Emperor Murakami

Emperor of Japan

Reign 946–967
Coronation 31 May 946
Predecessor Suzaku
Successor Reizei
Born (926-07-14)14 July 926
Heian Kyō (Kyōto)
Died 5 July 967(967-07-05) (aged 40)
Seiryōden of the Heian Kyō (Kyōto)
Burial Murakami no misasagi (Kyōto)
Spouse Fujiwara no Anshi
Father Daigo
Mother Fujiwara no Onshi

Emperor Murakami (村上天皇 Murakami-tennō, 14 July 926 – 5 July 967) was the 62nd emperor of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession.[2]

Murakami's reign spanned the years from 946 to his death in 967.[3]

Traditional narrative

Before he ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name (imina) was Nariakira-shinnō (成明親王).[4]

Nariakira-shinnō was the 14th son of Emperor Daigo, and the younger brother of Emperor Suzaku by another mother.[5]

Murakami had ten Empresses and Imperial consorts and 19 Imperial sons and daughters.[6] He had a very nice biwa called Kenjō.

Events of Murakami's reign

In 944, he was appointed crown prince and ascended the throne two years later.

Murakami's maternal uncle Fujiwara no Tadahira remained as the Sessho regent until 949. After the death of Tadahira, there was no regent and although contemporaries praised Murakami as the emperor who governed the state directly, in reality the Fujiwara clan seized power and ruled Japan. The brothers Fujiwara no Saneyori and Fujiwara no Morosuke became the de facto rulers of Japan.

Murakami was a central figure in Heian period culture. He was also a skilled flute and koto (Japanese harp) player.

The actual site of Murakami'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 Murakami's mausoleum. It is formally named Murakami no misasagi[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.[13]

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

Eras of Murakami's reign

The years of murakami's reign are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō.[15]

Consorts and Children

Empress: Fujiwara no Anshi/Yasuko (藤原安子) (927–964), daughter of Fujiwara no Morosuke (藤原師輔)

Nyōgo: Fujiwara no Jutsushi/Nobuko (藤原述子) (933–947), daughter of Fujiwara no Saneyori (藤原実頼)

Nyōgo: Princess Kishi (徽子女王) (929–985), daughter of Imperial Prince Shigeakira (重明親王)

Nyōgo: Princess Sōshi/Takako (荘子女王) (930–1008), daughter of Imperial Prince Yoakira (代明親王)

Nyōgo: Fujiwara no Hōshi (藤原芳子) (?–967), daughter of Fujiwara no Morotada (藤原師尹)

Koui: Minamoto no Kazuko (源計子) (?–?), daughter of Minamoto no Moroakira (源庶明)

Koui: Fujiwara no Masahime (藤原正妃) (?–967), daughter of Fujiwara no Arihira (藤原在衡)

Koui: Fujiwara no Sukehime (藤原祐姫) (?–?), daughter of Fujiwara no Motokata (藤原元方)

Koui: Fujiwara no Shūshi (藤原脩子) (?–?), daughter of Fujiwara no Asahira (藤原朝成)

Koui: Fujiwara no Yūjo (藤原有序) (?–?), daughter of Fujiwara no Arisuke (藤原有相)


Japanese Imperial kamon — a stylized chrysanthemum blossom
  1. 1 2 Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō): 村上天皇 (62)
  2. Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, pp. 70–71.
  3. Brown, Delmer et al. (1979). Gukanshō, pp. 295–298; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, pp. 183–190; Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 139–142., p. 139, at Google Books
  4. Titsingh, p. 139; Varley, p. 183; Brown, p. 264; prior to Emperor Jomei, the personal names of the emperors (their imina) were very long and people did not generally use them. The number of characters in each name diminished after Jomei's reign.
  5. Varley, p. 183.
  6. Brown, p. 28.
  7. Brown, p. 295; Varley, p. 44; a distinct act of senso is unrecognized prior to Emperor Tenji; and all sovereigns except Jitō, Yōzei, Toba II, and Fushimi have senso and sokui in the same year until the reign of Emperor Go-Murakami.
  8. Titsingh, p. 139; Varley, p. 44.
  9. 1 2 3 4 Brown, p. 296.
  10. Brown, pp. 296–297.
  11. 1 2 Brown, p. 297.
  12. Ponsonby-Fane, p. 420.
  13. kugyō of Murakami-tennō
  14. Brown, pp. 296–298.
  15. Titsingh, p. 139.


See also

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Suzaku
Emperor of Japan:

Succeeded by
Emperor Reizei
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