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六条

Rokujô (1164-1176) was emperor of Japan for three years during the late Heian Era, reigning from 1165-1168. The son of Emperor Nijô, Rokujo ascended to the throne at the age of one upon his father's abdication, and then abdicated at the age of three in favor of his infant uncle Takakura, who himself was only seven years old at the time.

The reason for these abdications was that the leader of the powerful Taira warrior clan, Kiyomori, was locked in a struggle for control of the Japanese court with retired emperor Go-Shirakawa, who held the real reins of power during the reigns of these child emperors. Kiyomori hoped to weaken the power of the insei system of rule by retired emperors by using his dominance over the court to appoint emperors who would strengthen his own position at the expense of Go-Shirakawa's. In this case, Kiyomori preferred Takakura over Rokujô because Takakura was his own nephew, and thus more easily controlled. Kiyomori's ultimate ambition was to have one of his relatives become the ruling retired emperor, thus unifying all political power within his own hands.

Little is known of Rokujô's activities after his abdication. He died shortly thereafter in 1176, at the tender age of 11 years.


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