Emperor Suzaku

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Emperor of Japan
Reign October 16, 930 – May 23, 946
Coronation December 14, 930
Predecessor Daigo
Successor Murakami
Born September 1, 922
Heian Kyō (Kyōto)
Died September 6, 952(952-09-06) (aged 30)
Heian Kyō (Kyōto)
Burial Daigo no misasagi (Kyōto)
  • Princess Hiroko
  • Fujiwara no Yoshiko
Issue Princess Masako
House Yamato
Father Emperor Daigo
Mother Fujiwara no Onshi

Emperor Suzaku (朱雀天皇すざくてんのう, Suzaku-tennō, September 7, 923 – September 6, 952) was the 61st emperor of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession.[2]

Suzaku's reign spanned the years from 930 through 946.[3]

Traditional narrative

Before his ascension of the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name (imina)[4] was Hiroakira-shinnō.[5] He was also known as Yutaakira-shinnō (寛明親王ゆたあきらしんのう).[6]

Hiroakira-shinnō was the 11th son of Emperor Daigo and Empress Consort Onshi, a daughter of the regent and great minister of the council of state, Fujiwara no Mototsune.[7]

Suzaku had two Empresses or consorts and one Imperial daughter.[8]

Events of Suzaku's life

Suzaku's older brother died unexpectedly young, as did his brother's son. These untimely deaths opened the way for Suzaku to accede to the throne.

  • October 16, 930 (Enchō 8, 22nd day of the 9th month): In the 33rd year of the reign of Daigo-tennō (醍醐天皇三十三年), the emperor abdicated; and the succession (the senso) was received by his eleventh son, Hiroakira-shinnō[5] (also known as Yutaakira-shinnō).[9]
  • 930 (Enchō 8, 11th month): Emperor Suzaku, who was only 8 years old, acceded to the throne (the sokui).[5]
  • May 16, 931 (Enchō 9, 26th day of the 4th month): The era name was changed to mark the beginning of the new emperor's reign.[10]
  • August 5, 931 (Jōhei 1, 19th day of the 7th month): The former-Emperor Uda (867–931) died at the age of 65.[11]
  • 932 (Jōhei 2, 8th month): The udaijin (Minister of the Right) Fujiwara no Sadakata (873–932) died at the age of 65.[12]
  • 933 (Jōhei 3, 8th month): The dainagon (Counselor) Fujiwara no Nakahira is named udaijin. Nakahira is the brother of sesshō (regent) Fujiwara Tadahira.[13]
  • 933 (Jōhei 3, 12th month): Ten of the chief dignitaries of the empire went falcon-hunting together in Owari Province. Each of them was magnificent in his formal hunting attire.[12]
  • 935 (Jōhei 5): The Great Fundamental Central Hall (kompon chūdō) on Mt. Hiei burned down.[8]
  • September 7, 936 (Jōhei 6, 19th day of the 8th month): Fujiwara no Tadahira was named daijō-daijin (Prime Minister); and in this same period, Fujiwara no Nakahira was named sadaijin (Minister of the Left), and Fujiwara no Tsunesuke was named udaijin.[12]
  • 937 (Jōhei 7, 12th month): The former-Emperor Yōzei celebrated his 70th birthday.[12]
  • 937 (Jōhei 8, 4th month): Serial intermittent ground-tremors were felt in Heian-kyō from the 10th through the 29th days of this month.[14]
  • 940 (Tengyō 2): During his reign Taira no Masakado raised and insurrection in the Kantō region and declared himself emperor, but his forces were put down by Taira no Sadamori.[8]
  • 941 (Tengyō 3): Fujiwara no Sumitomo staged a rebellion in the east, but his army was defeated by Tachibana Tōyasu.[8]
  • 946 (Tengyō 9, 4th month): Suzaku abdicates, having ruled for 16 years.[15] The emperor was succeeded by his younger brother, who would become Emperor Murakami.
  • September 6, 952 (Tenryaku 6, 15th day of the 8th month): Suzaku died at the age of 30.[15]

The actual site of Suzaku'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 Suzaku's mausoleum. It is formally named Daigo no misasagi[16] in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto near the Buddhist temple, Daigo-ji.


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.[17]

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 Suzaku's reign, this apex of the Daijō-kan included:

Eras of Suzaku's reign

Japanese Imperial kamon — a stylised chrysanthemum blossom

The years of Suzaku's reign are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō.[19]

Consorts and children

Consort (Nyōgo): Princess Hiroko/Kishi (熙子女王; d. 950), Imperial crown Prince Yasuakira’s daughter (Emperor Daigo’s son)

Consort (Nyōgo): Fujiwara no Yoshiko (藤原慶子; d. 951), Fujiwara no Saneyori’s daughter




  1. ^ a b Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō): 朱雀天皇 (61)
  2. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, pp. 69–70.
  3. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 134–139; Brown, Delmer. (1879). Gukanshō, pp. 294–295; Varley, H. Paul (1980) Jinnō Shōtōki, pp. 181–183.
  4. ^ 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 Titsingh, p. 134; Varley, p. 181.
  6. ^ a b c d Brown, p. 294.
  7. ^ Varley, p. 181.
  8. ^ a b c d e Brown, p. 295
  9. ^ Brown, p. 295, 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.
  10. ^ Brown, p. 295; Varley, p. 181-182.
  11. ^ Titsingh, p. 135; Brown, p. 295.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h Titsingh, p. 135.
  13. ^ a b Titsingh, p. 135; Brown, p. 294.
  14. ^ Titsingh, p. 136.
  15. ^ a b Brown, p. 295; Varley, p. 130.
  16. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, p. 420.
  17. ^ Furugosho: Kugyō of Suzaku-tennō.
  18. ^ Brown, p. 291.
  19. ^ Titsingh, p. 134.
  20. ^ "Genealogy". Reichsarchiv. Retrieved 14 February 2018. (in Japanese)


See also

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Daigo
Emperor of Japan:

Succeeded by
Emperor Murakami
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