Emperor En'yū

Emperor En'yū (円融天皇, En'yū-tennō, 12 April 959 – 1 March 991) was the 64th emperor of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession.[2]

Emperor En'yū
Emperor of Japan
ReignSeptember 27, 969 – September 24, 984
CoronationNovember 5, 969
BornApril 12, 958
Heian Kyō (Kyōto)
DiedMarch 1, 991(991-03-01) (aged 32)
Heian Kyō (Kyōto)
Nochi no Mukarami no misasagi (Kyōto)
IssueEmperor Ichijō
Posthumous name
Emperor En'yū (円融院 or 円融天皇)
FatherEmperor Murakami
MotherFujiwara no Anshi

En'yū's reign spanned the years from 969 through 984.[3]


Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name (imina) was Morihira-shinnō.[4]

Morihira-shinnō was the fifth son of Emperor Murakami by the empress consort Anshi, the daughter of Fujiwara no Morosuke, therefore the brother of Emperor Reizei.

In 967, Morihira-shinnō was appointed as the crown prince, bypassing his elder brother by the same mother, since his brother had no support from the Fujiwara clan.

En'yū had five Empresses or Imperial consorts and one Imperial son.[5]

Events of En'yū's lifeEdit

  • 27 September 969 (Anna 2, 13th day of the 8th month): In the 3rd year of Emperor Reizei's reign (冷泉天皇三年), he abdicated; and the succession (senso) was received by a younger brother.[6]
  • 5 November 969 (Anna 2, 23rd day of the 9th month): Emperor En'yu is said to have acceded to the throne (‘‘sokui’’).[7]
  • 8 June 976 (Ten'en 2, 11th day of the 5th month): The Imperial Palace burned down; and the Sacred Mirror was blackened to such an extent that it reflected no light.[5]
  • 31 December 980 (Tengen 3, 22nd day of the 11th month): The Imperial Palace burned down; and the Sacred Mirror was half destroyed.[5]
  • 5 December 982 (Tengen 5, 17th day of the 11th month): The Imperial Palace burned down; and the Sacred Mirror was reduced to a lump of melted metal which was collected and presented to the emperor.[5]

In his reign there was a severe struggle between the Fujiwara clan over who would be appointed kampaku. Emperor En'yū followed his mother's advice and favored Fujiwara no Kanemichi, his maternal uncle. He had only one son, later the emperor Emperor Ichijō by Senshi, a daughter of his uncle Fujiwara no Kaneie,[8] who was another brother of his mother. He made the daughter of Kanemichi the empress consort, though she bore no children. Senshi and her father Kaneie were angry at this elevation of their rival and were absent from the court for a long time, staying at the mansion of Kaneie with the child.

Imperial processions to the Hachiman and Hirano Shrines were first made during the reign of Emperor En'yū.[5]

  • 24 September 984 (Eikan 2, 27th of the 8th month): The emperor abdicated at age 26.[5]
  • 16 September 985 (Kanna 1, 29th of the 8th month): The former-Emperor En'yū took the tonsure, becoming a Buddhist priest and taking the name of Kongō Hō.[5]
  • 1 March 991 (Shōryaku 2, 12th of the 2nd month): En'yū, now known as Kongō Hō, died at age 32.[5]

The actual site of En'yū's grave is known.[1] This emperor is traditionally venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine (misasagi) at Kyoto.

The Imperial Household Agency designates this location as En'yū's mausoleum. It is formally named Nochi no Mukarami no misasagi.[9]


Kugyō (公卿) is a collective term for the very few most powerful men attached to the court of the Emperor of Japan in pre-Meiji eras.

In general, this elite group included only three to four men at a time. These were hereditary courtiers whose experience and background have brought them to the pinnacle of a life's career. During En'yū's reign, this apex of the Daijō-kan included:

Eras of En'yū's reignEdit

The years of En'yū's reign are more specifically identified by more than one era name (gengō or nengō).[11]

Consorts and childrenEdit

Empress (Chūgū): Fujiwara no Koshi (藤原媓子), Fujiwara no Kanemichi’s daughter

Empress (Chūgū): Fujiwara no Junshi/Nobuko (藤原遵子), Fujiwara no Yoritada’s daughter

Consort (Nyōgo): Imperial Princess Sonshi (尊子内親王; 966–985), Emperor Reizei’s daughter

Consort (Nyōgo): Fujiwara no Senshi (藤原詮子; 962–1002), Fujiwara no Kaneie’s daughter; later, Nyoin (女院) 'Higashi-sanjō In' (東三条院)

Court Attendant (Koui): Chujo-Miyasudokoro (中将御息所), Fujiwara no Kanetada's daughter

Court Attendant (Koui): Shōshō kōui (少将更衣)



See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō): 円融天皇 (64)
  2. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p. 71.
  3. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 144–148; Brown, Delmer et al. (1979). Gukanshō, p. 299-300; Varely, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, pp. 191–192.
  4. ^ Titsingh, p. 144; Varely, p. 191; Brown, p. 264; prior to Emperor Jomei, the personal names of the emperors were very long and people did not generally use them. The number of characters in each name diminished after Jomei's reign.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Brown, p. 300.
  6. ^ Titsingh, p. 143; Brown, p. 299; Varley, p. 44; a distinct act of senso is unrecognized prior to Emperor Tenji; and all sovereigns except Jitō, Yōzei, Go-Toba, and Fushimi have senso and sokui in the same year until the reign of Emperor Go-Murakami.
  7. ^ Titsingh, p. 144; Varley, p. 44.
  8. ^ Titisingh, p. 146.
  9. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, p. 420.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Brown, p. 299.
  11. ^ Titsingh, p. 144.
  12. ^ "Genealogy". Reichsarchiv (in Japanese). Retrieved 17 February 2018.


Regnal titles
Preceded by Emperor of Japan:

Succeeded by