Emperor Takakura was an emperor of the late Heian period who was the first to have strong ties to the Taira clan. A grandson of Taira no Tokinobu, he was married to Taira no Tokuko (Kenreimon-in), a daughter of Taira no Kiyomori, in 1171.
The third son of Emperor Go-Shirakawa, Takakura was named Crown Prince in 1166, and took the throne in 1168 after Emperor Rokujô stepped down. Fujiwara no Motofusa served as sesshô (regent) until 1172, after which Fujiwara no Motomichi would take over as sesshô/kanpaku for the next reign and a half, through 1186.
Takakura's wife Taira no Tokuko gave birth to a son in 1178, and he was quickly named Crown Prince. In 1180, Takakura was then pressured to abdicate in favor of his son, who was then placed on the throne as Emperor Antoku. This was a calculation by Taira no Kiyomori to accumulate more power unto himself, as Antoku was Kiyomori's grandson. Passed over for the succession, and distasteful of Taira power, Prince Mochihito (Takakura's brother, and Antoku's uncle) called upon the Minamoto clan to support his own claims to the throne over those of Antoku, thus spurring the beginning of the Genpei War.
Takakura died the following year, in 1181, as did Kiyomori, who never got to more fully enjoy the fruits of having his grandson on the throne. Antoku died in 1185, having already been succeeded in 1183 by another son of Emperor Takakura, Emperor Go-Toba, by a different consort, Fujiwara no Shokushi.
|Emperor of Japan
- Evelyn Rawski, Early Modern China and Northeast Asia: Cross-Border Perspectives, Cambridge University Press (2015), 156.
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