Emperor Montoku

Emperor of Japan

Reign 850–858
Coronation 850
Predecessor Ninmyō
Successor Seiwa
Born 22 January 826
Heian Kyō (Kyōto)
Died 7 October 858 (age 32)
Heian Kyō (Kyōto)
Burial Tamura no misasagi (Kyoto)
Father Ninmyō
Mother Fujiwara no Junshi

Emperor Montoku (文徳天皇 Montoku-tennō) (22 January 826 – 7 October 858) was the 55th emperor of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession.[2]

Montoku's reign lasted from 850 to 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 no Fuyutsugu.[6]

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

Events of Montoku's life

Events during his reign included the repression of insurrections among the Ebisu people in Mutsu province in 855, and among the people of the island of Tsushima two years later.

The actual site of Montoku's grave is known.[1] This emperor is traditionally venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine (misasagi) at Kyoto.

The Imperial Household Agency designates this location as Montoku's mausoleum. It is formally named Tamura no misasagi.[17]


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.kugyō of Montoku-tennō (in French)

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 Montoku's reign), this apex of the Daijō-kan included:

Eras of Montoku's reign

The years of Montoku's reign are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō.[11]

Consorts and Children

Kōgo(Tai-Kotaigō): Fujiwara no Akirakeiko (藤原明子) (829–899), also known as Somedono-no-Kisaki, daughter of Fujiwara no Yoshifusa (藤原良房).[18]

Nyōgo: Fujiwara no Koshi/Furuko (藤原古子), daughter of Fujiwara no Fuyutsugu (藤原冬嗣)

Nyōgo: Fujiwara no Takakiko (藤原多賀幾子) (?–858), daughter of Fujiwara no Yoshimi (藤原良相)

Nyōgo: Fujiwara no Nenshi/Toshiko (藤原年子))

Nyōgo: Princess Azumako (東子女王) (?–865)

Nyōgo: Fujiwara no Koreko (藤原是子)

Nyōgo: Tachibana no Fusako (橘房子), daughter of Tachibana no Ujikimi (橘氏公)

Nyōgo: Tachibana no Chushi (橘忠子), daughter of Tachibana no Ujikimi (橘氏公)

Koui: Ki no Shizuko (紀静子) (?–866), daughter of Ki no Natora (紀名虎)

Court lady: Fujiwara no Retsushi (藤原列子), daughter of Fujiwara no Koreo (藤原是雄)

Court lady: Shigeno no Okuko (滋野奥子), daughter of Shigeno no Sadanushi (滋野貞主)

Court lady: Fujiwara no Konshi/Imako (藤原今子), daughter of Fujiwara no Sadamori (藤原貞守)

Court lady: Shigeno no Mineko (滋野岑子), daughter of Shigeno no Sadao (滋野貞雄)

Court lady: A daughter of Tomo clan (伴氏の娘)

Court lady: A daughter of Fuse clan (布勢氏の娘)

Court lady: A daughter of Tajihi clan (多治氏の娘)

Court lady: A daughter of Kiyohara clan (清原氏の娘)

Court lady: A daughter of Sugano clan (菅野氏の娘)

Court lady: A daughter of Sugawara clan (菅原氏の娘)

(from unknown women)

See also


Japanese Imperial kamon — a stylized chrysanthemum blossom
  1. 1 2 Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō): 文徳天皇 (55)
  2. Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, pp. 64–65.
  3. Brown, Delmer et al. (1979). Gukanshō, pp. 264–265; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, p. 165; Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 112., p. 112, at Google Books
  4. Brown, pp. 264; prior to Emperor Jomei, the personal names of the emperors were very long and people did not generally use them; however, the number of characters in each name diminished after Jomei's reign.
  5. Titsingh, p. 112; Brown p. 285.
  6. 1 2 Varley, p. 165.
  7. Ponsonby-Fane, p. 8.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Brown, p. 285.
  9. Titsingh, p. 112; Brown, p. 284; Varley, p. 44; a distinct act of senso is unrecognized prior to Emperor Tenji; and all sovereigns except Jitō, Yōzei, Go-Toba, and Fushimi have senso and sokui in the same year until the reign of Emperor Go-Murakami.
  10. Titsingh, p. 112; Varley, p. 44
  11. 1 2 Titsingh, p. 112.
  12. Brown, p. 286.
  13. 1 2 Titsingh, p. 113.
  14. Brown, p. 285; Titsingh, p. 113.
  15. 1 2 Titsingh, p. 114.
  16. Brown, p. 285-286; Varley, p. 165.
  17. Ponsonby-Fane, p. 420.
  18. Ponsonby-Fane, pp. 319–320.


Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Ninmyō
Emperor of Japan:

Succeeded by
Emperor Seiwa
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