Emperor Saga was the 52nd emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Saga's reign spanned the years from 809 through 823. Saga was the second son of Fujiwara no Otomuro, his personal name was Kamino. Saga was an "accomplished calligrapher" able to compose in Chinese who held the first imperial poetry competitions. According to legend, he was the first Japanese emperor to drink tea. Saga is traditionally venerated at his tomb. 806 Saga became the crown prince at age 21. June 17, 809: In the 4th year of Emperor Heizei's reign, he fell ill and abdicated. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Saga is said to have acceded to the throne. Soon after his enthronement, Saga himself took ill. At the time the retired Heizei had quarreled with his brother over the ideal location of the court, the latter preferring the Heian capital, while the former was convinced that a shift back to the Nara plain was necessary, Heizei, exploiting Saga's weakened health, seized the opportunity to foment a rebellion, known as the Kusuko Incident.
This same Tamuramaro is remembered in Aomori's annual Nebuta Matsuri which feature a number of gigantic, specially-constructed, illuminated paper floats. These great lantern-structures are colorfully painted with mythical figures; this early ninth century military leader is commemorated in this way because he is said to have ordered huge illuminated lanterns to be placed at the top of hills. August 24, 842: Saga died at the age of 57; the years of Saga's reign are more identified by more than one era name. Daidō Kōnin In ancient Japan, there were the Gempeitōkitsu. One of these clans, the Minamoto clan are known as Genji, of these, the Saga Genji are descended from 52nd emperor Saga. Saga's son, Minamoto no Tōru, is thought to be an inspiration for the protagonist of the novel The Tale of Genji. In the 9th century, Emperor Saga made a decree prohibiting meat consumption except fish and birds and abolished capital punishment in 818; this remained the dietary habit of Japanese until the introduction of European dietary customs in the 19th century.
Emperor Saga played an important role as a stalwart supporter of the Buddhist monk Kūkai. The emperor helped Kūkai to establish the Shingon School of Buddhism by granting him Tō-ji Temple in the capital Heian-kyō. Kugyō is a collective term for the few most powerful men attached to the court of the Emperor of Japan in pre-Meiji eras. In general, this elite group included only three to four men at a time; these were hereditary courtiers whose experience and background would have brought them to the pinnacle of a life's career. During Saga's reign, this kugyō included: Sadaijin Udaijin, Fujiwara no Uchimaro, 806–812. Udaijin, Fujiwara no Sonohito, 812–818. Udaijin, Fujiwara no Fuyutsugu, 821–825. Udaijin, Tachibana no Ujikimi. Naidaijin Dainagon Saga had 49 children by at least 30 different women. Many of the children received the surname Minamoto. Empress: Tachibana no Kachiko known as Empress Danrin, Tachibana no Kiyotomo's daughter. Second Son: Imperial Prince Masara Emperor Ninmyō Imperial Princess Seishi, married to Emperor Junna Imperial Princess Hideko Imperial Prince Hidera Imperial Princess Toshiko Fifth Daughter: Imperial Princess Yoshiko Imperial Princess Shigeko Hi: Imperial Princess Takatsu, Emperor Kanmu’s daughter Second Prince: Imperial Prince Nariyoshi Imperial Princess Nariko Hi: Tajihi no Takako, Tajihi no Ujimori's daughter Bunin: Fujiwara no Onatsu, Fujiwara no Uchimaro's daughter Court lady: Kudara no Kyomyō, Kudara no Kyōshun's daughter Minamoto no Yoshihime Minamoto no Sadamu Minamoto no Wakahime Minamoto no Shizumu Nyōgo: Kudara no Kimyō, Kudara no Shuntetsu's daughter Imperial Prince Motora Fourth Son: Imperial Prince Tadara Imperial Princess Motoko Nyōgo: Ōhara no Kiyoko, Ōhara no Ietsugu's daughter Tenth Daughter: Imperial Princess Ninshi, 15th Saiō in Ise Shrine 809–823Koui: Iidaka no Yakatoji, Iidaka Gakuashi Minamoto no Tokiwa Minamoto no Akira Koui: Akishino no Koko, Akishino no Yasuhito's daughter Minamoto no Kiyoshi Koui: Yamada no Chikako Minamoto no Hiraku Minamoto no Mituhime Nyōgo: Princess Katano, Prince Yamaguchi's daughter Eighth Daughter: Imperial Princess Uchiko, 1st Saiin in Kamo Shrine 810–831Court lady: Takashina no Kawako, Takashina no Kiyoshina's daughter Imperial Princess Sōshi Court lad
