Emperor Go Mizunoo

Go-Mizunoo Tennō (後水尾天皇) (June 29, 1596 - September 11, 1680) was the 108th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.

He reigned from 1611 to 1629.

This 17th-century ruler received his name from the 9th-century emperor Seiwa and go- (後), which translates as "later" or "second" and thus could be called the "Second Emperor Mizunoo."

The Japanese word go has also been translated to mean the "second," and in some older sources, this emperor may be identified as "Mizunoo II."

Emperor Go Mizunoo Genealogy

Before Go-Mizunoo's ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name (his imina) was Kotohito (政 仁) or Masahito.

He was the third son of Emperor Go-Yōzei. His mother was Konoe Sakiko (1575-1630) the daughter of Konoe Sakihisa. He resided with his family in the Dairi of the Heian Palace.

The family included at least 33 children; and three of her sons and a daughter would go on to sit on the Chrysanthemum throne:

  • Consort: Tokugawa Kazuko (daughter of Tokugawa Hidetada)
  • Imperial Prince Takahito (1621-1628)
  • Imperial Princess Kazu-no-miya Okiko (女一宮興子内親王)-became Empress Meishō.
  • Consort: Daughter of the Minister of the left.
  • Imperial Prince Suga-no-miya Tsuguhito (素鵞宮紹仁親王)- became Emperor Go-Kōmyō.
  • Consort: unknown
  • Imperial Prince Hide-no-miya Nagahito (秀宮良仁親王)-became Emperor Go-Sai.
  • Kuniko, daughter of the Protector of the Royal Seal.
  • Imperial Prince Ate-no-miya Satohito (高貴宮識仁親王)- became Emperor Reigen

Events of Emperor Go Mizunoo's Life

In the third month, the 27th day, of Keichō 16 (1611), after the abdication of his father, Emperor Go-Yōzei. In the fourth month, the 12th day, he performed a ceremony of gratitude for his enthronement.

When it was discovered that his favorite court lady, while he was a prince, was an imperial princess. Tokugawa Hidetada, threatened to cancel the engagement of his daughter Tokugawa Kazuko.

However, apologizing for her actions, Tokugawa Kazuko was welcomed at the Imperial Court. In 1627, the incident of the purple robes occurred: Tokugawa Iemitsu's wet nurse, being without rank or title, visited the Imperial Court.

The Emperor, who was unable to retain influence against the shogunate, abdicated in favor of his daughter, who became Empress Meishō.

  • June 29, 1596: Go-Mizunoo was born.
  • May 20, 1610 (Keichō 15, 27th day of the third month): Toyotomi Hideyori came to Miyako to visit the former Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu; and on the same day, Go-Yōzei announced his intention to renounce the throne.
  • May 9, 1611 (Keichō 16): In the 26th year of his reign Go-Yōzei abdicates (後 陽 成 天皇 二十 六年); and the reign of Emperor Go-Mizunoo is considered to have begun. The young emperor was 16 years old.
  • 1614 (Keichō 19): Siege of Osaka. The Shōgun Tokugawa Hidetada defeated Toyotomi Hideyori and set fire to Osaka Castle, then returned for the winter to Edo City.
  • Siege of Osaka in 1614 with the samurai Sanada Yukimura
  • -November 26, 1614 (Keichō 19, 25th day of the tenth month): There was a strong earthquake. In the same year, a large bell was cast for Daibutsu Temple in Kyoto.
  • 1615 (Keichō 20): The summer battle of Osaka begins.
  • 1615 (Genna 1): Tokugawa Ieyasu and his son, the Shōgun Hidetada, marched back to Osaka Castle, which was captured and burned. Hideyori committed suicide. However, his body was never found; it was rumored that he fled to Satsuma, where he had prepared a refuge in advance.
  • January 6, 1616 (Genna 2, 17th day of the fourth month): Ieyasu died in Suruga.
  • September 25, 1617 (Genna 3, day 26 of the eighth month): exemperor Go-Yōzei died. He is buried in the northern Fukakusa burial mound (深 草 北陵, Fukakusa no Kita no Misasagi).
  • 1620 (Genna 6): Tokugawa Masako, the daughter of Shōgun Hidetada, entered the palace as the emperor's consort; and the marriage was celebrated with great pomp.
  • April 2, 1620 (Genna 6, thirtieth day of the second month): severe fire in Kyoto.
  • April 6, 1620 (Genna 6, fourth day of the third month): severe fires in Kyoto.
  • 623 (Genna 9): Tokugawa Iemitsu, son of Hidetada, arrived at the emperor's court where he was created Shōgun.
  • October 25, 1623 (Kan'ei 3, sixth day of the ninth month): Go-Mizunoo visits Nijō Castle, which was built in 1603 by Tokugawa Ieyasu.
  • 1627 (Kan'ei 6): The "Purple Robe Incident" (紫衣 事件, shi-e jiken): The Emperor was accused of awarding honorary purple garments to more than ten priests despite the shōgun's edict that banned them for two years ( probably to break the link between the Emperor and religious circles). The shogunate intervened by making the delivery of the garments invalid. The priests who had been honored by the emperor were sent into exile by the bakufu.
  • For the rest of his long life, he concentrated on various projects and aesthetic interests, of which perhaps the best known are the magnificent Japanese gardens at the Imperial Villa of Shugaku-in.

Abdication and Death of Emperor Go Mizunoo

On December 22, 1629 Go-Mizunoo abdicated. The emperor renounced the throne in favor of his daughter, Okiko, on the same day that the priests of the "Purple Robe Incident" were exiled.14 Okiko became Empress Meishō.

Go Mizunoo died on September 11, 1680.15 Emperor Go-Mizunoo's teeth and hair are preserved as an offering.

Go-Mizunoo's memory is honored at Sennyū-ji in Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, where a designated imperial mausoleum (misasagi) is located.

It is called Tsuki no wa no misasagi. Also enshrined are the immediate imperial successors of this emperor: Meishō, Go-Kōmyō, Go-Sai, Reigen, Higashiyama, Nakamikado, Sakuramachi, Momozono, Go-Sakuramachi, and Go-Momozono.

Eras of Emperor Go Mizunoo reign

The years of Go-Mizunoo's reign are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō. His eras were as follows:

  • Keichō
  • Genna
  • Kan'ei