Emperors & Empresses (tennō)
of Japan

See also shogunates.

The first 14 tennō in the traditional count are legendary, probably created in the 7th century CE.  The traditional dates are those given in the chronicle Nihon shoki, written around 720.

The Yamato Period
Reign Dates     Relation to
Predecessor
Traditional
Reign Dates
 Comments
40 bce-10 ce 1 Jimmu   660–585 bce  
10–20 ce 2 Suizei son 585–549 bce  
20–50 3 Annei son 548–511 bce  
50-80 4 Itoku son 510–477 bce  
80–110 5 Kōshō son 475–393 bce  
110–140 6 Kōan son 392–291 bce  
140–170 7 Kōrei son 290–215 bce  
170–200 8 Kōgen son 214-158 bce  
200–230 9 Kaika son 157–98 bce  
230–258 10 Sujin son 97–30 bce  
258–290 11 Suinan son 29 bce–70 ce  
292–322 12 Keikō son 71 ce–130 ce  
322–355 13 Seimu son 131–191  
355–362 14 Chūai nephew 192–200  

The next group are historical figures. The Nihon shoki dates are doubtful, but notice how they gradually converge with modern historians’ estimates.

Reign Dates     Relation to
Predecessor
Nihon Shoki
Reign Dates
Comments
362–394 15 Ōjin son 201–310 Jingo, 201–269
394–427 16 Nintoku son 313–399  
427–432 17 Richū son 400–405  
432–437 18 Henzei brother 406–411  
437–454 19 Ingyō brother 412–453  
454–457 20 Ankō son 454–456  
457–489 21 Yūyaku brother 457–479  
489–494 22 Seinei son 480–484  
494–497 23 Kenzō grandson of
Richū
485–487  
497–504 24 Ninken brother 488–498  
504–510 25 Buretsu son 499–506  
510–527 26 Keitai great-great-great
-grandson of Ōjin
507–531  
527–535 27 Ankan son    
535–539 28 Senka brother    

 

Reign Dates     Relation to
Predecessor
Comments
539–571 29 Kimmei
509–571
brother  
572–585 30 Bidatsu
538–585
son  
586–588 31 Yōmei
?–588
brother  
588–592 32 Sushun
?–592
brother Assassinated on orders of clan head Soga Umako.
593–628 33 Suiko
554–628
sister  
629–641 34 Jomei
593–641
grandson of
Bidatsu
 
642–645 35 Kōgyoku
594–661
niece Abdicated.
645–654 36 Kōtoku
507–654
brother 645: Fujiwara clan overthrows Soga clan.
655–661 37 Saimei
594–661
restoration of
Kōgyoku
 
661–672 38 Tenji
626–672
son of Jomei Enthroned 668.
672 39 Kōbun
648–672
son
672–686 40 Temmu
?–686
son of Jomei Enthroned 673.
686–697 41 Jitō
645–703
daughter of
Tenji
Enthroned 690.
Abdicated.
697–707 42 Mommu
683–707
grandson of
Temmu
 

 

Nara Period
Reign Dates     Relation to
Predecessor
Comments
708–714 43 Gemmei
661–722
daughter of
Tenji
Abdicated.
715–723 44 Genshō
680–748
sister of
Mommu
Abdicated.
724–749 45 Shōmu
701–756
son of
Mommu
Abdicated. Controlled successor from retirement.
749–758 46 Kōken
718–770
daughter Abdicated.
758–764 47 Junnin
733–765
grandson of
Temmu
Deposed.
765–769 48 Shōtoku
718–770
restoration of
Kōken
 
770–781 49 Kōnin
709–782
grandson of
Tenji
Abdicated.

