- Reign: 1073-1087AD
- Period: Heian Period
- Family: Fujiwara no Kenshi (wife)
- Burial Place: –
- Order of Succession: Predecessor Emperor Go-Sanjō * Successor Emperor Horikawa
Emperor Shirakawa (白河天皇) was the 72nd Emperor of Japan.
During his reign he is known to have to approached the Buddhist monk Raigō to ask him to pray for the safe birth of his son, promising to expand his temple of Mii-dera if he did so. However, the Emperor later reneged on his pledge due to political manoeuvring on the part of Raigō’s rivals. This tale is related in the Taiheiki. This did lead to a plague of rats infesting the temple libraries of Kyoto as Raigō went on a hunger strike and then died, reborn as the plague of rats known as Tesso.2
1. MacMillan, P. (2018) ”One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each: A Treasury of Classical Japanese Verse”. St. Ives: Penguin Classics.
2. Yoda, H. and Alt, M. (2016) “Japandemonium: Illustrated: The Yokai Encyclopaedia of Toriyama Sekien.”. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.
3. Louis Frederic, translated by Kathe Roth (2002) “Japan Encyclopedia”. London: Harvard University Press.
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