Emperor Go-En'yū

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Emperor Go-En'yū (後円融天皇 Go-En'yū-tennō?) (January 11, 1359 – June 6, 1393) was the 5th of the Ashikaga Pretenders during the period of two courts. According to pre-Meiji scholars, his reign spanned the years from 1371 through 1382.[1]

This Nanboku-chō "sovereign" was named after the 10th century Emperor En'yū and go- (後), translates literally as "later;" and thus, he may be called the "Later Emperor En'yū". The Japanese word "go" has also been translated to mean the "second one;" and in some older sources, this would-be emperor may be identified as "En'yū, the second," or as "En'yū II."



His personal name was Ohito (緒仁).

He was the second son of the fourth Northern Pretender Emperor Go-Kōgon. His mother was Fujiwara no Nakako (藤原仲子), daughter of Hirohashi Kanetsuna (広橋兼綱).

  • Consort: Itsuko (厳子), daughter of Sanjō Kintada (三条公忠)
    • First son: Imperial Prince Motohito (幹仁親王) (Emperor Go-Komatsu)
    • First daughter: Imperial Princess Keiko (珪子内親王)
  • Lady-in-waiting Fujiwara no Imako (藤原今子)
    • Second son: Imperial Prince Dōchō (道朝法親王)

Events of Go-En'yū's life

In his own lifetime, Go-En'yū and those around him believed that he occupied the Chrysanthemum Throne from April 9, 1371 to May 24, 1382.

In 1371, by Imperial Proclamation, he received the rank of shinnō (親王), or Imperial Prince (and potential heir). Immediately afterwards, he became emperor upon the abdication of his father, Emperor Go-Kōgon. There was said to be a disagreement between Go-Kōgon and the retired Northern Emperor Emperor Sukō over the Crown Prince. With the support of Hosokawa Yoriyuki, who controlled the Bakufu, Go-Kōgon's son became the Northern Emperor.

Until 1374, Go-Kōgon ruled as cloistered emperor. In 1368, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu was named Shōgun, and with his guardianship, the Imperial Court was stabilized. In 1382, upon abdicating to Emperor Go-Komatsu, his cloistered rule began. Having no actual power, he rebelled, attempting suicide and accusing Ashikaga Yoshimitsu and his consort Itsuko of adultery.

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