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Prince Mochihito

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  • Born: 1150
  • Died: 1180/5
  • Other Names: Takakura-no-miya
  • Japanese: 以仁王 (Mochihito ou)

Prince Mochihito was the second son of Retired Emperor Go-Shirakawa. A succession dispute between his claim to the throne and that of Emperor Antoku played a major role in sparking the Genpei War.

Mochihito, and later a number of his children, were formally adopted by Hachijô-in, a daughter of Emperor Toba and his consort Bifukumon-in.

Following the retirement of Emperor Takakura in 1180, Taira no Kiyomori placed his grandson on the throne, naming him Emperor Antoku. Anticipating this, Mochihito had weeks earlier called upon the Minamoto clan warriors of the Kantô to rise up against the Taira, in support of his own claim to the throne.

A month later, this call resulted in the First Battle of Uji, the first major clash between Minamoto and Taira. Mochihito died in that battle, but the war between Minamoto and Taira would continue for five years, ending only in 1185, with the deaths of Antoku and many of the Taira.

References

  • Arai Hakuseki, Joyce Ackroyd (trans.), Told Round a Brushwood Fire, University of Tokyo Press (1979), 288n20.
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