to a lump of melted metal which was collected and presented to the emperor.[3]

In his reign there were a severe struggle between the Fujiwara clan over who would be appointed kampaku. Emperor En'yū followed his mother's advice and favored Fujiwara no Kanemichi, his maternal uncle. He had only one son, later the emperor Emperor Ichijō by Senshi, a daughter of his uncle Fujiwara no Kaneie,[6] who was another brother of his mother. He made the daughter of Kanemichi the empress consort, though she bore no children. Senshi and his father Kaneie were angry at this elevation of their rival and were absent from the court for a long time, staying at the mansion of Kaneie with the child.

Imperial processions to the Hachiman and Hirano Shrines were first made during the reign of Emperor En'yū.[3]

  • September 24, 984 (Eikan 2, 27th of the 8th month): The emperor abdicated at age 26.[3]
  • September 16, 985 (Kanna 1, 29th of the 8th month): The former-Emperor En'yū took the tonsure, becoming a Buddhist priest and taking the name of Kongō Hō.[3]
  • March 1, 991 (Shōryaku 2, 12th of the 2nd month): En'yū, now known as Kongō Hō, died at age 33.[3]


'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.

In general, this elite group included only three to four men at a time. These were hereditary courtiers whose experience and background have brought them to the pinnacle of a life's career. During En'yū's reign, this apex of the Daijō-kan included:

  • Kampaku, Ōno-no-miya Fujiwara no Saneyori (藤原実頼), 900-970.[7]
  • Kampaku, Fujiwara no Yoritada (藤原頼忠), 924-989.[7]
  • Daijō-daijin, Fujiwara no Saneyori.[7]
  • Daijō-daijin, Fujiwara no Koretada (藤原伊尹)
  • Daijō-daijin, Fujiwara no Kanemichi (藤原兼通)
  • Daijō-daijin, Fujiwara no Yoritada.[7]
  • Sesshō, Fujiwara no Koretada, 924-972.[7]
  • Udaijin, Fujiwara no Koretada.[7]
  • Udaijin, Fujiwara no Kaneie (藤原兼家), 929-990.[7]
  • Udaijin, Fujiwara no Kanemichi, 925-977.[7]
  • Naidaijin, Fujiwara no Kanemichi
  • Dainagon, Minamoto no Kaneakira (源兼明)
  • Dainagon, Fujiwara no Morouji (藤原師氏) (Gon-no-Dainagon, 権大納言)
  • Dainagon, Fujiwara no Koretada (藤原伊尹)
  • Dainagon, Fujiwara no Yoritada (藤原頼忠)
  • Dainagon, Tachibana no Yoshifuru (橘好古)
  • Dainagon, Minamoto no Masanobu (源雅信)
  • Dainagon, Fujiwara no Kaneie (藤原兼家)
  • Dainagon, Minamoto no Nobumitsu (源延光) (Gon-no-Dainagon, 権大納言)
  • Dainagon, Fujiwara no Tamemitsu (藤原為光)
  • Dainagon, Fujiwara no Asateru (藤原朝光) (Gon-no-Dainagon, 権大納言)
  • Dainagon, Minamoto no Shigenobu (源重信)
  • Dainagon, Fujiwara no Naritoki (藤原済時) (Gon-no-Dainagon, 権大納言)

Eras of En'yū's reign

The years of En'yū's reign are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō.[8]

Consorts and Children

Empress: Fujiwara no Kōshi (藤原媓子) (947-979), daughter of Fujiwara no Kanemichi (藤原兼通)

Empress: Fujiwara no Junshi/Nobuko (藤原遵子) (957-1017), daughter of Fujiwara no Yoritada (藤原頼忠)

Hi: Imperial Princess Sonshi (尊子内親王) (966-985), daughter of Emperor Reizei

Nyōgo(Kōtaigō): Fujiwara no Senshi (藤原詮子) (962-1002), daughter of Fujiwara no Kaneie (藤原兼家); later, Nyoin (女院) 'Higashi-sanjō In' (東三条院)


  1. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 144-148; Brown, Delmer et al. (1979). Gukanshō, p. 299-300; Varely, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, pp. 191-192.
  2. ^ Titsingh, p. 144; Varely, p. 191; Brown, p. 264. [Up until the time of Emperor Jomei, the personal names of the emperors (their imina) were very long and people did not generally use them. The number of characters in each name diminished after Jomei's reign.]
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Brown, p. 300.
  4. ^ Titsingh, p. 143; Brown, p. 299; 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.]
  5. ^ Titsingh, p. 144; Varley, p. 44.
  6. ^ Titisingh, p. 146.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Brown, p. 299.
  8. ^ Titsingh, p. 144.


See also

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Reizei
Emperor of Japan:

Succeeded by
Emperor Kazan


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