Emperor Higashiyama: Wikis


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Emperor Higashiyama
113th Emperor of Japan
Reign 1687 – 1709
Born October 21, 1675
Died January 16, 1710 [aged 34]
Buried Tsukinowa no Misasagi (Kyoto)
Predecessor Emperor Reigen
Successor Emperor Nakamikado
Father Emperor Reigen
Higashiyama also refers to a ward of Kyoto City.

Emperor Higashiyama (東山天皇 Higashiyama-tennō) (October 21, 1675 - January 16, 1710) was the 113th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.[1] He ruled from May 6, 1687 to July 27, 1709. His personal name was Asahito (朝仁) and his pre-accession title was Go-no-miya (五宮)



Higasiyama was the fifth son of Emperor Reigen; and he himself had at least ten children.

  • Empress: Princess Yukiko (幸子女王) (Empress Dowager Shōshū, 承秋門院), daughter of Arisugawa-no-miya Yukihito
    • First daughter: Imperial Princess Akiko (秋子内親王)
  • Lady-in-waiting: Kushige Yoshiko (櫛笥賀子) (Empress Dowager Shin-syuken, 新崇賢門院)
    • First son: Ichi-no-miya (一宮)
    • Second son: Ni-no-miya (二宮)
    • Fourth son: Hisa-no-miya (寿宮)
    • Second daughter: Tomi-no-miya (福宮)
    • Fifth son: Imperial Prince Yasuhito (慶仁親王) (Emperor Nakamikado)
    • Sixth son: Imperial Prince Kan'in-no-miya Naohito (閑院宮直仁親王) - First Kan'in-no-miya
  • Lady-in-waiting: Reizei Tsuneko (冷泉経子) (Buddhist priestess)
    • Third son: Prince Kōkan (公寛法親王) (Buddhist priest)
  • Handmaid (?): Daughter of Takatsuji (Sugawara) Nagakazu (高辻(菅原)長量)
    • Third daughter: Kōmyōjyō'in-no-miya (光明定院宮)
    • Fourth daughter: Princess Syōsyuku (聖祝女王)

Events of Higashiyama's life

In 1687, he acceded to the throne after the abdication of Emperor Reigen. On the 16th day of the 11th month of that year, he revived the Daijōsai (大嘗祭), the first ceremonial offering of rice by a newly enthroned Emperor.

Initially, Emperor Reigen continued to rule in Higashiyama's name, which caused much friction with the Bakufu. However, Higashiyama's gentle character helped to improve relations with the Bakufu, and imperial property was increased, and repairs were carried out on Imperial mausoleums.

