Emperor Nijō

Emperor Nijō.jpg
Emperor of Japan
Reign September 5, 1158 – August 3, 1165
Coronation January 11, 1159
Predecessor Go-Shirakawa
Successor Rokujō
Born July 31, 1143
Died September 5, 1165(1165-09-05) (aged 22)
Kōryū-ji no Misasagi (Kyoto)
Issue Emperor Rokujō
House Yamato
Father Emperor Go-Shirakawa
Mother Minamoto Atsushiko

Emperor Nijō (二条天皇 Nijō-tennō) (July 31, 1143 – September 5, 1165) was the 78th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1158 through 1165.[1]


Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name (his imina)[2] was Morihito-shinnō (守仁親王).[3]

He was the eldest son of Emperor Go-Shirakawa. He was the father of Emperor Rokujō.

  • Tai-Kōtaigō: Fujiwara Masuko (藤原多子) Later Grand Empress Dowager Omiya, Tokudaiji Kin'yoshi's daughter.[4]
  • Kasuga-dono (春日殿), Nakahara Moromoto’s daughter
    • First Daughter: Imperial Princess Yoshiko (僐子内親王; 1159-1171)
  • Umeryo-kimi (右馬助), Minamoto Mitsunari’s daughter
    • First Son: Imperial Prince Priest Son'e (尊恵法親王; 1164-1192)
  • Ōkura-daisuke (大蔵大輔)
    • Second Son: Imperial Prince Nobuhito (順仁親王) become Emperor Rokujo
  • Minamoto Tadafusa’s daughter
    • Third Son: Shine (真恵)

Events of Nijō's life

Nijō was proclaimed as heir to Emperor Go-Shirakawa.

  • Hōgen 1, 2nd day of the 7th month (1156): Cloistered Emperor Toba-in died at age 54.[5]
  • Hōgen 1, 10th–29th days of the 7th month (1156): The Hōgen Rebellion,[6] also known as the Hōgen Insurrection or the Hōgen War.
  • Hōgen 4, on the 11th day of the 8th month (1158): In the third year of Go-Shirakawa-tennō's reign (後白河天皇二十五年), the emperor abdicated; and the succession (‘‘senso’’) was received by his eldest son. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Nijō is said to have acceded to the throne (‘‘sokui’’).[7]

After Nijō was formally enthroned, the management of all affairs continued to rest entirely in the hands of the retired emperor, Go-Shirakawa.[8]

  • Heiji 1, 9th–26th day of the 12th month (1159): The Heiji Rebellion,[6] also known as the Heiji Insurrection or the Heiji War.
  • Chōkan 2, on the 26th day of the 8th month (1164):The former-Emperor Sutoku died at the age of 46.[9]
  • Eiman 1 (1165): The infant son of Emperor Nijō was named heir apparent and therefore Crown Prince, and would soon after become Emperor Rokujō.[6]
  • Eiman 1, on the 25th day of the 6th month (1165): In the seventh year of Nijō-tennō's reign (桓武天皇七年), the emperor fell so very ill that he abdicated; and the succession (‘‘senso’’) was received by his son. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Rokujō is said to have acceded to the throne (‘‘sokui’’).[10]
  • Eiman 1, 27th–28th day of the 7th month (1165): The former Emperor Nijō died at age 22.[11]


Kugyō (公卿) is a collective term for the very few most powerful men attached to the court of the Emperor of Japan in pre-Meiji eras.

In general, this elite group included only three to four men at a time. These were hereditary courtiers whose experience and background would have brought them to the pinnacle of a life's career. During Nijō's reign, this apex of the Daijō-kan included:

Eras of Nijō's reign

The years of Nijō's reign are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō.[13]



See also