Emperor Reigen: Wikis


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Emperor Reigen
112th Emperor of Japan
Reign 1663 – 1687
Born July 9,1654
Died September 24,1732[aged 78]
Buried Taukinowa no Misasagi (Kyoto)
Predecessor Emperor Go-Sai
Successor Emperor Higashiyama
Father Prince Kan'in-no-miya

Emperor Reigen (霊元天皇 reigen tennō ?) (July 9, 1654 - September 24, 1732) was the 112th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Reigen reigned from March 5, 1663 until May 2, 1687.[1] His personal name (imina) was Satohito (識仁) and his pre-accession title was Ate-no-miya (高貴宮).[2]



Reigen was the 16th son of Emperor Go-Mizunoo. His mother was the daughter of Minister of the Center Sonomotooto (内大臣園基音), Lady in Waiting Kuniko (新広義門院国子).

  • Empress: Takatsukasa Fusako (鷹司房子) (Empress Dowager Shin-jyōsai, 新上西門院)
    • Third daughter: Imperial Princess Masako (栄子内親王)
  • Lady-in-waiting: Bōjō Fusako (坊城房子)
    • Second daughter: Princess Ken'shi (憲子内親王)
  • Lady-in-waiting: Daughter of Ogura Saneoki (小倉実起女)
    • First son: Prince Saishin (済深法親王) (Buddhist priest)
  • Lady-in-waiting: Matsuki Muneko (松木宗子)  (Empress Dowager Keihō, 敬法門院)
    • Fourth son: Imperial Prince Asahito (朝仁親王) (Emperor Higashiyama)
    • Fifth daughter: Princess Tomiko (福子内親王)
    • Sixth daughter: Princess Eisyū (永秀女王)
    • 7th son: Imperial Prince Kyōgoku-no-miya Ayahito (京極宮文仁親王) - Sixth Kyōgoku-no-miya
    • 7th daughter: Ume-no-miya (梅宮)
    • 8th daughter: Princess Katsuko (勝子内親王)
    • 8th son: Sei-no-miya (清宮)
  • ??: Atago Fukuko? (愛宕福子)
    • Second son: Prince Kanryū (寛隆法親王) (Buddhist priest)
    • Fourth daughter: Tsuna-no-miya (綱宮)
  • ??: Gojyō Yōko (五条庸子)
    • Third son: San-no-miya (三宮)
    • Fifth son: Prince Gyōen (尭延法親王) (Buddhist priest)
    • Sixth son: Tairei'in-no-miya (台嶺院宮)
  • ??: Higashikuze Hiroko (東久世博子)
    • 11th son: Toku-no-miya (徳宮)
    • 12th son: Riki-no-miya (力宮)
  • ??: Daughter of ?? Sada'atsu (今城定淳女)
    • 13th son: Prince Sonsyō (尊賞法親王) (Buddhist priest)
    • 11th daughter: Princess Bun'ō (文応女王)
  • Consort: Daughter of Nishi-no-tōin Tokinaga (西洞院時良女)
    • First daughter: Chikōin-miya (知光院宮)
  • Consort: Gojyō Tsuneko (五条経子)
    • 9th son: Saku-no-miya (作宮)
    • 10th son: Prince Syō'ou (性応法親王) (Buddhist priest)
    • 9th daughter: Princess Bunki (文喜女王)
    • 10th daughter: Princess Gensyū? (元秀女王)
  • Consort: Irie Itsuko (入江伊津子)
    • 14th son: Kachi-no-miya (嘉智宮)
    • 12th daughter: Tome-no-miya (留宮)
  • Consort: Daughter of Kurahashi Yasusada (倉橋泰貞女)
    • 15th son: Mine-no-miya (峯宮)
  • Consort: Matsumuro Atsuko (松室敦子)
    • 16th son: Imperial Prince Arisugawa-no-miya Yorihito (有栖川宮職仁親王) - Fifth Arisugawa-no-miya
    • 13th daughter: Princess Yoshiko (吉子内親王)
    • 18th son: Prince Gyōkyō (尭恭法親王) (Buddhist priest)
  • Consort: Matsumuro Nakako (松室仲子)
    • 17th son: Prince Son'in (尊胤法親王) (Buddhist priest)
  • Consort: Daughter of Hata ??tada (秦相忠女)
    • 14th son: Yae-no-miya (八重宮)

His posthumous name was created during the Meiji Era by combining the kanji from the names of two previous Emperors, Emperor Kōrei (孝霊) and Emperor Kōgen (孝元).