  • Jōkyō 3, on the 21st day of the 3rd month (1687): Emperor Reigen abdicated, which meant that the his son received the succession (senso). Shortly thereafter, Emperor Higashiyama formally acceded to the throne (sokui).[2] After abdication, Reigen's new home will be called the Sentō-gosho (the palace for an ex-Emperor).[3]
  • Jōkyō 4, on the 16th day of the 11th month (December 20, 1688): The esoteric Daijō-sai ceremony, having been in abeyane since the time of Emperor Go-Kashiwabara -- for nine reigns—was revived because of the bakufu's insistence.[4] This Shinto ritual is performed only once by emperor in the period of the enthronement ceremonies.[5]
  • Genroku gannen (1688): The Tokugawa shogunate revised the code of conduct for funerals (Fuku-kiju-ryō), which incorporated a code of conduct for mourning as well.[6]
  • Genroku 2 (September 16, 1689): German physician Engelbert Kaempfer arrives at Dejima for the first time. Bakufu policy in this era was designed to marginalize the influence of foreigners in Genroku Japan; and Kaempfer had to present himself as "Dutch" in dealings with the Japanese. Regardless of this minor subterfuge, an unintended and opposite consequence of sakoku was to enhance the value and significance of a very small number of thoughtful observers like Kaempfer, whose writings document what he learned or discovered first-hand. Kaempfer's published accounts and unpublished writings provided a unique and useful perspective for Orientalists and Japanologists in the 19th century; and his work continues to be rigorously examined by modern researchers today.[7]
  • Genroku 8, 8th month (1695): Minting begun of Genroku coinage. The shogunate placed the Japanese character gen (元) on the obverse of copper coins, the same character used today in China for the yuan. There is no connection between those uses, however.[1]
  • Genroku 8, 11th month (1695): First kennel is established for stray dogs in Edo. In this context, Tokugawa Tsunayoshi comes to be nicknamed "the Dog Shogun" (いぬくぼう 犬公方, "Inu-kubō').
  • Genroku 10 (1697): The fourth official map of Japan was made in this year, but it was considered to be inferior to the previous one—which had been ordered in Shōhō 1 (1605 and completed in Kan'ei 16 (1639}. This Genroku map was corrected in Kyōhō 4 (1719) by the mathematician Tatebe Katahiro (1644-1739), using high mountain peaks as points of reference, and was drawn to a scale of 1:21,600.[8]
  • Genroku 10 (1697): Great fire in Edo.[1] Five-storied Pagoda
  • Genroku 11 (1697): Another great fire in Edo. A new hall is constructed inside the enclosure of the Edo temple of Kan'ei-ji (which is also known as Tōeizan Kan’ei-ji or "Hiei-san of the east" after the principal temple of the Tendai Buddhist sect—that is to say, after the temple of Enryaku-ji at Mount Hiei near to Heian-kyo).[1]
  • Genroku 16, on the 28th day of the 11th month (1703): The Great Genroku Earthquake shook Edo[9] and parts of the shogun's castle collapsed.[10] The following day, a vast fire spread throughout the city[1]. Parts of Honshū's coast were battered by tsunami, and 200,000 people were either killed or injured.[10]
  • Genroku 13, 1701: when the Akō Incident took place, due to the bloodshed by Matsuno Ōroku, Emperor Higashiyama came near to withdrawing the imperial will.
  • Hōei 4, on the 14th day of the 10th month (1707): Great Hōei Earthquake. The city of Osaka suffers tremendously because of a very violent earthquake.[11]
  • Hōei 4, on the 22nd day of the 10th month (November 15, 1707): An eruption of Mt. Fuji; the cinders and ash fell like rain in Izu, Kai, Sagami, and Musashi.[12]
  • Hōei 5 (1708): The shogunate introduces new copper coins into circulation; and each coin is marked with the Hōei nengō name {Hōei Tsubo).[12]
  • Hōei 5, on the 8th day of the 3rd month (1708): There was a great fire in Heian-kyō.[12]
  • Hōei 5, 8th month (1708): Italian missionary Giovanni Sidotti landed in Yakushima, where he was promptly is arrested.
  • Hōei 6, on the 10th day of the 1st month (1709): The wife of Shogun Tsunayoshi killed him with a knife, and then she stabbed herself in the heart. Tsunayoshi's homosexual interests were aroused by the son of the daimyo of Kai; and his plans to adopt this Tokugawa youth as his successor were known by a few inside Edo castle. The shogun's wife, who was also a daughter of the emperor, foresaw that this choice of a successor would be very poorly received by many; and she feared that it might result in a disastrous civil war. The shogun's wife did everything she could to dissuade Tsunayoshi from continuing with such potentially divisive and dangerous plans; and when it became clear that her persuasive arguments were in vain, she resolutely sacrificed herself for the good of the country—she killed her husband and then killed herself.[12]
  • Hōei 6, in the 4th month (1709): Minamoto no Ienobu, Tsunayoshi's nephew, becomes the 6th shogun of the Edo bakufu.[12] and Emperor Nakamikado accedes to the throne.
  • Hōei 6, on the 2nd day of the 7th month (1709): The Emperor abdicates,[12]
  • Hōei 6, on the 17th day of the 12th month (1709): Higashiyama dies[12].

Higashiyama is among those enshrined in the Imperial mausoleum, Tsukinowa no misasagi, at Sennyū-ji in Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto. Also enshrined in this location are this emperor's immediate Imperial predecessors since Emperor Go-Mizunoo -- Meishō, Go-Kōmyō, Go-Sai and Reigen. Higashiyama's immediate Imperial successors, including Nakamikado, Sakuramachi, Momozono, Go-Sakuramachi and Go-Momozono, are enshrined here as well.[13]


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 Higashiyama's reign, this apex of the Daijō-kan included:

Eras of Higashiyama's reign

The years of Higashiyama's reign are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 415.
  2. ^ Titsingh, p. 415; Varley, H. Paul. (1959). A Chronicle of Gods and Sovereigns: Jinnō Shōtōki, p. 44; n.b., 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.
  3. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1956). Kyoto: The Old Capital of Japan, 794-1869, p. 342.
  4. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, p. 318.
  5. ^ Bock, Felicia G. (1990). "The Great Feast of the Enthronement," Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 45, No. 1, pp. 27-38.
  6. ^ Smith, Robert et al. (2004). Japanese Culture: Its Development And Characteristics, p. 28.
  7. ^ Screech, T. (2006). Secret Memoirs of the Shoguns: Isaac Titsingh and Japan, 1779-1822, p. 73.
  8. ^ Traganeou, Jilly. (2004). The Tokaido Road: Traveling and Representation in Edo and Meiji Japan, p. 230.
  9. ^ Japanese Wikipedia: ja:元禄大地震
  10. ^ a b Hammer, Joshua. (2006). Yokohama Burning: The Deadly 1923 Earthquake and Fire that Helped Forge the Path to World War II, p. 63.
  11. ^ Titsingh, p. 415.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g Titsingh, p. 416.
  13. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p. 423.


See also

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Reigen
Emperor of Japan:

Succeeded by
Emperor Nakamikado


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