Emperor Kazan

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Emperor Kazan (花山天皇 Kazan-tennō?, October 26, 968 – February 8, 1008) was the 65th emperor of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession.[2]

Kazan's reign spanned the years from 984 through 986.[3]


Traditional narrative

Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name (imina) was Morosada-shinnō (師貞親王).[4]

Morasada was the eldest son of Emperor Reizei. The prince's mother was Fujiwara no Kaneko/Kaishi (藤原懐子), who was a daughter of sesshō Fujiwara no Koretada. Morasada was also was the brother of Emperor Sanjō.[5]

Events of Kazan's life

Prince Morasada was seventeen years of age at the time of the succession.[6]

  • October 6, 984 (Eikan 1, 27th day of the 8th month): In the 15th year of Emperor En'yu's reign (円融天皇15年), he abdicated; and the succession (senso) was received by a nephew. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Kazan is said to have acceded to the throne (sokui).[7]

He commissioned the Shūi Wakashū.

  • 985 (Kanna 1, 4th month): Fujiwara no Tokiakira and his brother, Yasusuke, contended with Fujiwara no Sukitaka and Ōe-no Masahira in a swordfight in Kyoto. Masahira lost the fingers of his left hand. The two brothers fled; and after careful searching, Tokiakira was eventually located in Ōmi Province.[5]

He faced a tough political struggle from the Fujiwara family; and at the age of nineteen, he was manipulated into abandoning the throne by Fujiwara no Kaneie.

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