Emperor Seiwa was the 56th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Seiwa's reign spanned the years from 858 through 876. Seiwa was the fourth son of Emperor Montoku, his mother was Empress Dowager Fujiwara no Akirakeiko called the Somedono empress 染殿后). Seiwa's mother was the daughter of Fujiwara no Yoshifusa, regent and great minister of the council of state, he was the younger half-brother of Imperial Prince Koretaka Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name was Korehito, the first member of the Imperial house to be named "-hito" 仁. One meaning of the character 仁 is the Confucian concept of ren, it has been a tradition to name the personal name of all male members of the Imperial family this way. He was known as emperor as Mizunoo-no-mikado or Minoo-tei. Under the guardianship of his maternal grandfather Fujiwara no Yoshifusa, he displaced Imperial Prince Koretaka as Crown Prince. Upon the death of his father in 858, Emperor Montoku, he became Emperor at the age of 9, but the real power was held by his grandfather, Yoshifusa.
7 October 858: In the 8th year of Montoku-tennō's reign, the emperor abdicated. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Seiwa is said to have acceded to the throne. 15 December 858: The emperor's official announcement of his enthronement at age 9 was accompanied by the appointment of his grandfather as regent. This is the first time that this high honor has been accorded to a member of the Fujiwara family, it is the first example in Japan of the accession of an heir, too young to be emperor; the proclamation of the beginning of Seiwa's reign was made at the Kotaijingu at Ise Province and at all the tombs of the imperial family. 859: All New Year's festivities were suspended because of the period of national mourning for the death of Emperor Montoku. 859: Construction began on the Iwashimizu Shrine near Heian-kyō. This shrine honors the Shinto war god. 869: Yōzei was born, he was named Seiwa's heir in the following year. 876: In the 18th year of Seiwa-tennō's reign, the emperor ceded his throne to his five-year-old son, which meant that the young child received the succession.
Shortly thereafter, Emperor Yōzei formally acceded to the throne. 878: Seiwa became a Buddhist priest. His new priestly name was Soshin. 7 January 881: Former-Emperor Seiwa died at age 28. The actual site of Seiwa's grave is known; the emperor is traditionally venerated at the misasagi memorial shrine in the Ukyō-ku ward of Kyoto. The Imperial Household Agency designates this location as Seiwa's mausoleum, it is formally named the Minooyama no Misasagi or Seiwa Tennō Ryō. From the site of his tomb the Emperor Seiwa is sometimes referred to as the Emperor Mizunoo; the kami of Emperor Seiwa is venerated at the Seiwatennō-sha in close proximity to the mausoleum. Kugyō is a collective term for the few most powerful men attached to the court of the Emperor of Japan in pre-Meiji eras. In general, this elite group included only three to four men at a time; these were hereditary courtiers whose experience and background would have brought them to the pinnacle of a life's career. During Seiwa's reign, this apex of the Daijō-kan included: Sesshō, Fujiwara no Yoshifusa, 804–872.
