Emperor Seiwa

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  • Reign: 858-876
  • Japanese: 清和天皇 (Seiwa tennou)

Emperor Seiwa is known chiefly as the ancestor of the Seiwa Genji, the most prominent, powerful, and historically significant branch of the Minamoto clan.

Seiwa had six sons who bore the surname Minamoto - a name granted as an honor by the Imperial court. The Seiwa Genji - including first Kamakura shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo and his brother, the famous Minamoto no Yoshitsune - claimed descent from Seiwa's sixth son, Minamoto no Sadazumi, through Sadazumi's son Minamoto no Tsunemoto.

Preceded by
Emperor Montoku
Emperor of Japan
Succeeded by
Emperor Yôzei


  • Karl Friday, Samurai Warfare and the State in Early Medieval Japan, Routledge (2004), 9.