Emperor Ichijo of Japan

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Emperor Ichijō (一条天皇) (980-1011) was the 66th imperial ruler of Japan. He ruled from 986 to 1011. His reign was known as the culmination of Heian period culture and the apex of the power of the Fujiwara clan.

He was the first son of the emperor En'yū by a lady Fujiwara no Senshi, a daughter of Fujiwara no Kaneie. Since there are no documented siblings, it is supposed that he was an only child.

In 984 he was appointed as crown prince under the emperor Kazan. It was rumored contemporarily that his maternal grandfather Kaneie plotted to have Kazan retire from the throne. On August 1, 986 he ascended the throne at the age of six. A son of the emperor Reizei, who was older than he, was appointed crown prince. Kaneie became the regent (Sesshō) and effectively ruled the state. After Kaneie died, his first son and Ichijō's uncle Fujiwara no Michitaka was appointed regent.

He had two empresses. First was Teishi, a daughter of Fujiwara no Michitaka, second was Shoshi, a daughter of Fujiwara no Michinaga, a younger brother of Michitaka. Both high courtiers were sons of Kaneie, who were brothers of his mother and therefore his uncles.

The courts of both empresses were known as centers of culture. Sei Shōnagon, author of The Pillow Book, was a lady in waiting to Teishi. Murasaki Shikibu was a lady in waiting to Shoshi. There were other famous poets in the courts of the empresses.

Later, Fujiwara no Michinaga attempted to make his daugher Shoshi the empress of Ichijō. Most people thought it impossible, because Ichijō already had two wives. But Michinaga claimed two titles applied to the empress, Chūgū and Kōgō were principally different and therefore applicable to different women.

Ichijō loved literature and music. For this reason, high ranked courtiers felt the necessity for their daughter to hold cultural salons with many skillful lady poets. Particularly he was fond of flute. Ichijō was known for his temperate character and beloved by his subjects.


Preceded by:
Kazan
Emperor of Japan
986–1011
Succeeded by:
Sanjō

Template:End boxde:Ichijō ja:一条天皇

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