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Emperor Go Murakami

Emperor Go Murakami

Emperor Go-Murakami (後村上天皇, Go-Murakami Tennō, 1328 - March 29, 1368) was the 97th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession, and ruled the Southern Court of the Nanboku-chō period from September 18, 1339 to March 29, 1368.

His personal name was Noriyoshi (義良). His posthumous name was given to him in memory of Emperor Murakami's (the prefix Go-, 後, can be translated as "later", so this gives "Later Emperor Murakami").

Emperor Go Murakami Genealogy

Go-Murakami was the 7th son of his predecessor Go-Daigo. He had several children, including the future southern emperors Chōkei and Go-Kameyama.

Biography of Emperor Go Murakami

When his father Go-Daigo began the Kemmu restoration in 1333, Noriyoshi, then only a very young prince, went to Tagajō in Mutsu province (now in Miyagi prefecture) with Kitabatake Akiie to turn the eastern samurai to their cause and destroy the remnants of the Hōjō clan.

However, in 1335, Takauji Ashikaga had entered into a rebellion against the restoration, so the emperor returned to the west with Kitabatake Chikafusa (Akiie's father), with the aim of destroying Takauji.

When the latter defeated them at Kyōto in 1336, they returned again to Mutsu province. In 1337, with Tagajō under attack, they again returned to the west, to Yoshino, while continually fighting battles.

Again, in 1338, they marched on Tagajō, but had to return to Yoshino because of a storm. In 1339, Noriyoshi was named crown prince, and ascended the throne on September 18 of the same year, when Go-Daigo abdicated.

In 1348, Kō no Moronao attacked Yoshino, and the emperor then fled to present-day Nishiyoshino, in Nara prefecture, then Yamato province.

In 1352, upon entering Otokoyama in Yamashiro province during the Battle of Shichijō Ōmiya, Kusunoki Masanori recaptured Kyōto from Ashikaga Yoshiakira.

At this time, the retired northern emperors Kōgon, Kōmyō, and the northern court emperor Sukō were captured and imprisoned in Otokoyama. However, a month later, they had to abandon Kyōto after a counterattack by the Ashikaga.

They were then confined to Otokoyama, but managed to escape to Kawachi province during an attack by Yoshiakira, and returned to Yoshino a few months later.

On the eighth day of the twelfth month of 1361, Kiyōji Hosokawa and Masanori Kusunoki, who had again pledged allegiance to the Southern Court, attacked Kyōto, temporarily regaining control.

But Yoshiakira quickly counterattacked, and they had to evacuate the northern capital 18 days later.

They continue to try to retake Kyōto, but the power of the Southern Court is already waning by this time, and by the time the emperor dies in 1368, Yoshimitsu Ashikaga is in power and the throne has been moved to Sumiyoshi.

Eras of Emperor Go Murakami reign
(Court of the South) :

  • Engen Era
  • Kōkoku era
  • Shōhei era

(Northern Court):

  • Ère Ryakuō
  • Kōei era
  • Jōwa era
  • Ère Kan'ō or Kannō
  • Bunna era
  • Ère Enbun
  • Ère Kōan
  • Ère Jōji
  • Ōan era

Emperor Go Murakami's Rivals of the Northern Court

  • Kōmyō
  • Sukō
  • Go-Kōgon