 

Heian Period
Reign Dates     Relation to
Predecessor
Comments
782–806 50 Kanmu
(Kashiwabara I)
737–806
son  
806–809 51 Heijō
(Nara I)
774–824
son Abdicated.
810–823 52 Saga
786–842
brother Abdicated.
824–833 53 Junna
(Sai'in I)
786–840
brother Abdicated.
834–850 54 Nimmyō
(Fukakusa I)
810–850
son of Saga  
851–858 55 Montoku
827–858
son  
858–876 56 Seiwa
(Mizuno'o)
850–881
son Abdicated.
876–884 57 Yōzei
869–949
son Enthroned 877.
Deposed.
884–887 58 Kōkō
(Komatsu)
830–887
son of
Nimmyō
 
887–897 59 Uda
867–931
son Abdicated.
897–930 60 Daigo
885–930
son  
930–946 61 Suzaku
923–952
son Abdicated.
946–967 62 Murakami
926–967
brother  
967–969 63 Reizei
950–1011
son Abdicated.
969–984 64 En'yū
959–991
brother Abdicated.
984–986 65 Kazan
968–1008
son of Reizei Abdicated.
986–1011 66 Ichijō
980–1011
son of
En'yū
Abdicated.
1011–1016 67 Sanjō
976–1017
son of Reizei Abdicated.
1016–1036 68 Go-Ichijō
1008–1036
son of Ichijō  
1036–1045 69 Go-Suzaku
1009–1045
brother Abdicated.
1045–1068 70 Go-Reizei
1025–1068
son  
1068–1073 71 Go-Sanjō
1034–1073
brother Abdicated.
1073–1087 72 Shirakawa
1053–1129
son Abdicated. 
1087–1107 73 Horikawa
1079–1107
son  
1107–1123 74 Toba
1103–1156
son Enthroned 1108.
Abdicated.
1123–1142 75 Sutoku
1119–1164
son Abdicated.
1142–1155 76 Konoe
1139–1155
brother  
1155–1158 77 Go-Shirakawa
1127–1192
brother Abdicated.
1158–1165 78 Nijō
1143–1165
son Abdicated.
1165–1168 79 Rokujō
1164–1176
son Abdicated.
1168–1180 80 Takakura
1161–1181
son of
Go-Shirakawa
Abdicated.
1181–1183 81 Antoku
1178–1185
son Rebels drove Antoku from the capital and installed Go-Toba.

 

Kamakura Period
Reign Dates     Relation to
Predecessor
Comments
1183–1198 82 Go-Toba
1180–1239
brother of
Antoku
Enthroned 1184.
Abdicated. Led a rebellion in retirement.
1198–1210 83 Tsuchimikado
1195–1231
son Abdicated.
1210–1221 84 Juntoku
1197–1242
brother Enthroned 1211.
Abdicated.
1221 85 Chūkyō
1218–1234
son Deposed.
1221–1232 86 Go-Horikawa
1212–1234
grandson of
Takakura
Enthroned 1222.
Abdicated.
1233–1242 87 Shijo
1231–1242
son Enthroned 1233.
1243–1246 88 Go-Saga
1220–1272
son of 
Tsuchimikado
Abdicated.
1247–1259 89 Go-Fukakusa
1243–1304
son Abdicated.
1260–1274 90 Kameyama
1249–1305
brother Abdicated.
1274: 1st Mongol invasion.
1275–1287 91 Go-Uda
1267–1324
son Abdicated.
1281: 2nd Mongol invasion.
1288–1298 92 Fushimi
1265–1317
son of
Go-Fukakusa
Abdicated.
1299–1301 93 Go-Fushimi
1288–1336
son of
Fushimi
Abdicated.
1302–1308 94 Go-Nijō
1285–1308
son of
Go-Uda
 
1308–1318 95 Hanazono
1297–1348
son of
Fushimi
Abdicated.

