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Emperor Go-Kōgon
4th Northern Pretender
Emperor Go-Kōgon.jpg
Emperor Go-Kōgon
Reign 25 September 1352 - 9 April 1371 (&0000000000000018.00000018 years, &0000000000000196.000000196 days)
Born 23 March 1338(1338-03-23)
Died 12 March 1374 (aged 35)
Buried Fukakusa no Kita no Misasagi (深草北陵), Kyoto
Predecessor Emperor Sukō
Successor Emperor Go-En'yū
Consort Hirohashi Nakako
Royal House Imperial House of Japan
Father Emperor Kōgon
Mother Sanjō Hideko

Emperor Go-Kōgon (後光厳天皇 Go-Kōgon-tennō) (March 23, 1338 – March 12, 1374) was the 4th of the Ashikaga Pretenders during the Period of the Northern and Southern Courts. According to pre-Meiji scholars, his reign spanned the years from 1352 through 1371.[1]

This Nanboku-chō "sovereign" was named after his father Emperor Kogon and go- (後), translates literally as "later;" and thus, he may be called the "Later Emperor Kōgon". 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 "Kōgon, the second," or as "Kōgon II."



His personal name was Iyahito (弥仁).

He was the second son of the Northern Pretender Emperor Kōgon, and brother of his predecessor, Emperor Sukō. His mother was Hideko (秀子), daughter of Sanjō Kinhide (三条公秀)

  • Lady-in-waiting: Nakako (仲子), daughter of Hirohashi (Fujiwara) Kanetsuna (広橋(藤原)兼綱)
    • Second son: Imperial Prince Ohito (緒仁親王) (Emperor Go-En'yū)
    • Fifth son: Prince Eijo (永助入道親王) (Buddhist Lay Priest)
    • Twelfth son: Prince Gyōnin (尭仁法親王) (Buddhist Priest)
  • Consort: Uemon-no-Suke no Tsubone (右衛門佐局)
    • First son: Imperial Prince Ryōnin (亮仁入道親王) (Buddhist Lay Priest)
    • Seventh son: Prince Kakuzō (覚増法親王) (Buddhist Priest)
  • Consort: Daughter of Hōin Chōkai (法印長快)
    • First daughter: Imperial Princess Haruko (治子内親王)
    • Fourth son: Prince Kakuei (覚叡法親王) (Buddhist Priest)
    • Eighth son: Prince Dōen (道円入道親王) (Buddhist Priest)
    • Eleventh son: Prince Shōjo (聖助法親王) (Buddhist Priest)
  • Consort: Daughter of Tachibana no Mochishige (橘以繁)
    • Tenth son: Prince Myōshō (明承法親王) (Buddhist Priest)
  • (from unknown women)
    • Third son: Prince Gyōjō (行助入道親王) (Buddhist Lay Priest)
    • Fifth son: Prince Kanshu (寛守法親王) (Buddhist Priest)
    • Thirteenth son: Prince Kankyō (寛教入道親王) (Buddhist Lay Priest)
    • Second daughter: Imperial Princess Kenshi (見子内親王)
    • Daughter: Shūnin (秀仁) (Buddhist Priestess)

Events of Go-Kōgon's life

In his own lifetime, Go-Kōgon and those around him believed that he occupied the Chrysanthemum Throne from September 25, 1352 to April 9, 1371.

In 1351, Ashikaga Takauji briefly returned to the allegiance of the Southern Dynasty, causing the Southern Court to briefly consolidate control of the Imperial Line. However, this peace fell apart in 1352. On this occasion, the Southern Court abducted Retired (Northern) Emperors Emperor Kōgon and Emperor Kōmyō as well as Emperor Sukō and the Crown Prince, Imperial Prince Naohito, the son of Emperor Kōgon, from Kyoto to Yoshino, producing a state of affairs in which there was no Emperor in Kyoto.

Because of this, Imperial Prince Iyahito became emperor in 1352 with the support of Ashikaga Yoshiakira.

During this period, the Era of the Northern and Southern Courts, because of the antagonism between the two competing dynasties, public order in Kyoto was disturbed. The Southern Court repeatedly recaptured Kyoto. Emperor Go-Kōgon was forced to repeatedly flee from Kyoto to Ōmi Province and other places. Around the time that Ashikaga Yoshimitsu was named Shōgun (1368), the Southern Courts power weakened, and order was restored to Kyoto. Also around this time, the Emperor's authority began to show its weakness.

On April 9, 1371, he abdicated in favor of his son, who became the Northern Pretender Emperor Go-En'yū. He continued to rule as Cloistered Emperor until he died of illness on March 12, 1374. He is enshrined with other emperors at the imperial tomb called Fukakusa no kita no misasagi (深草北陵) in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto.

Eras of Go-Kōgon's reign

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

Nanboku-chō Southern court
  • Eras as reckoned by legitimate Court (as determined by Meiji rescript)
  • Shōhei (1346-1370)
  • Kentoku (1370-1372)
Nanboku-chō Northern court
  • Eras as reckoned by pretender Court (as determined by Meiji rescript)
  • Kan'ō (1350-1352)
  • Bunna (1352-1356)
  • Embun (1356-1361)
  • Kōan (1361-1362)
  • Jōji (1362-1368)
  • Ōan (1368-1375)

Southern Court Rivals


  1. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 302-309.


See also

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Sukō
Northern Pretender
Succeeded by
Emperor Go-En'yū


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