Otemmon Incident

The main gate of Heian Shrine, built in the 1890s to resemble the original 8th century Ôtemmon

The Ôtemmon Incident was an event taking place in 866 and centering around the destruction of the main gate (Ôtemmon) of the Kyoto Gosho (Imperial Palace) in Kyoto. This event is known primarily to scholars today based on the depiction of it in the narrative handscroll (emaki) called Ban Dainagon Ekotoba (The Picture-narrative of Great Minister Ban).

Minamoto no Makoto, a member of the powerful Minamoto clan, was accused by his political rival Ban Tomo no Yoshio of having set the fire. However, Makoto had the support of the Daijô Daijin (Chancellor of the Realm) Fujiwara no Yoshifusa, and was cleared of the charges. Soon afterwards, however, a man claiming to have witnessed the event accused Ban Yoshio of setting the fire himself, along with his son. Yoshio, his son, several other members of the Ban family, as well as a few of the Ki family were convicted and executed.

This event, and Fujiwara no Yoshifusa's handling of it, served Yoshifusa well, politically. Many of those executed were his political rivals, and he found himself promoted to Regent (Sesshô) soon afterwards.


  • This article was written by User:LordAmeth and contributed to both S-A and Wikipedia; the author gives permission for his work to be used in this way.
  • Mills, Douglas E (1985). "Ōtemmon Conspiracy." Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan. Tokyo: Kodansha Ltd.