Emperor Montoku

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Emperor Montoku (文徳天皇 Montoku-tennō?, January 22, 827 – August 27, 858) was the 55th emperor of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession.[2]

The years of Montoku's spanned the years from 850 through 858.[3]


Traditional narrative

Before Montoku's ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name (imina)[4] was Michiyasu (道康?).[5] He was also known as Tamura-no-mikado[6] or Tamura-tei.[7]

He was the eldest son of Emperor Ninmyō. His mother was Empress Dowager Fujiwara no Junshi (also called the Gojō empress 五条后), daughter of the minister of the left, Fujiwara Fuyutsugu.[6]

Montoku had six Imperial consorts and 29 Imperial sons.[8]

Events of Montoku's life

  • May 6, 850 (Kashō 3, 21st day of the 3rd month): In the 17th year of Ninmyō-tennō 's reign (仁明天皇17年), the emperor died; and his eldest son received the succession (senso).[9]
  • 850 (Kashō 3, 4th month): Emperor Montoku formally acceded to the throne (sokui).[10]
  • 850 (Kashō 3, 5th month): The widow of Emperor Saga, who was also the mother of Emperor Ninmyō and the grandmother of Emperor Montoku, died. This very devout Buddhist had founded a temple called Danrin-ji (檀林寺?) on the site of present-day Tenryū-ji (天龍寺?) -- more formally known as Tenryū Shiseizen-ji (天龍資聖禅寺?), located in what is now Susukinobaba-chō, Ukyō Ward in Kyoto, Before her death, the former empress had been known by the honorific title, Danrin-kōgō (檀林皇后?); and she had been honored as if she were a saint.[11]
  • 850 (Kashō 3, 11th month): The emperor named Korehito-shinnō, the 4th son of Emperor Montoku as his heir.[12] This 9-month-old baby was also the grandson of udaijin Fujiwara no Yoshifusa.[13]

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