Events of Reigen's life

  • 1654: Prince Satohito, who is also known as Ate-no-miya, is named as heir before the death of his eldest brother, Emperor Go-Kōmyō; however, the young prince is considered too young to become emperor. It is decided that until the young heir grows older, his elder brother will accede to the throne as Emperor Go-Sai.
  • March 5, 1663 (Kanbun 3, 26th day of the 1st month): Emperor Go-Sai abdicates, which meant that the Prince Satohito received the succession (senso). Shortly thereafter, Emperor Reigen formally acceded to the throne (sokui).[3]
  • 1665 (Kanbun 5, 6th month): Courts of inquisition were established in all the villages of Japan. These courts were charged with discovering and eliminating any vestiges of Christianity in each community.[2]
  • 1666 (Kanbun 6, 4th month): Hokke shu buddhist religious practices are preserved for those who believe that their spiritual and moral purity may be tainted by close association with others.[2]
View across the roof of Tōdai-ji becomes a panoramic vista as seen from the elevated walkway of Nigatsu-dō.
  • 1667 (Kanbun 7): After fire destroyed the main temple structure, work on rebuilding Nigatsu-dō (二月堂 ?) at Nara commenced.[2]
  • February 13, 1668 (Kanbun 8, 1st day of the 2nd month): A great fire broke out in Edo -- a conflagration lasting 45 days. The disastrous fire was attributed to arson.[2]
  • 1669 (Kanbun 9):There was a famine in this year; and a military expedition was sent to northern Honshu.[2]
  • 1673 (Enpō 1): There was a great fire in Kyoto.[2]
  • 1675 (Enpō 3): There was a great fire in Kyoto.[2]
  • 1680 (Enpō 8, 8th month): A great flood devastates Edo.[2]
  • 1681 (Tenna 1): Tsunyoshi's investiture as shogun.[2]
  • February 5, 1682 (Tenna 1, 28th day of the 12th month): A great fire sweeps through Edo.[4]
  • 1681 (Tenna 2): A great famine devastates Kyoto and the surrounding area.[4]
  • March 26, 1685 (Jōkyō 2, 22nd day of the 2nd month): Former-Emperor Go-Sai died; and a great comet was observed crossing the night sky.[4]
  • May 2, 1687 (Jōkyō 4, 21st day of the 3trd month): Emperor Reigen abdicates in favor of his fifth son, Imperial Prince Asahito, who will come to be known as Emperor Higashiyama.[4]
  • 1687: Former-Emperor Reigen Begins to rule as a cloistered emperor; and after abdication, Reigen's new home will be called the Sentō-gosho (the palace for an ex-Emperor).[5]
  • 1713: Former-Emperor Reigen enters a monastery under the name Sojō (素浄)
  • October 24, 1732 (Kyōhō 17, 24th day of the 9th month): Reigen died at age 79 in his monastic retreat.

Emperor Reigen's memory is honored and preserved at his designated Imperial mausoleum (misasagi), Tsukinowa no misasagi at Sennyū-ji in Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto. His immediate Imperial predecessors since Emperor Go-Mizunoo -- Meishō, Go-Kōmyō and Go-Sai are also enshrined along with his immediate Imperial successors, including Higashiyama, Nakamikado, Sakuramachi, Momozono, Go-Sakuramachi and Go-Momozono.[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 Reigen's reign, this apex of the Daijō-kan included:

Eras of Reigen's reign

The years of Reigen's reign are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō.[2]


  1. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 414-415.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Titsingh, p. 414.
  3. ^ Titsingh, p. 414; 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.
  4. ^ a b c d Titsingh, p. 415.
  5. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1956). Kyoto: The Old Capital of Japan, 794-1869, p. 342.
  6. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p. 423.


See also

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

Succeeded by
Emperor Higashiyama


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