Emperor Kōkō

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Emperor Kōkō (光孝天皇 Kōkō-tennō?, 830 – August 26, 887) was the 58th emperor of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession.[2]

Kōkō reigned from 884 to 887.[3]


Traditional narrative

Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name (imina)[4] was Tokiyasu (時康親王?)[5] or Komatsu-tei.[6] He would later be identified sometimes as "the Emperor of Komatsu."[7]

Tokiyasu Shinnō was the third son of Emperor Nimmyō. His mother was Fujiwara no Sawako.[8]

Kōkō had four Imperial consorts and 41 Imperial sons and daughters.[7]

Events of Kōkō's life

The first kampaku Fujiwara no Mototsune was influential in the process by Kōkō became emperor. At the time Emperor Yōzei was deposed, Prince Tokiaytsu was already Governor of Hitachi and Chief Minister of Ceremonies (Jibu-kyō, 治部卿)[9]

According to Kitabatake Chikafusa's 14th century account, Mototsune resolved the problem of succession by simply going to visit Tokiyatsu-shinnō, where the kampaku addressed the prince as a sovereign and assigned imperial guards. The prince signaled his acceptance by going into the imperial palaquin, which then conducted him to the emperor's residence within the palace. Curiously, he was still wearing the robes of a prince when he decided to take this ride into an entirely unanticipated future.[10]

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