Emperor Guangwu

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Emperor Guangwu as seen in the "Thirteen Emperors Scroll," a famous Tang Dynasty (7th century) painting attributed to Yan Liben and today held in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
  • Reign: 25-57
  • Chinese/Japanese: 光武帝 (Guangwu-di / Koubu-tei)

Emperor Guangwu was the first emperor of Eastern Han Dynasty China. He held the throne from 25 to 57 CE. He is celebrated for a variety of activities, including establishing the capital at Luoyang, resecuring the empire after the uprising of Wang Mang, and various military expeditions.

He is significant in Japanese history as the emperor who in 57 CE granted a golden seal to the state of Na, located on Kyushu, a seal which would be discovered by a farmer in the 18th century, the earliest extant piece of material evidence of Japanese polities, and of their interactions with the continent.


  • "The Thirteen Emperors." Museum of Fine Arts, Boston online collections database. 2012.
  • "Kôbu-tei." Hyakka jiten Mypedia 百科事典マイペディア. Hitachi Solutions, Ltd. 2008-2010.