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Kōbun ( Japanese 弘文 天皇 , Kōbun-tennō ; * 648 ; † August 24, 672 ) was the 39th Tennō of Japan . His birth name was Prince Ōtomo ( 大 友 皇子 , Ōtomo no miko ). He ruled Ōmi-kyō in 672 .

Kōbun was the son of Emperor Tenji . When Kobun was born, Tenji was very old. The Crown Prince was Prince Ōama ( 大海 人 皇子 , Ōama no miko ), who later became Emperor Temmu . This was a brother of Tenji who had the same mother ( Kōgyoku or Saimei ). The mother of Kōbun, however, did not come from any high aristocratic family that Kōbun could have given political support. However, because of his age, Emperor Tenji had no hope of another son. Therefore, despite his low background, he made Prince Otomo the next emperor.

Given his predicament, Ōama decided to revoke his rights and move to Yoshino with his entire family . After Tenji's death and Kōbun's accession to the throne, Ōama attacked Mino (now Gifu Prefecture ), coming from Yoshino via Ise , the neighboring country of Ōmis , where both Tenji and Kōbun resided.

In the battle, Ōama was victorious, and when this information reached the court, Kōbun and his family committed suicide.

Up until the Meiji period , the imperial court in Kōbun did not see a legitimate emperor. The imperial title Kōbun was awarded posthumously by Emperor Meiji in 1869 , and only then was the name Kōbun, which was also devised during the Meiji period, on the list of Japanese emperors.

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predecessor Office successor
Tenji Emperor of Japan