Emperor Sukō

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Emperor Sukō
3rd Northern Emperor
ReignNovember 18, 1348 – November 26, 1351
CoronationFebruary 3, 1350
BornMay 25, 1334
DiedJanuary 31, 1398(1398-01-31) (aged 63)
Daikōmyō-ji no Misasagi (大光明寺陵)
IssueSee list
Posthumous name
Emperor Sukō (崇光院 or 崇光天皇)
FatherEmperor Kōgon
MotherSanjō Shūshi

Emperor Sukō (崇光天皇, Sukō Tennō) (May 25, 1334 – January 31, 1398) was the third of the Emperors of Northern Court during the Period of the Northern and Southern Courts in Japan. According to pre-Meiji scholars, his reign spanned the years from 1348 through 1351.[1]


His personal name was originally Masuhito (益仁), but was later changed to Okihito (興仁).

His father was Emperor Kōgon. His predecessor, Emperor Kōmyō was his uncle, the younger brother of Emperor Kōgon.

  • Lady-in-waiting: Niwata (Minamoto) Motoko (庭田(源)資子; d.1394), Niwata Shigemoto's daughter
  • Court Lady: Anfuku-dono-Naishi (安福殿女御)
  • Consort: Sanjō-no-Tsubone (三条局)
    • First daughter: Princess Suiho (瑞宝女王)
    • Third son: Imperial Prince Priest Kojo (弘助法親王)

Events of Sukō's life[edit]

Sukō occupied the Chrysanthemum Throne from 18 November 1348 until 22 November 1351.[2]

In 1348, he became Crown Prince. In the same year, he became Northern Emperor upon the abdication of Emperor Kōmyō. Although Emperor Kōgon ruled as a cloistered Emperor, the rivalry between Ashikaga Takauji and Ashikaga Tadayoshi began, and in 1351, Takauji returned to the allegiance of the Southern Court, forcing Emperor Sukō to abdicate. This was intended to reunify the Imperial Line.

However, the peace soon fell apart, and in April 1352, the Southern Dynasty evacuated Kyoto, abducting with them Retired (Northern) Emperors Emperor Kōgon and Emperor Kōmyō as well as Emperor Sukō and the Crown Prince Tadahito. Because of this, Takauji made Emperor Kōgon's second son Imperial Prince Iyahito emperor (First Fushimi-no-miya).[2]: 88, 93 

Returning to Kyoto in 1357, Emperor Sukō's son Imperial Prince Yoshihito began to work with the Bakufu to be named Crown Prince, but the Bakufu instead decided to make Emperor Go-Kōgon's son (the future Emperor Go-En'yū) Crown Prince instead.

In 1398, Emperor Sukō died. But, 30 years after his death, in 1428, his great-grandson Hikohito (彦仁), as the adopted son of Emperor Shōkō, became Emperor Go-Hanazono, fulfilling Sukō's dearest wish. Sukō is enshrined at the Daikōmyōji no misasagi (大光明寺陵) in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto.

Eras during his reign[edit]

Nanboku-chō Southern court
  • Eras as reckoned by legitimate Court (as determined by Meiji rescript)
Nanboku-chō Northern court
  • Eras as reckoned by pretender Court (as determined by Meiji rescript)

Southern Court rivals[edit]

Japanese line of succession[edit]

If the current line of the Japanese royal family fails to produce sons (i.e. if the 3 currently in line all fail to produce sons), then it would be Suko's line that would become the main line and most senior of the House of Yamoto in male primogeniture preference (i.e. son to son). Currently (as of 2021) the head of this line is Fushimi Hiroaki, however as he has no sons, the line will become extinct upon his death.


See also[edit]


Japanese Imperial kamon — a stylized chrysanthemum blossom
  1. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 296–301.
  2. ^ a b Sansom, George (1961). A History of Japan, 1334-1615. Stanford University Press. p. 82,86. ISBN 0804705259.
  3. ^ "Genealogy". Reichsarchiv (in Japanese). Retrieved 4 December 2020.


Regnal titles
Preceded by Northern Emperor
Succeeded by