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Emperor Go-Ichijō
68th Emperor of Japan
Reign The 29th day of 1st month of Chōwa 5 (1016) - The 17th day of 4th month of Kantoku 2 (1036)
Coronation The 7th day of 2nd month of Chōwa 5 (1016)
Born The 11th day of 9th month of Kankō 5 (October 12, 1008)
Birthplace Tsuchimikado Tei (土御門邸), Heian Kyō (Kyōto)
Died The 17th day of 4th month of Kantoku 2 (May 15, 1036)[aged 27]
Place of death Seiryō Den (清涼殿) in Dairi (内裏), Heian Kyō (Kyōto)
Buried Bodaijuin no Misasagi (菩提樹院陵) (Kyōto)
Predecessor Emperor Sanjō
Successor Emperor Go-Suzaku
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, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1016 through 1036.[1]

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". The Japanese word "go" has also been translated to mean the "second one;" and in some older sources, this emperor may be identified as "Ichijō, the second."



Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name (his imina)[2] was Atsuhira-shinnō (敦成親王).[3] He was also known as Atsunari-shinnō.[4]

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).[5]


Consort and children

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

Go-Ichijō had one Empress and two Imperial daughters.[6]

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

  • Imperial Princess Akiko/Shōshi (章子内親王) (Nijō-In, 二条院) (1026-1105), Empress (chūgū) to Emperor Go-Reizei
  • Imperial Princess Kaoruko/Keishi (馨子内親王) (1029-1093), Empress (chūgū) to Emperor Go-Sanjō

Events of Go-Ichijō's life

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

  • Chōwa 5, on the 29th day of the 1st month (1016): In the 5th year of Emperor Sanjō's reign (三条天皇5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’’).[7]
  • Chōwa 1, in the 8th month (1012): Emperor Sanjō marries a daughter of sesshō and later kampaku Fujiwara no Michinaga.[8]

During the initial years of Go-Ichijō's reign, Fujiwara no Michinaga actually ruled from his position as sesshō (regent).[9]

  • Kannin 1, on the 9th day of the 5th month (1017): The former-Emperor Sanjō died at the age of 41.[6]
  • Kannin 1, in the 8th month (1017): Prince Atsuakira, the eldest son of Emperor Sanjo, had been named Crown Prince. But after he is struck by a skin disease and intence pressure from Michinaga; he withdrew from this role and his younger brother, Prince Atsunaga, was named Crown Prince in his place.[10]
  • Kannin 1, in the 9th month (1017): 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.[11]
  • Kannin 1, in the 12th month (1017): Michinaga was elevated to the office of Daijō-Diajin.[11]
  • Hōen 1, on the 17th day of the 4th month (1036): Emperor Go-Ichijō died at the age of 29.[6]


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

The years of Go-Ichijō's reign are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō.[14]


  1. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du Japon, pp. 156-159; Brown, Delmer et al. (1979). Gukanshō, pp. 307-310; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki. p. 195-196.
  2. ^ Brown, pp. 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. ^ Varley, p. 195
  4. ^ Titsingh, p. 156; Brown, p. 307.
  5. ^ Titsingh, p. 156; Brown, p. 309.
  6. ^ a b c Brown, p. 310.
  7. ^ 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 Go-Murakami.]
  8. ^ Titsingh, p. 154.
  9. ^ Brown, pp. 308-309; Varley, p. 195.
  10. ^ Titsingh, p. 156.
  11. ^ a b Titsingh, p. 157.
  12. ^ a b c Brown, p. 308-309.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Brown, p. 309.
  14. ^ Titsingh, p. 156-159; Brown, p. 310.


See also

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Sanjō
Emperor of Japan:

Succeeded by
Emperor Go-Suzaku


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