Emperor Junnin

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Emperor Junnin (淳仁天皇 Junnin-tennō?, 733 – November 10, 765) was the 47th emperor of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession.[2]

Junnin's reign spanned the years 758 to 764.[3]


Traditional narrative

Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name (imina)[4] was Ōi-shinnō (Ōi-no-ō).[5]

He was the seventh son of Prince Toneri, a son of Emperor Temmu.[6] His father died when he was at the age of three, and he was given no rank nor office of the court.

In the older Japanese documents, he was usually referred as Haitai (廃帝), the unthroned emperor. The posthumous name of Emperor Junnin was given by Emperor Meiji.

Events of Junnin's life

His fate was changed in 757 when Empress Kōken, his first cousin twice removed, appointed him to her crown prince instead of Prince Funado who had been appointed to this position by the will of the Emperor Shōmu.

  • September 7, 758 (Tenpyō-shōhō 2, 1st day of the 8th month): In the 10th year of Kōken-tennō 's reign (称徳天皇10年), the empress abdicated; and succession (senso) was received by her adopted son. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Jimmu is said to have acceded to the throne (sokui).[7]
  • 760 (Tenpyō-hōji 4): Additional coins were put into circulation—each copper coin bearing the words Mannen Ten-hō, each silver coin bearing the words Teihei Genhō, and each gold coin bearing the words Kaiki Shōhō.[8]

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