Emperor Toba - Events of Toba's Life

Events of Toba's Life

When his mother died, his grandfather, former-Emperor Shirakawa, took him under his care and raised him.

  • August 9, 1107 (Kajō 2, 19th day of the 7th month): In the 21st year of Emperor Horikawa-tennō 's reign (堀河天皇21年), the emperor died at the age of 29; and the succession (‘‘senso’’) was received by his only son. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Toba is said to have acceded to the throne (‘‘sokui’’).

During the initial years of Toba's reign, the actual power was held by his grandfather, the "retired" Emperor Shirakawa, in a process known as cloistered rule.

  • 1110 (Ten'ei 3, 6th month): The Miidera-ji burned down. This was the second time the temple was destroyed by fire, the first time being in 1081.
  • February 25, 1123 (Hōan 4, 28th day of the 1st month): In the 17th year of Emperor Toba's reign (鳥羽天皇17年), Toba was forced to abdicate by his grandfather, retired-Emperor Shirakawa. Toba gave up the throne in favor of his son Akihito, who would become Emperor Sutoku. Toba was only 21 years old when he renounced his title; and he had already reigned for 16 years: two in the nengō Tennin, three in Ten'ei, five in the nengō Eikyū, two in Gen'ei, and four in the nengō Hōan. At this time, Toba took the title Daijō-tennō. The succession (senso) was received by a his son.
  • 1123 (Hōan 4, 2nd month): Emperor Sutoku is said to have acceded to the throne (sokui).
  • 1129 (Daiji 4): Emperor Shirakawa died; and Toba himself began to rule as cloistered emperor. Toba continued to hold power through the reigns of three emperors, Emperor Sutoku, Emperor Konoe, and Emperor Go-Shirakawa.
  • 1134 (Chōshō 3): The former-Emperor Toba made a pilgrimage to the Kumano Shrines. He was accompanied by sadaijin Hanazono no Arahito and udaijin Naka-no-in Munetada. The excursion was enjoyed by all, and great quantities of sake were consumed.

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