Emperor Suzaku

Emperor Suzaku

Emperor Suzaku (朱雀天皇, Suzaku Tennō ("Phoenix Emperor"), September 7, 923 - September 6, 952) was the sixty-first emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession, and ruled from 930 to 946.

Emperor Suzaku Genealogy

Prior to his accession to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name (his iminia) was Hiroakira-shinnō. Suzaku was the twelfth son of Emperor Daigo.

Emperor Suzaku's Wives and offspring

  • Princess Kishi, his niece, born 922, daughter of crown prince Hiroakira and Fujiwara no Hitoyoshiko; imperial wife; died 950; of whom he had:
    • Princess Shoshi, born 950; married in 963 to emperor Reizei; titled empress (kōgō) in 967; empress dowager (kōtaigō) in 973; grand empress dowager (tai-kōtaigō) in 986; died in 1000
  • Fujiwara no Keishi, daughter of Fujiwara no Saneyori and a daughter of Fujiwara no Tokihira; imperial wife (nyogo); died in 942

Emperor Suzaku Biography

The son of Emperor Daigo and Princess Consort Onshi, a daughter of Fujiwara no Mototsune, he ascended the throne upon his father's death in 930 at the age of seven.

  • Enchō Era 8, the 22nd day of the 9th month (930): in the thirty-third year of Diago-tennō's reign, the emperor died; and the succession (the senso) was received by his eleventh son, Hiroakira-shinnō, also known as Yutaakira.
  • Enchō 8 Era, the 11th month (930): soon it was said that the 8-year-old emperor Suzaku would accede to the throne (the sokui).
  • Jōhei Era 1, the 7th month (931): the former emperor Uda died, aged 656.
  • Jōhei 2, the 8th month (932): the udaijin Fujiwara no Sadakata died at the age of 65.
  • Jōhei Era 2, the 11th month (932): the emperor celebrated the festival Daï zió ye; on this occasion he offered gifts of great price to the god of Ise, from whom his race descended, and also sacrificed to the other tutelary gods of that country
  • Jōhei Era 3, the 1st month (933): there were bands of robbers in Heian-kyo.
  • Jōhei Era 3, the 2nd month (933): the dainagon Fujiwara no Nakahira, Takahira's brother, became udaijin.
  • Jōhei Era 3, the 12th month (933): ten of the first dignitaries of the empire went hunting with falcons on the Owara plain; they were all dressed with great magnificence.
  • Jōhei era 4 months (934): the number of pirates having increased considerably in the Sangyo and Nankai regions, the emperor sent troops there to stop them.

Fujiwara no Tadahira then became regent, with the titles of sesshō and then kampaku.

During his reign, Suzaku had to face two rebellion attempts. In 935, Taira no Masakado, governor of Shimosa province, killed his uncle Kunika and rallied many warriors to him, gaining control of almost all of Kantō and proclaiming himself emperor in 939.

In the same year, on the inland sea coast, Fujiwara no Sumitomo gathered wakō (pirates) and also revolted.

Fujiwara Sumitomo invaded, at the head of a large number of pirates, the province of Iyo, took control of those of Bizen and Harima, whose princes he took prisoner, subjugated the region of Nankaidō and also took those of San'yô (region of San'yō), San'in (region of San'in) and Sikai.

He had been intimately involved with Masakado Taira. During their stay in Heian-kyo, these two chiefs had agreed to revolt and conquer the whole empire. Makakado was then to be proclaimed emperor, and Sumitomo was to become Kampaku.

As a result of this plan, the first had gone to Kanto, the other to Iyo, to assemble troops. They rose at the same time in the eastern and western parts of Japan, which caused a great terror in the whole empire and in the capital.

Minamoto no Tsunemoto, living in the province of Musashi, ran in haste to Heian-kyo, to inform the emperor, and was rewarded for his zeal by the title of Chinjufu Shôgun (general of the armies defending the North)

and he was immediately sent to put down the rebellions (with success), but in spite of his promotions and his work for the imperial court, the Minamoto clan will continue to be considered by the kuge as a vulgar band of organized brigands for many centuries.

Minamoto no Tsunemoto was the son of Prince Sadazumi, who is said to have been the sixth son of Seiwa-tennō8.

To combat the so-called Jōhei Tengyō rebellion, the imperial government recruited auxiliaries and professional warriors, the samurai, to fight against the Johei Tengyo.

In 946, Suzaku abdicated and his younger brother Murakami became emperor.

Emperor Suzaku Kugyō

The Kugyō (公卿) is a collective name for the most respected men of the kuge, the most powerful officials at the imperial court, the most important ministers in the daijō-kan-- kugyō of Suzaku-tennō.

During Suzaku's reign (930 to 946), there were for ministers:

  • Kampaku, Fujiwara no Tadahira (藤原忠平), 941-946
  • Daijō-daijin, Fujiwara no Tadahira (藤原忠平), 936-946
  • Sadaijin, Fujiwara no Tadahira (藤原忠平), 924-936
  • Sadaijin, Fujiwara no Nakahira (藤原仲平), 937-945
  • Udaijin, Fujiwara no Sadakata (藤原定方), 924-932
  • Udaijin, Fujiwara no Nakahira (藤原仲平), 933-937
  • Udaijin, Fujiwara no Tsunesuke (藤原恒佐), 937-938
  • Udaijin, Fujiwara no Saneyori (藤原実頼), 944-946

Emperor Suzaku Eras of his reign

The years of Suzaku's reign are more specifically identified by more than one Japanese era or nengō.

  • Enchō era (923-931)
  • Jōhei era (931-938)
  • Tengyō Era (938-947)