Yoshino Period

Southern Court
Reign Dates     Relation to
Predecessor
Comments
1318–1339 96 Go-Daigo
1288–1339
son of Go-Uda 1332: captured and exiled.
1333: escapes and returns. 
1339–1368 97 Go-Murakami
1328–1368
son  
1368–1383 98 Chōkei
1343–1394
son Abdicated.
1383–1392 99 Go-Kameyama
?–1424
brother Abdicated in favor of Go-Komatsu,
thus ending the divided court.

 

Northern Court
Reign Dates     Relation to
Predecessor
Comments
1331–1333 N1 Kōgon
1313–1364
son of
Go-Fushimi
Enthroned 1332.
Deposed.
1336–1348 N2 Kōmyō
1322–1380
brother Enthroned 1338.
Abdicated.
1348–1351 N3 Sukō
1334–1398
son of Kōgon Enthroned 1350.
Abdicated.
1352–1371 N4 Go-Kōgōn
1338–1374
brother Enthroned 1354.
Abdicated.
1371–1382 N5 Go-En'yū
1359–1393
son Enthroned 1375.
Abdicated.

 

Muromachi Period
Reign Dates     Relation to
Predecessor
Comments
1382–1412 100 Go-Komatsu
1377–1433
son of
Go-En'yū
Enthroned 1392.
Abdicated.
1412–1428 101 Shōkō
1401–1428
son Enthroned 1415.
1428–1464 102 Go-Hanazono
1419–1471
great-grandson of
Sukō
Enthroned 1430.
Abdicated.
1464–1500 103 Go-Tsuchimikado
1442–1500
son Enthroned 1466.
1500–1526 104 Go-Kashiwabara
1464–1526
son Enthroned 1521.
1526–1557 105 Go-Nara
1497–1557
son Enthroned 1536.
1557–1586 106 Ōgimachi
1517–1593
son Enthroned 1560.
Abdicated.

 

Tokugawa Period
Reign Dates     Relation to
Predecessor
Comments
1586–1611 107 Go-Yōzei
1572–1617
grandson of
Ōgimachi
Enthroned 1587.
1611–1629 108 Go-Mizuno'o
1596–1680
son Abdicated.
1629–1643 109 Meishō
1624–1696
daughter Enthroned 1630.
Abdicated.
1643–1654 110 Go-Kōmyō
1633–1654
brother  
1655–1663 111 Go-Sai
1637–1685
brother Enthroned 1656.
Abdicated.
1663–1687 112 Reigen
1654–1732
brother Abdicated.
1687–1709 113 Higashiyama
1675–1710
son Abdicated.
1709–1735 114 Nakamikado
1702–1737
son Enthroned 1710.
Abdicated.
1735–1747 115 Sakuramachi
1720–1750
son Abdicated.
1747–1762 116 Momozono
1741–1762
son  
1762–1771 117 Go-Sakuramachi
1740–1813
sister Enthroned 1763.
Abdicated.
1771–1779 118 Go-Momozono
1758–1779
son of Momozono  
1780–1817 119 Kōkaku
1771–1840
great-grandson of
Higashiyama
Abdicated.
1817–1846 120 Ninkō
1800–1846
son  
1846–1867 121 Kōmei
1831–1867
son Enthroned 1847.

 

Meiji Restoration
Reign Dates       Relation to
Predecessor
Comment
1867–1912 122 Meiji 明治
1868–30 July 1912
Mutsuhito
1852–1912
son Enthroned 1868.
1912–1926 123 Taishō 大正
30 July 1912–
25 Dec 1926
Yoshihito
1879–1926
son Enthroned 1915.
1926–1989 124 Shōwa 昭和
25 Dec 1926–
7 Jan 1989
Michinomiya Hirohito
1901–1989
son Enthroned 1928.
1989- 125 Heisei 平成
8 Jan 1989–
Tsugu Akihito
1933-
son  

Resources

Paul Yachita Tsuchihashi.
Japanese Chronological Tables from 601 to 1872 A. D.
Monumenta Nipponica monographs, number 11.
Tokyo: Monumenta Nipponica, Sophia University, 1988.

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