Emperor Uda

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  • Reign: 887-897
  • Japanese: 宇多天皇 (Uda tennou)

Emperor Uda was a Heian period emperor known for founding Ninna-ji in 888, and for his involvement in disputes over the regency and other positions of power within the court.

Uda succeeded his father Emperor Kôkô in 887. Fujiwara no Mototsune had already served as regent (either sesshô or kampaku) for two previous emperors, and Uda attempted to retain his advice and support, but to simultaneously weaken Fujiwara power somewhat by not officially naming Mototsune kampaku. This resulted, however, in considerable controversy and backlash from differing factions at court. Tachibana no Hiromi wrote a memorial supporting appointing Mototsune's father, Fujiwara no Yoshifusa, to serve as akô ("trusted advisor"), though this was not a standard title or post; in the end, Yoshifusa (and not Mototsune) was named kampaku. Following Mototsune's death, Uda continued to attempt to block Fujiwara power by overlooking Mototsune's son Fujiwara no Tokihira, and naming Sugawara no Michizane as Udaijin.

Following his abdication in 897, Uda took up residence at Ninna-ji, living there for another thirty years or so.[1] He was succeeded by one of his sons, who took the throne as Emperor Daigo.

Preceded by
Emperor Kôkô
Emperor of Japan
Succeeded by
Emperor Daigo


  • Joan Piggott, ed. Capital and Countryside in Japan, 300-1180, University of Cornell, NY, 2006.
  • Evelyn Rawski, Early Modern China and Northeast Asia: Cross-Border Perspectives, Cambridge University Press (2015), 155.
  1. Plaques on-site at Ninna-ji, Kyoto.