81th Emperor Antoku. Heike's long-awaited throne. But already too late

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Japan's Emperor Antoku Portrait

Emperors in Japan - Emperors who were struggling with domestic and international power fighting (Insei era) -

Emperor Antoku who was the long-awaited throne of Heike. However, the trend of the times has already been away from Heike. He is a sad ending because he could not get on the trend of the times.

Middle ages, Heian period - late stage -

  • The Imperial Palace
  • Heian-no-miya
    fukuhara-no-miya
    Yashima
  • Birth and death
  • November 12, 1178 - March 24, 1185
    21 years old
  • Reign
  • April 22, 1180 - March 24, 1185
    6 years
  • First Name
  • Kotohito
  • Mother
  • Tokuko Taira-no
    Knrei-mon-in
    Kiyomori Taira-no's daughter

Kiyomori Taira-no makes a substitution for the Emperor

Prince Kotohito, the first prince of Emperor Takakura, became the prince in about one month after birth, and crowned the Emperor in one year and two months.

At this time, since Pope Go-shirakawa was obstinate, he ranked the Emperor to the Emperor in a unilateral decision of Kiyomori.

Emperor Antoku is the first emperor that the samurai made a throne. By doing this, the samurai in full swing will hold the real power of politics.

Emperor Heike had long been awaiting

In the past, as Fujiwara clan became a father of the Emperor and grabbed power, Heike finally became a grandfather of the Emperor, so that you can now have power.

For Heike, it was the long-awaited emperor's throne.

Heike is a family of Kiyomori Taira-no, which is the most powerful samurai faction at that time.

It's already late, Heike is on a downhill slope

It was 1180 years that Emperor Antoku crowned, but at this time the times had already been away from Heike.

Two months after the crowning of the Emperor Antoku, in April, Mochihito-ou, the son of Pope Go-shirakawa, orders soldiers to take over the Heike.

Although it was immediately suppressed, the momentum of the anti-Heike samurai, mainly of Gen-ji in various parts of Japan, and the momentum of the anti-Heike of the temple faction will increase.

In June, Kiyomori will bring the capital to Fukuhara (present Hiroshima Prefecture) with Emperor Antoku and Takakura-in. At this time, Kiyomori will release the Pope Go-shirakawa who was obstinate and take him.

This capital to Fukuhara was to avoid conflicts with the anti-Heike forces in Kyoto. Actually, the temple shrine forces in Kyoto has not taken to Fukuhara.

However, the anti-Heike momentum will not stop. In August, Yoritomo Minamoto-no raises soldiers.

In October, Heike is defeated to Yoritomo in "Fight of Fujikawa" in Heike. Kiyomori felt the danger of being in Fukuhara. He thought that Kyoto was overflowing at the anti-Heike house, and they were deprived of the regime.
So Kiyomori transfers the capital from Fukuhara to Kyoto again.

After returning to Kyoto, Kiyomori was just before death, and it was in a state where he could not take political affairs. Takakura-in died in the New Year of 1181 the following year. Kiyomori died in February two months later.

Insei of Go-shirakawa begins again from here. At this time Emperor Antoku lost the guardian of Heike, and lost his guardianship of the royal family as Emperor Takakura-in died.

Emperor Antoku's escape begins

Two years later in 1183, Yoshinaka-Kiso broke the Heike army with Kurikara-touge and was closer to Kyoto. Munemori Taira-no who was a leader of Heike is thinking to escape from Kyoto with Emperor Antoku and Pope Go-shirakawa. If Heike is on a side with the Emperor it can be rewound at any time.

However, Pope Go-shirakawa had not already expected Heike. The Pope disliked acting with Heike, and escaped to Enryakuji temple.

Heike was forced to take only Emperor Antoku, leaving Kyoto with three kinds of sacred treasures. Emperor Antoku was six years old.

Three kinds of sacred treasure is also a proof of the emperor that the successive emperors inherited from generations.

After entering Dazaifu (current Fukuoka prefecture), Emperor Antoku moved the base to Yashima of Sanuki (present Kagawa prefecture), but in February of 1185, it escapes to the sea by meeting the raid of Yoshitsune Minamoto-no.
And finally the "battle of Danoura" started and the Heike was destroyed by losing to it.

The eight-year old Emperor Antoku embraces her grandmother's Nii-no-ama (Kiyomori's wife Tokiko) and jumps into the sea of ​​Seto-nai-kai and dies. Emperor Antoku is the emperor who died the youngest in the emperor of the past.

Is not Emperor Antoku dead?

The legend that Emperor Antoku is not dead in Dannoura exists in various places around Shikoku and Kyushu.

  • Emperor lived in Awa's Iya-yama (current Tokushima prefecture Miyoshi city), protected by the surviving Heike
  • Emperor fled to Satsuma country Iou-jima (now Mishima village in Kagoshima prefecture)
  • Emperor escaped to Tsushima, became the founder of the Sou clan (samurai after ruling Tsushima)

I do not know about the truth. By the way, there is a story that Dannoura replaced his brother 's Prince Morisada (Emperor Antoku and his mother are different brothers), but this is known to be fiction.

What happened to the three sacred treasures?

Three kinds of sacred treasures showing the justification of the emperor's throne are collected by Gen-ji. The mirror called Yata-no-kagami (Katashiro) was safe without sinking in the sea.

Katashiro is sometimes translated as a replica, but it is not a replica. Since it means that it has the same value as the real thing, it is as important as the real thing.

The tool used for the ritual called Yasakani-no-magatama (the real thing) and the sword called Kusanagi-no-tsurugi (Katashiro) were tied to the waist by Nii-no-ama and sank to the bottom of the ocean together with Emperor Antoku .

Magatama was raised, but the sword was lost. Since magatama is the real thing, if it was lost, the history of succession of three kinds of sacred treasures ceased.

Even now, the real sword is enshrined in Atsuta Shrine. Katashiro newly made from the real thing.

So now, there are two swords Katashiro in the Imperial Palace and the bottom of Seto-nai-kai. Perhaps the sword sunk at the bottom of Seto-nai-kai may be collected.

During this period there were two Emperor

When Emperor Antoku leaves Kyoto, Emperor Go-toba crowned by the order of Pope Go-shirakawa. For two years there were two Emperors.

To hasten the throne of Emperor Go-toba was because Pope Go-shirakawa wanted to claim his rightness by changing his private army which is a power to pursue Heike into a regular army.

Unfortunate things like Emperor Antoku never happen in modern times

Emperor Antoku was born for Heike, throne to the Emperor for Heike, and died with Heike.

Such unfortunate things can not happen with the current Emperor. The Japanese are reflecting on history.

Currently, the Emperor is a "symbol of national integration", so there is no emperor for a specific power. Emperor exists for all Japanese citizens.

Some people deny Emperor as the symbol after World War II, saying "Emperor as a symbol is pressed from GHQ!" However, the emperor as a symbol was created by the Japanese himself, and it is close to the image of the Japanese emperor.

GHQ does not impose appropriate emphasis on the emperor as a symbol. It is a historical fact to refer to the royal family of Britain.
And the Japanese side also deliberates on that and is convinced.

Above all, the Kinjo-Heika is acting about what the emperor as a symbol is through his own life. Looking at these, it is clear that the emperor for a specific power alone can not exist.

We inherit the tradition properly while learning from history.

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