Emperor Momozono

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Emperor of Japan
Emperor Momozono.jpg
Reign 1747–1762
Predecessor Sakuramachi (father)
Successor Go-Sakuramachi (sister)
Born (1741-04-14)14 April 1741
Died 31 August 1762(1762-08-31) (aged 21)
Burial Tsukinowa no misasagi (Kyoto)
Spouse Ichijō Tomiko
Father Sakuramachi
Mother Anegakōji Sadako

Emperor Momozono (桃園天皇 Momozono-tennō?, 14 April 1741 – 31 August 1762) was the 116th emperor of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession.[2]

Momozono's reign spanned the years from 1747 until his death in 1762.[3]


Before Momozono's ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name (imina) was Toohito (遐仁?);[4] and his pre-accession title was initially Yaho-no-miya (八穂宮) and later Sachi-no-miya (茶地宮).

Momozono was the firstborn son of Emperor Sakuramachi. His mother was Lady-in-waiting Sadako (定子) (Empress Dowager Kaimei, 開明門院)

Momozono's Imperial family lived with him in the Dairi of the Heian Palace. This family included at least 2 sons:

  • Court lady Ichijō Tomiko (一条富子):

Events of Momozono's life

During his reign, in 1758, the Hōreki Scandal occurred when a large number of the young court nobility were punished by the Bakufu for advocating the restoration of direct Imperial rule.

  • 25 April 1747: Prince Toohito was invested as Crown Prince.[5]
  • 9 June 1747: Prince Toohito became emperor.[6]
  • 1748 (Kan'en 1): The first performance of the eleven-act puppet play Kanadehon Chushingura (A copybook of the treasury of loyal retainers), depicting the classic story of samurai revenge, the 1702 vendetta of the 47 rōnin.[7]
  • 7 October 1749 (Kan'en 2, 26th day of the 8th month): A terrific storm of wind and rain strikes Kyoto; and the keep of Nijō Castle is burnt after it was struck by lightning.[9]
  • 1758 (Hōreki 8): The Hōreki incident involved a small number of kuge who favored a restoration of Imperial power; and this was construed as a threat by the shogunate.[10]
  • 1762 (Hōreki 12): The emperor abdicated in favor of his sister.[11]
  • 31 August 1762: The emperor died at the age of 21.[6]

Momozono's kami is enshrined in an Imperial mausoleum (misasagi), Tsukinowa no misasagi, at Sennyū-ji in Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto. Also enshrined here are Momozono's immediate Imperial predecessors since Emperor Go-MizunooMeishō, Go-Kōmyō, Go-Sai, Reigen, Higashiyama, Nakamikado and Sakuramachi, along with five of his immediate Imperial successors – Go-Sakuramachi, Go-Momozono, Kōkaku, Ninkō, and Kōmei.[12]


Kugyō (公卿?) is a collective term for the very few most powerful men attached to the court of the Emperor of Japan in pre-Meiji eras. Even during those years in which the court's actual influence outside the palace walls was minimal, the hierarchic organization persisted.

In general, this elite group included only three to four men at a time. These were hereditary courtiers whose experience and background would have brought them to the pinnacle of a life's career. During Momozono's reign, this apex of the Daijō-kan included:

Eras of Momozono's reign

The years of Momozono's reign are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō.[13]

See also


Japanese Imperial kamon — a stylized chrysanthemum blossom
  1. Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō): 桃園天皇 (115)
  2. Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, pp. 119–120.
  3. Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 418–419.
  4. Ponsonby-Fane, p. 10; Titsingh, p. 418.
  5. Meyer, Eva-Maria. (1999). Japans Kaiserhof in der Edo-Zeit, p. 48.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Meyer, p. 48.
  7. Hall, John. (1988). The Cambridge History of Japan, p. xxiii.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Titsingh, p. 418.
  9. Ponsonby-Fane, R. (1959). Kyoto: the Old Capital of Japan, 794–1869, p. 321; Titsingh, p. 418.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Ponsonby-Fane, Imperial House, p. 119.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Titsingh, p. 419.
  12. Ponsonby-Fane, Imperial House, p. 423.
  13. Titsingh, p. 418.


Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Sakuramachi
Emperor of Japan:

Succeeded by
Empress Go-Sakuramachi