- Reign: 668-671AD
- Period: Asuka Period
- Family: Emperor Kōgyoku (mother) Emperor Kōtoku (uncle) Emperor Kōbun (son) Emperor Tenmu (brother)
- Burial Place: –
- Order of Succession: Predecessor Emperor Saimei * Successor Emperor Kōbun
Emperor Tenji (天智天皇) was the thirty-eighth Emperor of Japan and ruled from 668-71AD. His son would become the later Emperor Kōbun and his brother was Emperor Tenmu. He and his brother are noted as two of the most powerful sovereigns in the line of succession.1 He was the son of Empress Kōgyoku.2
Prior to Reign
Prior to being crowned Emperor, he was known as ”’Prince Naka no Ōe ”'(中大兄皇子). During this time as Prince he was recruited by Nakatomi no Kamatari to aid in the downfall of the soga. Together they killed Soga no Iruka in front of his mother the Empress leading finally to the destruction of Soga House. He declined the throne after Empress Kōgyoku abdicated, convinced to turn it down by Kamatari.
1. Martin, P. (1997) ”The Chrysanthemum Throne”. Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing Limited.
2. Tsurumi, P. (1981) “Early Female Emperors” Historical Reflections Vol.8 No.1 pp.41-49.
3. Kodansha. (1993) ”Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia”. Tokyo: Kodansha Ltd.
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