Daijō-daijin, Fujiwara no Yoshifusa. Sadaijin, Minamoto no Makoto. Sadaijin, Minamoto no Tooru. Udaijin, Fujiwara no Yoshimi, 817–867. Udaijin, Fujiwara no Ujimune. Udaijin, Fujiwara no Mototsune, 836–891. Naidaijin Dainagon, Fujiwara no Mototsune; the years of Seiwa's reign are more identified by more than one era name or nengō. Ten'an Jōgan Consort Kōtaigō: Fujiwara no Takako Nijo-kisaki, Fujiwara no Nagara's daughter First Son: Imperial Prince Sadaakira Emperor Yōzei Fourth Son: Imperial Prince Sadayasu Third/Fifth daughter: Imperial Princess Atsuko, 7th Saiin in Kamo Shrine 877–880Consort: Fujiwara no Tamiko, Fujiwara no Yoshimi’s daughter Consort: Taira no Kanshi Consort: Princess Kashi Consort: Minamoto no Sadako Consort: Princess Ryūshi Consort: Princess Kenshi Consort: Princess Chūshi/Tadako, Emperor Kōkō's daughter Consort: Fujiwara no Yoriko, Fujiwara no Mototsune's daughter Consort: Fujiwara no Kazuko, Fujiwara no Mototsune's daughter Seventh Son: Imperial Prince Sadatoki Consort: Minamoto no Takeko/Izuko, Minamoto no Yoshiari's daughter Consort: Minamoto no Seishi, Emperor Montoku's daughter Consort: Minamoto no Kenshi/Atsuko Consort: Minamoto no Gishi/Yoshiko, Minamoto no Okimoto's daughter Court Attendant: Ariwara no Fumiko, Ariwara no Yukihira's daughter Eighth Son: Imperial Prince Sadakazu Imperial Princess Kaneko Court Attendant: Fujiwara no Yoshichika's daughter Imperial Prince Sadahira Imperial Princess Shikiko, 21st Saiō 877–880Court Attendant: Tachibana no Yasukage's daughter Imperial Prince Sadakata Court Attendant: Fujiwara no Nakamune's daughter third Son: Imperial Prince Sadamoto (貞元親王
Minamoto no Yoritomo
Minamoto no Yoritomo was the founder and the first shōgun of the Kamakura shogunate of Japan. He ruled from 1192 until 1199, his Buddhist name was Bukōshōgendaizenmon. Yoritomo was the third son of Minamoto no Yoshitomo, heir of the Minamoto clan, his official wife, was a daughter of Fujiwara no Suenori, a member of the illustrious Fujiwara clan. Yoritomo was born in Atsuta in Owari Province. At that time Yoritomo's grandfather Minamoto. Like Benkei, his childhood name was Oniwakamaru. In 1156, factional divisions in the court erupted into open warfare within the capital; the cloistered Emperor Toba and his son Emperor Go-Shirakawa sided with the son of Fujiwara regent Fujiwara no Tadazane, Fujiwara no Tadamichi as well as Taira no Kiyomori, while Cloistered Emperor Sutoku sided with Tadazane's younger son, Fujiwara no Yorinaga. This is known as the Hōgen Rebellion; the Seiwa Genji were split. The head of the clan, sided with Sutoku. In the end, the supporters of Go-Shirakawa won the civil war, thus ensuring victory for Yoshitomo and Kiyomori.
Sutoku was placed under house arrest, Yorinaga was fatally wounded in battle. Tameyoshi was executed after numerous pleas from Yoshitomo. Nonetheless, Go-Shirakawa and Kiyomori were ruthless, Yoshitomo found himself as the head of the Minamoto clan, while Yoritomo became the heir. Yoritomo and the Minamoto clan descended from the imperial family on his father's side. Nonetheless, in Kyoto, the Taira clan, now under the leadership of Kiyomori, the Minamoto clan, under the leadership of Yoshitomo, began to factionalize again. Kiyomori was supported by Fujiwara no Michinori, while Yoshitomo was supported by Fujiwara no Nobuyori; this was known as the Heiji Rebellion. The ex-Emperor's and Shinzei's mansions were burned, while Shinzei was decapitated. Nonetheless, the Minamoto were not well prepared, the Taira took control of Kyoto. Yoshitomo fled the capital but was betrayed and executed by a retainer. In the aftermath, harsh terms were imposed on their allies. Only Yoshitomo's three young boys remained alive, so that Kiyomori and the Taira clan were now the undisputed leaders of Japan.
