Imperial Prince Naohito (直仁親王)

Imperial Prince Naohito (1335 - June 10, 1395) was a member of the Imperial Family of the Jimyo-in Imperial line in the period of the Northern and Southern Courts. He was the child of Emperor Hanazono; his mother was Senkomonin Jisshi (Saneko) Ogimachi. After enthroned as prince (younger brother of an Emperor who is heir apparent) of Northern Court Emperor Suko, he was taken to Yoshino by the Southern court army at the time of the Shohei itto (temporal unification of the Northern and Southern Courts) incident; and was deprived of his throne. He was also called Hagiwara no miya as he succeeded `Hagiwaradono' (Hagiwara palace) which was the palace of his father, the Retired Emperor Hanazono.

Background

Because his father, Emperor Hanazono was originally a branch line of the Jimyo-in Imperial line, Imperial Prince was not in a position to succeed the throne; the throne was supposed to be succeeded by the main line; Emperor Gofushimi-Emperor Kogon-Emperor Suko. However, when he had the Genpuku ceremony (coming- of-age ceremony for a young man after the Nara period) in 1348, he was granted the right to the imperial throne as the adopted child of Emperor Kogen, and was enthroned as the prince of Emperor Suko (his brother in law) on October 27 in the same year.

In 1351 in the middle of the Kano Disturbance, Takauji ASHIKAGA, seii taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians") of the Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), surrendered Emperor Gomurakami of Southern Court; in response to this, the Southern court army conquered Kyoto, and held the imperial family members on the Northern court side in custody. On November 7, the abolishment of the throne of Emperor Suko and Prince Naohito was announced by the Southern court (Shohei itto).

Soon after, the Southern court army was forced to move out of Kyoto due to the opposition between Takauji and the Southern court; the Southern court army with Emperor Kogon, Emperor Komyo, the Retired three Emperors of Suko, the abolished Imperial Prince Naohito were taken to Yoshino, Yamato Province; the base of the southern court, and they were confined in Ano (present-day Gojo City, Nara Prefecture). After their release in 1356, they returned to Kyoto in the following year, however, their demands for reinstatement of Emperor Suko and Imperial Prince Naohito were denied; in Kyoto, the younger bother of Emperor Suko, Emperor Kogon had been enthroned by Takauji until then.

Imperial Prince Naohito was disappointed and became a priest; he retired into Hagiwaradono (Hagiwara palace), his father's palace, and passed away after the Southern and Northern courts were united.