Emperor Shōkō

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Emperor Shōkō (称光天皇 Shōkō-tennō) (May 12, 1401 – August 30, 1428) was the 101st emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1412 through 1428.[1]



His personal name was Mihito (iniitally written as 躬仁, and later written as 実仁). He was the eldest son of Emperor Go-Komatsu. His mother was Hinonishi Motoko (日野西資子), daughter of Hino Sukekuni (日野資国). He had no children of his own, and was succeeded by his third cousin, Emperor Go-Hanazono, great-grandson of the Northern Pretender Emperor Sukō.

The name "Shōkō" (称光) was formed by taking one kanji from the names of the 48th and 49th imperial rulers Empress Shōtoku (称徳) and Emperor Kōnin (光仁).

Events of Shōkō's life

He reigned from October 5, 1412 until his death on August 30, 1428.

Shōkō became emperor upon the abdication of his father, Go-Komatsu-tennō in Ōei 18, in the 10th month (October 5, 1412). His actual coronation date was two years later.[2]

The "retired" Go-Komatsu ruled as a Cloistered Emperor during Shōkō's reign.

Shōkō was connected to Ashikaga Yoshimitsu and the Hino clan through his mother's side.

Shōkō-tennō was only 12 years old when he assumed the role of formal head of the Daïri; but "Go-Komatsu-in" had direction of the court [and] the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimochi was charged with the general superintendence of affairs."[2]

  • October 5, 1412 (Ōei 18, on the 18th day of the 9th month): Emperor Shōkō was made the new sovereign upon the abdication of his father, Emperor Go-Komatsu; and the succession (‘‘senso’’) was received.[3]

Shōkō was only 12 years old when he began living in the daïri; but Go-Komatsu, as a Cloistered Emperor still retained direction of the court and the Shogun was charged with the general superintendence of affairs.[4]

  • 1413 (Ōei 20): Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimochi fell ill, and so he sent an ambassador to the Ise Shrine to pray for the return of his health.[5]
  • January 29, 1415 (Ōei 21, on the 19th day of the 12th month): Enthronement of Emperor Shōkō was two years after thesenso was received. At this point, Emperor Shōkō is said to have acceded to the throne (‘‘sokui’’).[3]
  • 1418 (Ōei 25): Rebuilding of Asama Shrine at the base of Mount Fuji in Suruga province is ordered by Ashikaga Yoshimochi.[6]
  • July 18, 1419 (Ōei 26, on the 26th day of the 6th month): Oei Invasion. Korea invaded Tsushima Province.
  • 1423 (Ōei 30, 2nd month): Shogun Yoshimochi retires in favor of his son, Ashikaga Yoshikatsu, who is 17 years old.[7]
  • March 17, 1425 (Ōei 32, on the 27th day of the 2nd month): Shogun Yoshikatsu died at the age of 19 years, having administered the empire for only three years.[8]

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