Emperor Go-Mizunoo

From SamuraiWiki
Jump to navigationJump to search
  • Born: 1596
  • Died: 1680/8/19
  • Reign: 1611-1629
  • Japanese: 後水尾天皇 (Go Mizu-no-o tennou)

Emperor Go-Mizunoo was emperor from 1611 to 1629, and was the longest-lived emperor in historical times, except for the Shôwa Emperor.[1]

He took the throne in 1611 following the abdication of his father, Emperor Go-Yôzei.

His siblings included a younger sister Yôtokuin, and a younger brother who was divested of his Imperial status to become head of the Konoe family.[2]

Go-Mizunoo took Tokugawa Masako, a daughter of Shogun Tokugawa Hidetada better known today by her Buddhist name Tôfukumon-in, as his primary imperial consort; they married on 1620/6/18,[3] when she was 14.

He abdicated in 1629 in favor of his daughter, who took the throne as Empress Meishô. In 1634, he received Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu in audience at Nijô castle. This was the last time a shogun would visit Kyoto, or meet with an emperor, until the Bakumatsu period.

He is buried at Sennyû-ji, outside Kyoto, along with a number of emperors who followed him. It is unclear whether his burial, in a relatively simple grave, without any tumulus, marks the beginning of a precedent, or whether that practice was begun with Emperor Go-Kôgon (r. 1352-1370).[4]


Go-Mizunoo had 27 children who survived infancy, by six different mothers. Of those who did not succeed him as tennô, most took the tonsure, becoming monzeki (門跡) abbots or abbesses of prominent Buddhist temples.

  • With Oyotsu, a daughter of Yotsutsuji Kimitoo, he had one son, Prince Kaminomiya (1618-1622), and one daughter, Princess Monchi (1619-1697), who went on to be abbess at Enshô-ji.
  • With Tôfukumon-in, he had three daughters: Empress Meishô, Princess Teruko (1625-1651) who married Konoe Hisatsugu, and Princess Akiko (1629-1675), also known as the Third Princess.
  • With Kushige Takako, also known as Hôshunmon-in (1604-1685), he had four sons, Emperor Go-Sai (1637-1685), Prince Seishin (1639-1696, abbot at Daikaku-ji), Onjin aka Prince Hachijô (1643-1665), and Dôkan (1647-1676, abbot at Shôgo-in), and three daughters, Rishô (1631-1656, abbess at Hôkyô-ji), Mitsuko (1634-1727, abbess at Rinkyû-ji), and Richû (1641-1689, abbess at Hôkyô-ji).
  • With Sono Mitsuko, also known as Mibu-in (1602-1656), he had two sons, Emperor Go-Kômyô (1633-1654) and Prince Morizumi (1634-1654, the first head priest (zasu) of Kan'ei-ji in Edo), and three daughters, Gashi (1632-1696) who married Nijô Mitsuhira, Genshô (1637-1662) who became abbess at Daishô-ji, and Sôchô (1639-1678), who became abbess at Reigan-ji.
  • With Sochi, a daughter of Minase Shiroshibe, he had just one son, Seishô (1637-1678), who became an abbot at Ninna-ji.
  • With Sono Kuniko, also known as Shin-Chûnagon or Shin-Kôgimon-in (1624-1677), he had four sons, Gyôjo (1640-1695, abbot at Myôhô-in), Shinkei (1649-1707, abbot at Ichijô-in), Sonshô (1651-1694, abbot at Shôren-in), and Emperor Reigen (1654-1732), and two daughters, Shinanomiya Tsuneko (1642-1702), who went on to marry Konoe Motohiro, and Eikyô (1657-1686), who became abbess at Daishô-ji.
  • With Gon-no-Chûnagon, a daughter of Yotsutsuji Hidetsugu, he had two sons, Sonkô (1645-1680), who became abbot at Chion-in, and Seiran (1651-1680), who became abbot at Kajii, and one daughter, Songa (1654-1683), who became abbess at Kôshô-in.[5]
Preceded by
Emperor Go-Yôzei
Emperor of Japan
Succeeded by
Empress Meishô


  1. Marius Jansen, China in the Tokugawa World, Harvard University Press (1992), 55.
  2. Cecilia Segawa Seigle, "Shinanomiya Tsuneko: Portrait of a Court Lady," in Anne Walthall (ed.), The Human Tradition in Modern Japan, Scholarly Resources, Inc. (2002), 6-7.
  3. Cecilia Segawa Seigle, “Tokugawa Tsunayoshi and the Formation of Edo Castle Rituals of Giving,” in Martha Chaiklin (ed.), Mediated by Gifts: Politics and Society in Japan 1350-1850, Brill (2017), 123.
  4. Amino Yoshihiko, "Deconstructing 'Japan'," East Asian History 3 (1992), 141.
  5. Segawa Seigle, 5.