- Reign: 724-749AD
- Period: Nara Period
- Family: Emperor Monmu (father) Fujiwara no Miyako (mother) Fujiwara no Asukabehime (wife) Empress Kōken (daughter)
- Burial Place: –
- Order of Succession: Predecessor Empress Genshō * Successor Empress Kōken
His wife Asukabehime eventually bore him a son, however he died before reaching his first year. Due to this Shōmu decided to make Asukabehime’s daughter Kōken Princess-Regent, which was the first time this occurred. He abdicated in favor of his daughter, the Emperor being bestowed the title of Daijō Tennō. Upon his deathbed he named a Crown Prince for Kōken, but the promise to uphold this position was violated within the year due to the interference of Fujiwara no Nakamarō.1
1. Tsurumi, P. (1981) “Early Female Emperors” Historical Reflections Vol.8 No.1 pp.41-49.
2. MacMillan, P. (2018) ”One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each: A Treasury of Classical Japanese Verse”. St. Ives: Penguin Classics.
3. Kodansha. (1993) ”Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia”. Tokyo: Kodansha Ltd.
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