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History of Japan



Kōō (康応 ?), also romanized as Kō-ō, was a Japanese era name (年号, nengō, lit. year name) of the Northern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts after Kakei and before Meitoku. This period spanned the years from February 1389 to March 1390.[1] The emperor in Kyoto was Emperor Go-Komatsu (後小松天皇 Go-Komatsu-tennō ?) [2] The Southern Court rival in Yoshino during this time-frame was Emperor Go-Kameyama (後亀山天皇 Go-Kameyama-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.[3]

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.. [3]

This illegitimate Northern Court (北朝 hokuchō ?) had been established in Kyoto by Ashikaga Takauji. [3]

Change of era

  • 1389, also called Kōō gannen (康応元年 ?): The new era name was created to mark an event or series of events. The previous era ended and the new one commenced in Kakei 3.

In this time frame, Genchū (1384-1393) was the Southern Court equivalent nengō.[4]

Events of the Kōō era

  • 1389 (Kōō 1): Dissension continues in Toki family in Mino.[5]
  • 1389 (Kōō 1): Yoshimitsu pacifies Kyūshū and distributes lands; Yoshimitsu opposed by Kamakura kanrei Ashikaga Ujimitsu.[5]
  • 1389 (Kōō 1, 7th month): The udaijin Saioinji Sanetoshi died at the age of 56.[6]
  • 1390 (Kōō 2): Kusunoki defeated; Yamana Ujikiyo chastises Tokinaga.[5]


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Kō-ō" in Japan encyclopedia, p. 560; n.b., Louis-Frédéric is pseudonym of Louis-Frédéric Nussbaum, see Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Authority File.
  2. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 317-318.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Titsingh, p. 317.
  5. ^ a b c Ackroyd, Joyce. 1982) Lessons from History: The "Tokushi Yoron", p. 329.
  6. ^ Titsingh, p. 318; Mass, Jeffrey P. (2002). The Origins of Japan's Medieval World: Courtiers, Clerics, Warriors, and Peasants in the Fourteenth Century, p. 410.


Kōō 1st 2nd
Gregorian 1389 1390
Preceded by
Era or nengō

1389 – 1390
Succeeded by


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