Emperor Kōkō

Emperor Kōkō

Emperor Kōkō

Emperor Kōkō (光孝天皇) was the 58th Emperor of Japan living from 830-871AD and reigning from 884-887AD.1


Kōkō was the third son of Emperor Ninmyō1 and grandfather of the poet Minamoto no Muneyuki.1


He was the protégé of Fujiwara no Mototsune and was placed on the throne (aged 541) after Mototsune had Emperor Yōzei deposed. Mototsune would then see Kōkō deposed for Emperor Uda.2

Contemporary sources give him the name Emperor of the Ninna Era.1


In total for him we can find 14 poems in Imperial Anthologies, in addition to a personal collection called the Ninna Gyoshū.

One of his poems (No.15) can be found in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu and goes as follows:1

Japanese text3
Romanized Japanese1
English translation1
Kimi ga tame
haru no no ni idete
wakana tsumu
waga koromode ni
yuki wa furitsutsu
For you,
I came out to the fields
to pick the first spring greens.
All the while, on my sleeves
a light snow falling.


1. MacMillan, P. (2018) ”One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each: A Treasury of Classical Japanese Verse”. St. Ives: Penguin Classics.
2. Louis Frederic, translated by Kathe Roth (2002) “Japan Encyclopedia”. London: Harvard University Press.
3. Suzuki, H. et al. (1997) ”Genshoku: Ogura Hyakunin Isshu”. Tokyo: Bun’eidō.

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