Yoritomo, the new head of the Minamoto, was exiled. Yoritomo was not executed by Kiyomori because of pleas from Kiyomori's stepmother. Yoritomo's brothers, Minamoto no Noriyori and Minamoto no Yoshitsune were allowed to live. Yoritomo grew up in exile, he married into the Hōjō clan, led by Hōjō Tokimasa, marrying Hōjō Masako. Meanwhile, he was notified of events in Kyoto thanks to helpful friends. Soon enough, Yoritomo's passive exile was to be over. Father: Minamoto no Yoshitomo Mother: Yura Gozen, daughter of Fujiwara no Suenori Siblings: Half-siblings: Ano Zenjo Gien Minamoto no Yoshitsune Minamoto no Noriyori Minamoto no Tomonaga Minamoto no Yoshihira Natural siblings: Bomon-hime married Ichijō Yoshiyasu Minamoto no Mareyoshi Wife: Hōjō Masako Concubines: Daishin no Tsubone Kame no Mae Children: Sentsurumaru, son of Yoritomo with Yaehime, daughter of Itō Sukechika was killed by Sukechika. Minamoto no Yoriie by Masako Minamoto no Sanetomo by Masako O-hime married to Minamoto no Yoshitaka by Masako Otohime by Masako Jogyo by Daishin no Tsubone In 1180, Prince Mochihito, a son of Cloistered Emperor Go-Shirakawa, humiliated by the Taira because of the Taira-backed accession of the throne of his nephew, Emperor Antoku made a national call to arms of the Minamoto clan all over Japan to rebel against the Taira.
Yoritomo took part in this after things escalated between the Taira and Minamoto after the death of Minamoto no Yorimasa and Prince Mochihito himself. Yoritomo set himself up as the rightful heir of the Minamoto clan, he set up a capital in Kamakura to the east. Not all Minamoto thought of Yoritomo as rightful heir, his uncle Minamoto no Yukiie and his cousin Minamoto no Yoshinaka conspired against him. In September 1180, Yoritomo was defeated at the Battle of Ishibashiyama, his first major battle, when Ōba Kagechika led a rapid night attack. After losing a battle with the Heike clan at Mt. Ishibashiyama in 1180, Minamoto no Yoritomo fled into the Hakone mountains, stayed in Yugawara escaped From Manazuru-Iwa to Awa. Yoritomo spent the next six months raising a new army. In 1181, Taira no Kiyomori died, the Taira clan was now led by Taira no Munemori. Munemori took a much more aggressive policy against the Minamoto, attacked Minamoto bases from Kyoto in the Genpei War. Nonetheless, Yoritomo was well protected in Kamakura.
His brothers Minamoto no Yoshitsune and Minamoto no Noriyori defeated the Taira in several key battles, but they could not stop Minamoto no Yoshinaka, Yoritomo's rival, from entering Kyoto in 1183 and chasing the Taira south. The Taira took Emperor Antoku with them. In 1184, Antoku was displaced by the Minamoto with Emperor Go-Toba as the new emperor. From 1181 to 1184, a de facto truce with the Taira dominated court allowed Yoritomo the time to build an administration of his own, centered on his military headquarters in Kamakura. In the end he triumphed over his rival cousins, who sought to steal from him control of the clan, over the Taira, who suffered a terrible defeat at the Battle of Dan-no-ura in 1185. Yoritomo thus established the supremacy of the warrior samurai caste and the first bakufu at Kamakura, beginning the feudal age in Japan which l
Kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters that are used in the Japanese writing system. They are used alongside katakana; the Japanese term kanji for the Chinese characters means "Han characters". It is written with the same characters in the Chinese language to refer to the character writing system, hanzi. Chinese characters first came to Japan on official seals, swords, coins and other decorative items imported from China; the earliest known instance of such an import was the King of Na gold seal given by Emperor Guangwu of Han to a Yamato emissary in 57 AD. Chinese coins from the first century AD have been found in Yayoi period archaeological sites. However, the Japanese of that era had no comprehension of the script, would remain illiterate until the fifth century AD. According to the Nihon Shoki and Kojiki, a semi-legendary scholar called Wani was dispatched to Japan by the Kingdom of Baekje during the reign of Emperor Ōjin in the early fifth century, bringing with him knowledge of Confucianism and Chinese characters.
