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History of Japan



Enbun (延文 ?), also known as Embun,[1] was a Japanese era name (年号, nengō, lit. year name) of the Northern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts after Bunna and before Kōan. This period spanned the years from March 1356 through March 1361;[2] The emperor in Kyoto was Emperor Go-Kōgon (後光厳天皇 Go-Kōgon-tennō ?).[3] Go-Kōgon's Southern Court rival in Yoshino during this time-frame was Emperor Go-Murakami (後村上天皇 Go-Murakami-tennō ?)


Nanboku-chō overview

The Imperial seats during the Nanboku-chō period were in relatively close proximity, but geographically distinct. They were conventionally identified as:

During the Meiji period, an Imperial decree dated March 3, 1911 established that the legitimate reigning monarchs of this period were the direct descendants of Emperor Go-Daigo through Emperor Go-Murakami, whose Southern Court (南朝 nanchō ?) had been established in exile in Yoshino, near Nara.[4]

Until the end of the Edo period, the militarily superior pretender-Emperors supported by the Ashikaga shogunate had been mistakenly incorporated in Imperial chronologies despite the undisputed fact that the Imperial Regalia were not in their possession.. [4]

This illegitimate Northern Court (北朝 hokuchō ?) had been established in Kyoto by Ashikaga Takauji. [4]

Change of era

  • 1356, also called Enbun gannen (延文元年 ?): The new era name was created to mark an event or series of events. The previous era ended and the new one commenced in Bunna 5.[5]

In this time frame, Shōhei (1346-1370) was the Southern Court equivalent nengō.

Events of the Enbun era


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric et al. (2005). "Embun" in Japan encyclopedia, p. 175; n.b., Louis-Frédéric is pseudonym of Louis-Frédéric Nussbaum, see Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Authority File.
  2. ^ Nussbaum, p. 175; n.b., ignoring typo -- era continues until March 1361 per NengoCalc, and see Nussbaum, Kōan, p. 535.
  3. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 302-305; Nussbaum, p. 175.
  4. ^ a b c Thomas, Julia Adeney. (2001). Reconfiguring modernity: concepts of nature in Japanese political ideology, p. 199 n57, citing Mehl, Margaret. (1997). History and the State in Nineteenth-Century Japan. p. 140-147.
  5. ^ Titsingh, p. 302.
  6. ^ Titsingh, p. 303; n.b., Minamoto no Michisuke ( 源通相 1326-1371 ?) of the Koga family (久我家 ?) will rise to become daijō daijin in 1366-1368.
  7. ^ a b Titsingh, p. 303.
  8. ^ Titsingh, p. 304.
  9. ^ Ackroyd, Joyce. (1982) Lessons from History: The Tokushi Yoron, p.329.


External links

Enbun 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Gregorian 1356 1357 1358 1359 1360 1361

Preceded by:

Era or nengō:

Succeeded by:



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