Emperor Kotoku of Japan

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Emperor Kōtoku (孝徳天皇) (597-654) was the 36th imperial ruler of Japan. He ruled from 645 to 654. His name in birth was Prince Karu.

He was a descendant of the Emperor Bidatsu. He was a son of Chinu no ōkimi (Prince Chinu) by Kibihime no ōkimi (Princess Kibihime). Empress Kōgyoku was his elder sister from same parents. Chinu was a son of Prince Oshisaka hikohito no ōe whose father was the Emperor Bidatsu. He had at least three consorts including his Empress, Hashihito no Himemiko (Princess Hashihito), the daughter of the Emperor Jomei and his sister Kogyoku.

In 645 he ascended to the throne two days after Prince Nakanoōe assassinated Soga no Emishi in the court of Kogyooku. Kogyoku abducted in favor of his son and crown prince, Nakanoōe, but Nakanoōe insisted Kōtoku should ascend to the throne.

According to Nihonshoki he was of gentre personality and was favor in Buddhism. In 645 he created a new city in Naniwa province and moved the capital from Yamato province to this new city. The new capital had a sea port and good for foreign trade and dimpromatic actiities. In 653 Kotoku sent an embassy to Sui dynasty, but not all ships could reach China because of wrecking.

Nakanoōe held the rank of crown prince and was the de facto leader of the government. In 653 Nakanoōe proposed to move the capital again to Yamato province. Kotoku denied. Nakanoōe ignored the emperor's policy and moved to the former province. Many courtiers and loyals in the court including Empress Hashihito followed him. Kotoku was left in the palace. In the next year he died because of illness. After his death, Nakanoōe wouldn't ascend to the throne soon but his mother and the sister of Kotoku, the former Empress Kogyoku ascended to the throne under another name, Saimei.


Preceded by:
Kōgyoku
Emperor of Japan
645-654
Succeeded by:
Saimei

Template:End boxde:Kotoku ja:孝徳天皇 zh:孝德天皇

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