The earliest Japanese documents were written by bilingual Chinese or Korean officials employed at the Yamato court. For example, the diplomatic correspondence from King Bu of Wa to Emperor Shun of Liu Song in 478 has been praised for its skillful use of allusion. Groups of people called fuhito were organized under the monarch to read and write Classical Chinese. During the reign of Empress Suiko, the Yamato court began sending full-scale diplomatic missions to China, which resulted in a large increase in Chinese literacy at the Japanese court. In ancient times paper was so rare that people stenciled kanji onto thin, rectangular strips of wood; these wooden boards were used for communication between government offices, tags for goods transported between various countries, the practice of writing. The oldest written kanji in Japan discovered so far was written in ink on wood as a wooden strip dated to the 7th century, it is a record of trading for salt. The Japanese language had no written form at the time Chinese characters were introduced, texts were written and read only in Chinese.
During the Heian period, however, a system known as kanbun emerged, which involved using Chinese text with diacritical marks to allow Japanese speakers to restructure and read Chinese sentences, by changing word order and adding particles and verb endings, in accordance with the rules of Japanese grammar. Chinese characters came to be used to write Japanese words, resulting in the modern kana syllabaries. Around 650 AD, a writing system called man'yōgana evolved that used a number of Chinese characters for their sound, rather than for their meaning. Man'yōgana written in cursive style evolved into hiragana, or onna-de, that is, "ladies' hand," a writing system, accessible to women. Major works of Heian-era literature by women were written in hiragana. Katakana emerged via a parallel path: monastery students simplified man'yōgana to a single constituent element, thus the two other writing systems and katakana, referred to collectively as kana, are descended from kanji. In comparison to kana kanji are called mana.
In modern Japanese, kanji are used to write parts of the language such as nouns, adjective stems, verb stems, while hiragana are used to write inflected verb and adjective endings and as phonetic complements to disambiguate readings and miscellaneous words which have no kanji or whose kanji is considered obscure or too difficult to read or remember. Katakana are used for representing onomatopoeia, non-Japanese loanwords, the names of plants and animals, for emphasis on certain words. In 1946, after World War II and under the Allied Occupation of Japan, the Japanese government, guided by the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, instituted a series of orthographic reforms, to help children learn and to simplify kanji use in literature and periodicals; the number of characters in circulation was reduced, formal lists of characters to be learned during each grade of school were established. Some characters were given simplified glyphs, called shinjitai. Many variant forms of characters and obscure alternatives for common characters were discouraged.
These are guidelines, so many characters outside these standards are still known and used. The kyōiku kanji are 1,006 characters; the list only contained 881 characters. This was expanded to 996 characters in 1977, it was not until 1982 the list was expanded to its current size. The grade-level breakdown of these kanji is known as the gakunen-betsu kanji haitōhyō, or the gakushū kanji; the jōyō kanji are 2,136 characters consisting of all the Kyōiku kanji, plus 1,130 additional kanji taught in junior high and high school. In publishing, characters outside this category are given furigana; the jōyō kanji were introduced in 1981, replacing an older list of 1,850 characters known as the tōyō kanji, introduced in 1946. Numbering 1,945 characters, the jōyō kanji list was extended to 2,136 in 2010; some of the new characters were Jinmeiyō kanji. Since September 27, 2004, the jinmeiyō k
Samurai were the military nobility and officer caste of medieval and early-modern Japan. In Japanese, they are referred to as bushi or buke. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character 侍 was a verb meaning'to wait upon','accompany persons' in the upper ranks of society, this is true of the original term in Japanese, saburau. In both countries the terms were nominalized to mean'those who serve in close attendance to the nobility', the Japanese term saburai being the nominal form of the verb." According to Wilson, an early reference to the word samurai appears in the Kokin Wakashū, the first imperial anthology of poems, completed in the first part of the 10th century. By the end of the 12th century, samurai became entirely synonymous with bushi, the word was associated with the middle and upper echelons of the warrior class; the samurai were associated with a clan and their lord, were trained as officers in military tactics and grand strategy. While the samurai numbered less than 10% of Japan's population, their teachings can still be found today in both everyday life and in modern Japanese martial arts.
