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土御門

Emperor Tsuchimikado (11961231), whose reign name literally means "Emperor Earthen Gates" was the 83rd emperor of Japan according to the traditional chronology, reigning from 1198 to 1210.

Born Prince Tamehito, Tsuchimikado was the eldest son of the Emperor Go-Toba and Minamoto Ariko, a daughter of the warlord Minamoto Michichika.

Tsuchimikado ascended to the throne at the age of two because his father, Go-Toba, wanted to abdicate and wield real power as the retired emperor. Throughout Tsuchimikado's reign, it was his father who really ruled over the region around the court, and became deeply involved in a struggle for power with the Hojo Shogunate. When Tsuchimikado was 14, his father, realizing that he had no special talent for nor interest in politics, prevailed upon him to abdicate in favor of one of his younger brothers who did, which Tsuchimikado was happy to do, yielding the throne to Emperor Juntoku.

Tschimikado thereupon petitioned the Shogunate for special permission to leave Kyoto and take up residence in the provinces. He lived for a while in Tosa province, and later moved to Awa province, both on the island of Shikoku, where he died at age 37 in 1231.


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