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Emperor Takakura (September 20, 1161 – January 30, 1181) was the 80th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1168 through 1180.

Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name was Norihito-shinnō .He was also known as Nobuhito-shinnō.

Takakura was the fourth son of Emperor Go-Shirakawa, and thus uncle to his predecessor, Emperor Rokujō. His mother was Empress Dowager Taira no Shigeko, the younger sister of Taira no Tokiko, the wife of Taira no Kiyomori. His empress consort was Taira no Tokuko (later Empress Dowager Kenrei), the daughter of Taira no Kiyomori, and thus his first cousin (as his mother and Tokuko’s mothers were sisters)

Takakura had his own views on the role of Emperor. He is said to have written:

“The Emperor is a ship. His subjects are water. The water enables a ship to float well, but sometimes the vessel is capsized by it. His subjects can sustain an Emperor well, but sometimes they overthrow him.

Soon after the birth of Emperor Takakura’s son, Prince Tokihito, he was pressured to abdicate. The one-year-old infant would become Emperor Antoku.

 

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