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Emperor Go-Toba of Japan

Emperor Go-Toba (後鳥羽天皇) (1180-1239) was the 82nd imperial ruler of Japan, a poet and an editor. He ruled from 1183 to 1198. His greatest contribution to literature is the Shin-kokin-waka-shu (The New Anthology of Ancient and Modern Waka). He ordered its creation and took part in the working group as an editor.

Go-Toba took the throne at the age of three, after his brother, Antoku, himself only five, was forced to abdicate during the Genpei War. Shortly after Go-Toba took the throne, the first shogunate was established by Minamoto no Yoritomo. This meant that the emperor become a figurehead with little or no real power. In 1198, the shogun forced Go-Toba, who was still in his teens, to abdicate. Two of Go-Toba's sons succeeded him on the throne, but they were each in turn also forced to abdicate. In 1221, the shogun installed Go-Toba's three-year-old grandson, Chūkyō, as emperor, but Go-Toba chose to stage a rebellion in an attempt to reclaim the throne and overthrow the Kamakura shogunate. This is known as the Jokyu incident. Go-Toba's rebellion was defeated and Chūkyō was replaced as emperor by a member of a different branch of the imperial family.

Preceded by:
Emperor of Japan Succeeded by:

Last updated: 01-19-2005 00:37:49