Emperor Go-Mizunoo

Emperor Go-Mizunoo

Emperor Go-Mizunoo (後水尾天皇 "Go-Mizunoo-tennō") (June 29, 1596September 11, 1680) was the 108th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. He ruled from 1611 to 1629.Titsingh, Isaac (1834). "Annales des empereurs du japon," p. 410]

This 17th century sovereign was named after the 9th century Emperor Seiwa [Emperor Seiwa, after his death, was sometimes referred to as Mizunoo (水尾) because this is the location of his tomb.] and "go-" (後), translates literally as "later;" and thus, he could be called the "Later Emperor Mizunoo". The Japanese word "go" has also been translated to mean the "second one;" and in some older sources, this emperor may be identified as "Mizunoo, the second," or as "Mizunoo II."


Prior to his accession to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name (his "iminia") was Masahito. [see above] ]

He was the third son of Emperor Go-Yōzei. His mother was the daughter of Konoe Sakihisa. Three of his sons and one daughter went on to sit on the throne.

*Consort: Tokugawa Kazuko (daughter of Tokugawa Hidetada)
** Imperial Prince Takahito (1621–1628)
** Imperial Princess Kazu-no-miya Okiko (女一宮興子内親王): became Empress Meishō
*Consort: Sono (Fujiwara) Mitsuko, Daughter of the Sadaijin (the Minister of the Left)
** Imperial Prince Suga-no-miya Tsuguhito (素鵞宮紹仁親王): became Emperor Go-Kōmyō
*Lady-in-waiting: Kushige (Fujiwara) Takako, Daughter of Sa Konoe Chūjō(左近衛中将,Vice-Secretary of left Imperial Guard).
** Imperial Prince Hide-no-miya Nagahito (秀宮良仁親王): became Emperor Go-Sai
*Lady-in-waiting: Sono (Fujiwara) Kuniko, Daughter of the Nadaijin (later known as the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal)
** Imperial Prince Ate-no-miya Satohito (高貴宮識仁親王): became Emperor Reigen

Events of Go-Mizunoo's life

Go-Mizunoo became Emperor upon the abdication of his father, Emperor Go-Yōzei.
* "Keichō 15", the 27th day of the 3rd month (1610): Toyotomi Hideyori came to Miyako to visit the former-Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu; and the same day, the Go-Yōzei announced his intention to renounce the throne. [Titsingh, p. 409.]
* "Keichō 16" (1611): In the 26th year of Go-Yōzei"-tennō"'s reign (後陽成天皇26年), he abdicated, and the succession (the "senso") was received by his son, Prince Masahito (Masahito"-shinnō"). [Varley, H. Paul. (1980). "Jinnō Shōtōki," p. 130.] Shortly thereafter, Emperor Go-Mizunoo is said to have acceded to the throne (the "sokui"). [Titsingh, p. 410; 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 Go-Murakami.] ]
* "Keichō 19" (1614): Siege of Osaka. Shogun Tokugawa Hidetada vanquished Toyotomi Hideyori and set fire to Osaka Castle, and then he returned for the winter to Edo. [see above] ]
* "Keichō 19", on the 25th day of the 10th month (1614): A strong earthquake shook Miyako; and a great bell for the Daibutsu Temple in Miyako was cast. [see above] ]
* "Keichō 20" (1615): Osaka Summer Battle begins

* "Genna 1" (元和正徳; 1615): Tokugawa Ieyasu and his son, Shogun Hidetada, marched again to Osaka Castle, which was captured and burned; but Hideyori managed to flee to Satsuma where he had prepared a refuge in advance. [see above] ]
* "Genna 2", on the 17th day of the 4th month (1616): Ieyasu died at Suruga. [see above] ]
* "Genna 3", on the 26th day of the 8th month (1617): Former-Emperor Go-Yōzei died. He is buried at the nihongo|North Fukakusa Burial Mound|深草北陵|Fukakusa no Kita no Misasagi.
* "Genna 4", in the 8th month (1618): A comet appeared in the sky. [see above] ]
* "Genna 6" (1620): The emperor was married to Tokugawa Kazuko, the daughter of Shogun Hidetada; and also in that year, there were severe fires in Mikayo on the 30th day of the 2nd month and on the 4th day of the 3rd month. [see above] ]
* "Genna 9" (1623): Tokugawa Iemitsu, son of Hidetada, came to the court of the emperor where he was created Shogun. [see above] ]
* "Kan'ei 3", on the 6th day of the 9th month (1626): Go-Mizunoo visits Nijō Castle, which was built in 1586 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi
* "Kan'ei 6" (1627): The "Purple Clothes Incident" (紫衣事件, "shi-e jiken"): The Emperor was accused of having bestowed honorific purple garments to more than ten priests despite the shogun's edict which banned them for two years (probably in order to break the bond between the Emperor and religious circles). The shogunate intervened making the bestowing of the garments invalid.
* "Kan'ei 6", on the 8th day of the 11th month (1629): The emperor renounced the throne in favor of his daughter. [Titsingh, p. 411.]

Go-Mizunoo abdicated in favor of his daughter, who became the Empress Meishō.

For the rest of his long life, Go-Mizuno"-in" concentrated on various aesthetic projects and interests, of which perhaps the best-known are the magnificent Japanese gardens of the Shugaku-in Imperial Villa.

He died in 1680. In the grounds of the "Sōkoku-ji" in the Kamigyō Ward of Kyōto. Emperor Go-Mizunoo's teeth and hair are preserved at the temple.


"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 Go-Mizunoo's reign, this apex of the "Daijō-kan included:
* "Sadaijin"
* "Udaijin"
* "Nadaijin"
* "Dainagon"

Eras of Go-Mizunoo's reign

The years of Go-Mizunoo's reign are more specifically identified by more than one era name or "nengō". [see above] ]
* "Keichō" (1596-1615)
* "Genna" (1615-1624)
* "Kan'ei" (1624-1644)

ee also

* Sento Imperial Palace
* Shugaku-in Imperial Villa


* Screech, Timon. (2006). "Secret Memoirs of the Shoguns: Isaac Titsingh and Japan, 1779-1822." London: RoutledgeCurzon. ISBN 0-700-71720-X
* Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). [Siyun-sai Rin-siyo/Hayashi Gahō (1652)] , "Nipon o daï itsi ran; ou, Annales des empereurs du Japon, tr. par M. Isaac Titsingh avec l'aide de plusieurs interprètes attachés au comptoir hollandais de Nangasaki; ouvrage re., complété et cor. sur l'original japonais-chinois, accompagné de notes et précédé d'un Aperçu d'histoire mythologique du Japon, par M. J. Klaproth." Paris: Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. [http://books.google.com/books?id=18oNAAAAIAAJ&dq=nipon+o+dai+itsi+ran ...Click link for digitized, full-text copy of this book (in French)]
* Varley, H. Paul , ed. (1980). [ Kitabatake Chikafusa, 1359] , "Jinnō Shōtōki ("A Chronicle of Gods and Sovereigns: Jinnō Shōtōki of Kitabatake Chikafusa" translated by H. Paul Varley)." New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-04940-4

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