Following the Battle of Hakusukinoe against Tang China and Silla in 663 AD which led to a retreat from Korean affairs, Japan underwent widespread reform. One of the most important was that of the Taika Reform, issued by Prince Naka-no-Ōe in 646 AD; this edict allowed the Japanese aristocracy to adopt the Tang dynasty political structure, culture and philosophy. As part of the Taihō Code of 702 AD, the Yōrō Code, the population was required to report for the census, a precursor for national conscription. With an understanding of how the population was distributed, Emperor Monmu introduced a law whereby 1 in 3–4 adult males were drafted into the national military; these soldiers were required to supply their own weapons, in return were exempted from duties and taxes. This was one of the first attempts by the Imperial government to form an organized army modeled after the Chinese system, it was called "Gundan-Sei" by historians and is believed to have been short-lived. The Taihō Code classified most of the Imperial bureaucrats into 12 ranks, each divided into two sub-ranks, 1st rank being the highest adviser to the Emperor.
Those of 6th rank and below were dealt with day-to-day affairs. Although these "samurai" were civilian public servants, the modern word is believed to have derived from this term. Military men, would not be referred to as "samurai" for many more centuries. In the early Heian period, during the late 8th and early 9th centuries, Emperor Kanmu sought to consolidate and expand his rule in northern Honshū, sent military campaigns against the Emishi, who resisted the governance of the Kyoto-based imperial court. Emperor Kanmu introduced the title of sei'i-taishōgun, or shōgun, began to rely on the powerful regional clans to conquer the Emishi. Skilled in mounted combat and archery, these clan warriors became the Emperor's preferred tool for putting down rebellions. Though this is the first known use of the title shōgun, it was a temporary title and was not imbued with political power until the 13th century. At this time, the Imperial Court officials considered them to be a military section under the control of the Imperial Court.
Emperor Kanmu disbanded his army. From this time, the emperor's power declined. While the emperor was still the ruler, powerful clans around Kyoto assumed positions as ministers, their relatives bought positions as magistrates. To amass wealth and repay their debts, magistrates imposed heavy taxes, resulting in many farmers becoming landless. Through protective agreements and political marriages, the aristocrats accumulated political power surpassing the traditional aristocracy; some clans were formed by farmers who had taken up arms to protect themselves from the Imperial magistrates sent to govern their lands and collect taxes. These clans formed alliances to protect themselves against more powerful clans, by the mid-Heian period, they had adopted characteristic Japanese armor and weapons; the Emperor and non-warrior nobility employed these warrior nobles. In time they amassed enough manpower and political backing, in the form of alliances with one another, to establish the first samurai-dominated government.
As the power of these regional clans grew, their chief was a distant relative of the Emperor and a lesser member of either the Fujiwara, Minamoto, or Taira clans. Though sent to provincial areas for fixed four-year terms as magistrates, the toryo declined to return to the capital when their terms ended, their sons inherited their positions and continued to lead the clans in putting down rebellions throughout Japan during the middle- and later-Heian period; because of their rising military and economic power, the warriors became a new force in the politics of the Imperial court. Their involvement in the Hōgen Rebellion in the late Heian period consolidated their power, which pitted the rivalry of Minamoto and Taira clans against each other in the Heiji Rebellion of 1160; the victor, Taira no Kiyomori, became an imperial advisor and was the first warrior to attain such a position. He seized control of the central government, establishing the first samurai-dominated government and relegating the Emperor to figurehead status.
However, the Taira clan was still conservative when compared to its eventual successor, the Minamoto, instead of expanding or stre