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History of Japan



Tenpyō-shōhō (天平勝宝 ?) was a Japanese era name (年号, nengō, ?, lit. "year name") after Tenpyō-kanpō and before Tenpyō-hōji. This period spanned the years from 749 through 757. The reigning emperor was Kōken-tennō (孝謙天皇 ?).[1]


Change of era

  • 749 Tenpyō-shōhō gannen (天平勝宝元年 ?): The new era name of Tenpyō-shōhō (meaning "Heavenly Peace and Victorious Treasure")[2] was created to mark the accession of Empress Kōken. Shortly after Tenpyō-kanpō was initially proclaimed, Shōmu renounced the throne, thus becoming the first emperor to take the tonsure as a Buddhist monk.[3] Shōmu's reign and the Tenpyō-kanpō era ended simultaneously as he began a new phase of his life. The previous era ended after a mere four months, and the new one commenced in Tenpyō-kanpō 1, on the 2nd day of the 7th month of 749.[4]

Events of the Tenpyō-shōhō era

  • 749 (Tenpyō-shōhō 1): Emperor Shōmu abdicates, and his daughter receives the succession (‘‘senso’’). Shortly thereafter, Empress Kōken formally accedes to the throne (‘‘sokui’’).[5]
  • 749 (Tenpyō-shōhō 1): In the 10th year of Kōken-tennō 's reign (称徳天皇10年), the empress abdicated; and succession (‘‘senso’’) was received by her adopted son. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Junnin is said to have acceded to the throne (‘‘sokui’’).[6]


  1. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du Japon, pp. 73-75; Varley, Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, pp. 143-144.
  2. ^ Bowman, John. (2000). Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture, p. 127.
  3. ^ Varley, p. 143.
  4. ^ Brown, p. 274.
  5. ^ Varley, p. 44. [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.]
  6. ^ Titsingh, p. 75; Brown, p. 275; Varley, p. 44, 144.


External links

Tenpyō-shōhō 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
Gregorian 749 750 751 752 753 754 755 756 757

Preceded by:

Era or nengō:

Succeeded by:



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