Emperor Sanjo of Japan

From Academic Kids

Emperor Sanjō (三条天皇) (February 5, 976 - June 5, 1017) was the 67th imperial ruler of Japan. He ruled from 1011 to 1016. His birth name was Okisada (居貞).



He was the second son of Emperor Reizei. His mother was Empress ??? (宮超子) the daughter of the sesshō Fujiwara no Kaneie. He was the half-brother of Emperor Kazan. His mother died when he was seven, and his father, the Retired Emperor Reizei, became mentally ill. His maternal grandfather, Fujiwara no Kaneie raised him.

  • 994-1051 Imperial Prince Atsuakira (敦明親王), Ko-ichijō-in (小一条院), Emperor Go-Ichijō's Crown Prince
  • 997-1054 Imperial Prince Atsunori(敦儀親王)
  • 999-1049 Imperial Prince Atsuhira (敦平親王)
  • 1001-1023 known as Imperial Princess Toshō (real pronounciation is unknown, 当子内親王) - saigū (priestess at Ise Shrine)
  • 1003-1048 known as Imperial Princess Teishi (real pronounciation is unknown, 禔子内親王) - spouse of Fujiwara no Norimichi (藤原教通)
  • 1005-1085 Imperial Prince Moroakira (師明親王), lay priest under the name Seishin (性信)
  • 1013-1094 known as Imperial Princess Teishi (禎子内親王) (real pronounciation is unknown, Empress Dowager Yōmeimon-in, 陽明門院) - Empress (kōgō) to Emperor Go-Suzaku, mother of Emperor Go-Sanjō

Consorts and Empresses


After his mother died when he was at seven, his maternal grandfather Fujiwara no Kaneie raised him at Kaneie's mansion. Kaneie loved him very much and Okisada grew to a young talented prince with dignity. When the emperor Ichijō, another grandson of Kaneie ascended to the throne, Okisada was appointed as heir and crown prince in his teenage. This followed the convention that two imperial lineages took the throne in turn, although Ichijō was in fact his junior. He thus gained the nickname Sakasa no moke no kimi (the imperial heir in reverse).

Kaneie died in the early of Ichijō's reign and Okisada lost his political backbone. His three uncles, sons of Kaneie, made their daughters consorts of Ichijo and aimed to seize power as the grandfather of the future emperor. These courtiers therefore sought to exclude Okisada from the Imperial succession, though each of them married their daughter to him. Later Ichijō had children by Fujiwara no Kishi, the daughter of Fujiwara no Michinaga, and Michinaga expected his grandson to ascend to the throne as soon as possible. Michinaga became the Kampaku regent of Japan during the reign of Ichijō and expected to hold this position in Sanjō's government too, but Sanjō as an matured man in his thirties desired strongly to governm without such influence. The relation between Sanjo and Michinaga was bad and it became worse when one of Sanjō's spouses who was a daughter of Michinaga died without a child. Most of courtiers feared Michinaga and avoided the imperial court. Sanjō became isolated in his own court.

Sanjō, going blind, came under pressure from Michinaga to abdicate. Finally he relented and abdicated in 1016. His eldest son, Prince Atsuakira, became the crown prince but later he abandoned this position because of the pressure from Michinaga. Michinaga gifted Atsuakira a status equal to the retired emperor, with the title of Koichijo-in and Nariakira married a daughter of Michinaga.

Although no son of Sanjō ascended to the throne, But from a daughter of him, Princess Teishi, an emperor came and his blood remained in the imperial blood line.


He was given the posthumous name of Sanjō-in (三条院) after the palace where he spent his life after abdicating. The palace, in turn, was named for the location of the palace where he lived after his abdication. After the Meiji Era, the in was dropped and replaced with tennō (Emperor)

Eras of his reign

Preceded by:
Emperor of Japan
Succeeded by:

Template:End boxde:Sanjō ja:三条天皇


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