Emperor Junnin

Emperor Junnin

Emperor Junnin (淳仁天皇) was the 47th Emperor of Japan, nominated for the crown by Fujiwara no Nakamarō due to his blood ties to the Emperor, Nakamarō also forced the Crown Prince at the time to resign enabling Junnin to take the throne.

During his reign he was not very involved with politics, the previous abdicated Emperor Kōken instead remaining very much involved.

By 762AD it appears that Kōken had begun to tire of the rule of Junnin, and the power behind him of Nakamarō. In retaliation, she goes to court attacking the Emperors legitimacy to the throne, stating his is not in direct succession from the line of Prince Kusakabe. And so Kōken declares she will take back control.

However, Nakamarō steals the Privy Seal and makes an attempt to find a new candidate for Emperor. However, Kōken discovers the plot, has him exiled and the deposes Junnin.

She then returns to the throne, renaming herself Emperor Shōtoku.1


1. Tsurumi, P. (1981) “Early Female Emperors” Historical Reflections Vol.8 No.1 pp.41-49.

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Emperor Junnin