Emperor Shirakawa

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Futakihito / Emperor Shirakawa
弐季仁 / 白河天皇
The Emperor-Shogun
Kyōtsū of Mitoyagi.jpg
Emperor of Mitoyagi
Reign October 5, 1603 - November 21, 1611
Coronation January 2, 1604
Predecessor Kammu
Successor Odagyu
Lord of Otani
In office September 3, 1598 - June 6, 1605
Preceded by None
Succeeded by Ii Naotaka
Lord of Mizuho
In office June 6, 1605 - November 21, 1611
Preceded by None
Succeeded by Sakakibara Yasumasa
Consort(s) Komatsu
Hatsune
Issue
Otokohito, Emperor of Mitoyagi
Nobuhito, Prince Shotoku
Honda Tadamasa, Lord of Otani
Honda Tadatomo, Lord of Mizuho
Inahime
Full name
Futakihito / Honda Shigetada
Era dates
1576 - 1611
Posthumous name
Shirakawa
Born (1576-01-02)2 January 1576
Oka-kyo Palace, Mitoyagi
Died 21 November 1611(1611-11-21) (aged 34)
Oka-kyo Palace, Okashi, Mitoyagi
Burial Imperial Mausoleum, Matsu, Haru
Religion Shinto

Emperor Shirawaka (白河天皇 Shirakawa-tennō?) (February 25, 1576 – November 21, 1611) was the 45th Emperor of Mitoyagi, according to the traditional order of succession. He reigned from 1576 to 1611, corresponding to the transition between the Warring States Era and the Honda period. His personal name was Futakihito (弐季仁).

Known as Futakihito at birth, he was abducted from the Okashi Palace on March 5, 1576 by members of the Ogasawara clan in an attempt to take control of the Imperial Court as well as to persuade the Imperial Family to install Ogasawara Terumasa as the shogun. The abduction is now known as the Yuzawa Incident. The Imperial Family agreed to let the Ogasawara clan train him as an officer within the clan and assumed the name of Ogasawara Taisei.

He would later serve the Honda clan, after the Ogasawara clan offered him as a hostage to the Honda to form their alliance. Under Honda Katsuyori, he assumed the name of Honda Shigetada, and was one of the Honda Four Heavenly Pillars along with Ii Naomasa, Sakakibara Yasumasa and Sakai Tadatsugu. It was widely acknowledged that he was a reputed samurai and a loyal retainer of Honda Katsuyori. Futaku is often referred to as "The Warrior who surpassed Death itself" because he never once suffered a significant wound, despite being the veteran of over 40 battles by the end of his life, and because he was never defeated by another samurai.

As the emperor, he oversaw the consolidation of power within the Empire and established the Honda clan as the legitimate shogunate. He also help write the Tale of Shikibu, a popular novel involving the Sengoku Period as well as the rise of the Honda Shogunate.

He was assassinated in 1611 by unknown assailants that is still a matter of controversy to this day.

Early life and abduction

The emperor was born on February 25, 1576 at Oka-kyo palace through then Crown Prince Yoshihito (Emperor Kammu) and the empress Sento-in. The prince was named Futakihito, in hopes that the future prince will serve all the people of Okaiken.

In October 12, 1578, while the Imperial Family was vacationing on the summer palace of Mikasawa, in the territory of the Ogasawara clan, assailants breached the walls of the poorly guarded palace and attempted to kidnap the young prince. Prince Mutsohito,the uncle of the prince was also assassinated in the process. Futakihito was taken to the residence of the Ogasawara clan in an attempt to extort the Imperial Family for more control of territory.

In the process, members of the Ogasawara clan received the entire island of Haru and a considerable sum of 300,000 koku for each of the main Ogasawara clan retainers. They also made Ogasawara Tainobu a noble of the imperial courts, giving him considerable power and authority of the islands. However, the Honda clan never exchanged Futakihito; instead, the clan chose to train Futakihito as their vassal. He was placed in the Shohei Temple under the guidance of Zen no Kisho and was trained to become a page of the Ogasawara clan. He became known as "Waka" during his stay at Shohei Temple.

When he came of age, he was adopted by the Honda clan and changed his name to Honda no Shigetada.

As a Honda general

As emperor

Assassination

Legacy

See also

References

External links