Emperor Mommu

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Emperor Mommu (文武天皇 Monmu-tennō?, 683-707)[1] was the 42nd emperor of Japan,[2] according to the traditional order of succession.[3]

Mommu's reign spanned the years from 697 through 707.[4]


Traditional narrative

Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name (imina)[5] was Karu-shinnō.[6]

He was a grandson of Emperor Temmu and Empress Jitō. He was the second son of Prince Kusakabe. Mommu's mother was Princess Abe, a daughter of Emperor Tenji. Mommu's mother would later accede to the throne herself, and she would be known as Empress Gemmei.[7]

Events of Mommu's life

Karu-shinnō was only six years old when his father, Crown Prince Kusakabe, died.

  • 697: In the 10th year of Jitō-tennō 's reign (持統天皇10年), the empress abdicated; and the succession (senso) was received by a grandson of Emperor Temmu. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Mommu is said to have acceded to the throne (sokui).[8]

Emperor Mommu ruled until his death in 707, at which point he was succeeded by his mother, Empress Gemmei, who was also his first cousin once removed and his first cousin twice removed. He left a young son by Fujiwara no Miyako, a daughter of Fujiwara no Fuhito: Obito no miko (Prince Obito), who eventually became Emperor Shōmu.

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