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Shōhei (正平) was a Japanese era name (年号, nengō, lit. year name) of the Southern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts after Kōkoku and before Kentoku. This period spanned the years from December 1346 to July 1370.[1] The Southern Court emperors in Yoshino were Emperor Go-Murakami (後村上天皇, Go-Murakami-tennō) and Emperor Chōkei (長慶天皇, Chōkei-tennō). The emperors in Kyoto were Emperor Kōmyō (光明天皇, Kōmyō-tennō), Emperor Sukō (崇光天皇, Sukō-tennō) and Emperor Go-Kōgon (後光厳天皇, Go-Kōgon-tennō) in the north.[2]

Nanboku-chō overview[edit]

The Imperial seats during the Nanboku-chō period were in relatively close proximity, but geographically distinct. They were conventionally identified as:

During the Meiji period, an Imperial decree dated March 3, 1911 established that the legitimate reigning monarchs of this period were the direct descendants of Emperor Go-Daigo through Emperor Go-Murakami, whose Southern Court (南朝, nanchō) had been established in exile in Yoshino, near Nara.[3]

Until the end of the Edo period, the militarily superior pretender-Emperors supported by the Ashikaga shogunate had been mistakenly incorporated in Imperial chronologies despite the undisputed fact that the Imperial Regalia were not in their possession.[3]

This illegitimate Northern Court (北朝, hokuchō) had been established in Kyoto by Ashikaga Takauji.[3]

Events of the Shohei Era[edit]

Northern Court Equivalents[edit]


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Nengō" in Japan encyclopedia, p. 880; n.b., Louis-Frédéric is pseudonym of Louis-Frédéric Nussbaum, see Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Authority File Archived 2012-05-24 at
  2. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 310-327.
  3. ^ a b c Thomas, Julia Adeney. (2001). Reconfiguring modernity: concepts of nature in Japanese political ideology, p. 199 n57, citing Mehl, Margaret. (1997). History and the State in Nineteenth-Century Japan. pp. 140-147.
  4. ^ a b Titsingh, p. 297.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Ackroyd, Joyce. (1982) Lessons from History: the Tokushi Yoron, p.329.
  6. ^ Titsingh, p. 299.
  7. ^ Historiographical Institute: "Ashikaga Tadafuyu's Call to Arms," Dai Nihon shi-ryō, VI, xiv, 43.
  8. ^ Nussbaum, p. 474.
  9. ^ Titsingh, p. 302.
  10. ^ Titsingh, p. 303; n.b., Minamoto no Michisuke (源通相, 1326-1371) of the Koga family (久我家) will rise to become daijō daijin in 1366-1368.
  11. ^ a b Titsingh, p. 303.
  12. ^ Titsingh, p. 304.
  13. ^ a b Ackroyd, p.329.
  14. ^ Titsingh, p. 305.
  15. ^ Eigen-ji, Joint Council for Japanese Rinzai and Obaku Zen, "head temples;" Dumoulin, Heinrich. (2005). Zen Buddhism: A History, p. 205.


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Era or nengō

Succeeded by