Emperor Kōmyō

Emperor Kōmyō

Emperor Kōmyō
2nd Northern Pretender
Emperor Kōmyō
Reign 1336–1348
Predecessor Emperor Kōgon
Successor Emperor Sukō
Born January 11, 1322
Died July 26, 1380 (aged 58)

Emperor Kōmyō (光明天皇 Kōmyō Tennō) (January 11, 1322 – July 26, 1380) was the 2nd of the Ashikaga Pretenders, although he was actually the first to be supported by the Ashikaga Bakufu. According to pre-Meiji scholars, his reign spanned the years from 1336 through 1348.[1]


  • Genealogy 1
  • Events of Kōmyō's life 2
  • Eras of Kōmyō's reign 3
  • Southern Court Rivals 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6
  • See also 7


His personal name was Yutahito (豊仁). Second son of Emperor Go-Fushimi. His mother was Neishi (寧子), the daughter of Saionji Kinhira (西園寺公衡)

Events of Kōmyō's life

In his own lifetime, Kōmyō and those around him believed that he occupied the Chrysanthemum Throne from September 20, 1336 to November 18, 1348.

When Ashikaga Takauji, rebelling against Emperor Go-Daigo's Kemmu Restoration, entered Kyōto in 1336, Go-Daigo fled to Enryakuji on Mount Hiei. Despite lacking the sacred treasures, Prince Yutahito was enthroned as emperor, beginning the Northern Court. On the 12th day, 21st day, Go-Daigo escaped to Yoshino, founding the Southern Court.

On November 18, 1348, he abdicated in favor of the eldest son of his older brother, the former claimant to the throne Emperor Kōgon, who became the Northern Pretender Emperor Sukō.

In 1352, taking advantage of the Kan'ō Disturbance, a family feud in the Ashikaga clan, the Southern Emperor Emperor Go-Murakami entered Kyoto, capturing it and carrying away Kōmyō along with Emperor Kōgon and Emperor Sukō and the Crown Prince.

In the Shōhei Reunification, Kōmyō and his companions were placed under house arrest in Yamato Province, in what is today the village of Nishiyoshino, Yoshino District, Nara. In 1355, returning to Kyōto, he entered a monastery.

  • July 26, 1380 (Kōryaku 2, 24th day of the 6th month): The former emperor died at age 60.[2]

Eras of Kōmyō's reign

The years of Kōmyō's reign are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō.[3]

Nanboku-chō Northern court
Nanboku-chō Southern court

Southern Court Rivals


Japanese Imperial kamon — a stylized chrysanthemum blossom
  1. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 294–295.
  2. ^ Titsingh, p. 315.
  3. ^ Titsingh, p. 294.


See also

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Kōgon
Northern Pretender
Succeeded by
Emperor Sukō