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Emperor Go-Horikawa (1212-1234), was the 86th imperial sovereign of Japan, at least according to the traditional chronology, reigning from 1221-1232.

In the aftermath of the Jokyu War, which was the failed attempt by his uncle, retired emperor Go-Toba, to wrest power away from the Hojo shogunate, Go-Horikawa's cousin Emperor Chukyo was hastily deposed and 10-year old Go-Horikawa was elevated to the throne, no doubt because his father, Go-Toba's docile younger brother Prince Morisada, had already become a priest and was clearly disinterested in politics.

Hojo Yoshitoki, who was the effective ruler of Japan by dint of his position as the head of the powerful Hojo clan and his office as regent for a series of infant shoguns, had no intention of ever again allowing another willful emperor like Go-Toba to ascend to the throne, and having a 10-year old installed was well-suited to this plans.

Indeed, everything went exactly as Yoshitoki wished, and Go-Horikawa proved just as docile as his father, even as he grew up, dutifully doing everything just as the Hojo told him, up to and including abdicating at age 21 in favor of his infant son, who would become Emperor Shijo. Go-Horikawa then conveniently died just two years later, insuring that he would have no time become craftier or more uppity and use his position as a retired emperor to stir up trouble behind the scenes the way his uncle had.

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