Emperor Go-Uda

Emperor Go-Uda

Emperor Go-Uda (後宇多天皇 "Go-Uda-tennō") (December 17, 1267 – July 16, 1324) was the 91st emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1274 through 1287. [Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). "Annales des empereurs du Japon," pp. 262-268; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). "Jinnō Shōtōki." pp. 233-237.]

This 13th century sovereign was named after the 9th century Emperor Uda and "go-" (後), translates literally as "later;" and thus, he is sometimes called the "Later Emperor Uda". The Japanese word "go" has also been translated to mean the "second one;" and in some older sources, this emperor may be identified as "Uda, the second," or as "Uda II."


Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name (his "imina") was Yohito"-shinnō" (世仁親王). [Titsingh, p. 262; Varley, p. 233.]

He was the second son of Emperor Kameyama. They were from the Daikakuji line.
*Consort: Horikawa (Minamoto) Motoko (堀河(源)基子)
**First son: Imperial Prince Kuniharu (邦治親王) (Emperor Go-Nijō)
*Consort: Itsutsuji (Fujiwara) ?? (五辻(藤原)忠子)
**Second daughter: Imperial Princess ?? (禖子内親王)
**Second son: Imperial Prince ?? (尊治親王) (Emperor Go-Daigo)
**Third son: Prince ?? (性円法親王) (Buddhist Priest)
**Fourth son: Prince ?? (承覚法親王) (Buddhist Priest)
*Consort: Princess ?? (揄子女王)
**First daughter: Imperial Princess ?? (愉子内親王)

Events of Go-Uda's life

Yohito"-shinnō" became crown prince in 1268. According to the terms of the late emperor's will (Go-Saga died in 1272), in 1274, he would became emperor upon the death or abdication of Emperor Kameyama.

* "Bun'ei 11", in the 1st month (1274): In the 15th year of Kameyama"-tennō"'s reign (亀山天皇15年), the emperor abdicated; and the succession (‘‘senso’’) was received by his cousin. [Titsingh, p. 261; 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.] ]
* "Bun'ei 11", in the 3rd month (1274): Emperor Go-Uda is said to have acceded to the throne (‘‘sokui’’). [Titsingh, p. 262; Varley, p. 44.]

The retired Emperor Kameyama continued to exercise power as cloistered emperor.

* "Bun'ei 11", in the 10th month (1275): Hirohito"-shinnō" was named Crown Prince and heir to his first cousin, the "Daikakuji-tō" Emperor Go-Uda. This was the result of political maeuvering by Hirohito's father, the Jimyōin-tō Emperor Go-Fukakusa. [Titsingh, p. 262, 270.]

In 1287, retired Emperor Go-Fukakusa, dissatisfied with the fact that his own lineage (the "Jimyōin-tō") did not control the throne, while that of his younger brother, the retired Emperor Kameyama (the "Daikakuji-tō") did, persuaded both the Bakufu and the imperial court to compel the Emperor to abdicate in favor of Go-Fukakusa's son (Emperor Fushimi).

After this time, the struggle between the Jimyōin-tō and the Daikakuji-tō over the imperial throne continued. After Go-Uda's abdication, his Daikakuji-tō controlled the throne from 1301 to 1308 (Emperor Go-Nijō) and again from 1318 until the era of northern and southern courts (begun 1332) when they became the southern court (ending in 1392).

Go-Uda was cloistered emperor during the reign of his own son, Go-Nijō, from 1301 until 1308, and again from 1318, when his 2nd son Go-Daigo took the throne until 1321, when Go-Daigo began direct rule.

* "Genkō 4", in the 6th month (1324): Go-Uda died at age 58. [Varley, p. 237.]


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

Eras of Go-Uda's reign

The years of Go-Uda's reign are more specifically identified by more than one era name or "nengō". [Titsingh, p. 262.]
* "Bun'ei" (1264-1275)
* "Kenji" (1275-1278)
* "Kōan" (1278-1288)


* Titsingh, Isaac, ed. (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

External links

* Kyoto National Museum [http://www.kyohaku.go.jp/eng/tenji/koremade/index_02.html -- "Treasures of Daikaku-ji," including portrait of Go-Uda and the former-emperor's will]

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