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Kōgyoku ( Japanese 皇 極 天皇 , Kōgyoku-tennō , * August 7, 594 , † August 24, 661 ) was the 35th and 37th Tennō of Japan . Her birth name was Takara no himemiko ( Princess Takara ).


She ascended the throne twice and ruled from 642 to 645, and from 655 to 661. On her second reign, the Japanese court gave her the title Saimei- tennō ( 斉 明天 皇 ). She was a daughter of Chinu no Okimi , so she was a granddaughter of Oshisaka hiko no oe no miko , the grandson of Emperor Bidatsus was, and thus descended from Emperor Emperor Bidatsu. She married twice. Emperor Jomei was her second husband, whose father was also Oshisaka hiko no oe no miko - her grandfather - and gave birth to three children:

  • Prince Nakano-oe (Emperor Tenji ),
  • Prince Ōama (Emperor Temmu ), and
  • Princess Hashihito, later wife of Emperor Kōtoku

1. Regency

She ascended the throne of her first term after the death of her husband. The intrigues at court were varied and numerous, and their coronation was a compromise solution between the rival crown prince candidates. But in 645 there was a coup d'etat ( Isshi incident ), brought about by their son Prince Naka no Ōe and Nakatomi no Kamatari : the politician Soga no Iruka was murdered in front of their eyes in the courtyard. This now took over the rule and initiated the Taika reform , which later led to the establishment of the Ritsuryō administrative system.

2. Regency

After the death of Emperor Kōtoku in 654, she took the name Saimei and came back to power 10 years later. It ruled again from 655 to 661. The water and castle construction carried out by it during this time made it very unpopular with the people.

Towards the end of her term in office, Japan became embroiled in the "turmoil" in Korea. Baekje and Goguryeo had allied themselves against Silla in 641 , which then sought help from Tang-China , which sent 658/659 troops (and which had long argued with Japan over the Mimana area). This did not succeed in conquering Goguryeo. However, China and Silla were able to occupy 660 Baekje. There a rebellion broke out in 661, which was supported in 662 by a Japanese army of at least 27,500 men, under the command of Abe no Hirafu ( 阿 部 比羅夫 ). In the following year 663, however, China and Silla were able to occupy Baekje again and destroy the Japanese base in the Battle of Hakusukinoe (also: Battle of Baekgang; today: Geumgang ). This also ended the Japanese influence in Korea in general.

The Empress was killed in Kyushu on a trip to Korea where fighting broke out.

During both reigns she took up her residence at Itabuki-no-miya in Asuka-kyō . After this palace burned down in the winter of 655, she first moved to the Kawara-no-miya ( 川 原 宮 ), also known as Kahara no Itabuki-no-Miya , and in 656 to the Nochi no Okamoto-no-miya . In order to be able to provide help to the Korean ally more quickly, she moved to the Asakura no tachibana no hironiwa no miya in Asakura on Kyushu in 661 .

Web links


predecessor Office successor
Jomei Tennō ( List of Japanese Emperors )
Kōtoku Tennō