- Reign: 707-715AD
- Born: 661AD
- Died: 721AD
- Period: Asuka Period
- Family: Emperor Monmu (son) Prince Kusakabe (husband) Empress Jitō (half-sister) Emperor Tenji (father) Empress Genshō (daughter)
- Burial Place: –
- Order of Succession: Predecessor Emperor Monmu * Successor Empress Genshō
Table of Contents
After the death of her son Monmu, she declares herself Emperor stating it was the will of Empress Jitō and Monmu, and in accord with the ‘immutable law’ of her father. All of this was an attempt to secure the throne for her grandson (Prince Obito), and she garnered support from the Fujiwara Clan, in particular Fujiwara no Fubito, likely due to the fact her grandson’s mother and also his wife were Fubito’s daughters.
She was a fearless ruler throughout her reign, but eventually abdicated in 715, remaining afterwards as an important figure in highest councils of state.1
However she did not allow Prince Obito to succeed, seeing her daughter Genshō as a better choice.1
In the last year of her life she fell ill and so the state ordered that ‘a hundred consecrated men and women shoud be dedicated to reigion as votaries to secure her recovery. However she died within the year.2
1. Tsurumi, P. (1981) “Early Female Emperors” Historical Reflections Vol.8 No.1 pp.41-49.
2. Miller, R. A.. (1981) “The Lost Poetic Sequence of the Priest Manzei”. Monumenta Nipponica. Vol.36 No.2 pp.133-172
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