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Emperor Nijō
78th Emperor of Japan
Emperor Nijō, Tenshi Sekkan Miei
Reign 1156-1165
Born 1143
Died 1165[aged 22]
Buried Kōryū-ji no Misasagi (Kyoto)
Predecessor Emperor Go-Shirakawa
Successor Emperor Rokujō

Emperor Nijō (二条天皇 Nijō-tennō) (July 31, 1143 – September 5, 1165) was the 78th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spaned the years from 1158 through 1165.[1]



Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name (his imina)[2] was Morihito-shinnō (守仁親王).[3]

He was the eldest son of Emperor Go-Shirakawa. He was the father of Emperor Rokujō.

  • Fujiwara Masuko (1140-1201): wife of Emperor Nijo (and earlier, she had also been the wife of Emperor Konoe). Later, she was called Grand Empress Dowager Omiya.[4]

Events of Nijō's life

Nijō was proclaimed as heir to Emperor Go-Shirakawa.

  • Hōgen 1, 2nd day of the 7th month (1156): Cloistered Emperor Toba-in died at age 54.[5]
  • Hōgen 1, 10th-29th days of the 7th month (1156): The Hōgen Rebellion,[6] also known as the Hōgen Insurrection or the Hōgen War.
  • Hōgen 4, on the 11th day of the 8th month (1158): In the 3rd year of Go-Sirakawa-tennō's reign (後白河天皇25年), the emperor abdicated; and the succession (‘‘senso’’) was received by his eldest son. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Nijō is said to have acceded to the throne (‘‘sokui’’).[7]

After Nijō was formally enthroned, the management of all affairs continued to rest entirely in the hands of the retired emperor, Go-Shirakawa.[8]

  • Heiji 1, 9th-26th day of the 12th month (1159): The Heiji Rebellion,[6] also known as the Heiji Insurrection or the Heiji War.
  • Chōkan 2, on the 26th day of the 8th month (1164):The former-Emperor Sutoku died at the age of 46.[9]
  • Eiman 1 (1165): The infant son of Emperor Nijō was named heir apparent (and this Crown Prince will soon become Emperor Rokujō.[6]
  • Eiman 1, on the 25th day of the 6th month (1165): In the 7th year of Nijō-tennō's reign (桓武天皇7年), the emperor fell so very ill that he abdicated; and the succession (‘‘senso’’) was received by his son. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Rokujō is said to have acceded to the throne (‘‘sokui’’).[10]
  • Eiman 1, 27th-28th day of the 7th month (1165): The former- Emperor Nijō died at age 22.[11]


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 would have brought them to the pinnacle of a life's career. During Nijō's reign, this apex of the Daijō-kan included:

Eras of Nijō's reign

The years of Nijō's reign are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō.[13]

See also


  1. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du Japon, pp.191-194; Brown, Delmer et al. (1979). Gukanshō, pp.327-329; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki. pp. 208-212.
  2. ^ Brown, pp. 264; n.b., 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. ^ Titsingh, p. 191; Brown, p. 327; Varley, p. 209.
  4. ^ Kitagawa, Hiroshi. (1975). The Tale of the Heike, p. 298
  5. ^ Brown, p. 321; Kitagawa, H. (1975). The Tale of the Heike, p.783.
  6. ^ a b c Kitagawa, p. 783.
  7. ^ Titsingh, p. 191; Brown, p. 327; Varley, p. 44, 209; n.b., a distinct act of senso is unrecognized prior to Emperor Tenji; and all sovereigns exceptJitō, Yōzei, Go-Toba, and Fushimi have senso and sokui in the same year until the reign of Emperor Go-Murakami.
  8. ^ Titsingh, p. 191.
  9. ^ Brown, p. 328.
  10. ^ Titsingh, p. 194; Brown, p. 329; Varley, p. 44.
  11. ^ Brown, p. 328; Kitagawa, p.783.
  12. ^ a b Brown, p. 327.
  13. ^ Titsingh, pp. 190-194; Brown, p. 328.


Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Go-Shirakawa
Emperor of Japan:

Succeeded by
Emperor Rokujō


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