Places, Images, Times & Transformations

Go-Shirakawa, Emperor

(1127-92). The 77th sovereign in the traditional count (which includes several legendary emperors); reigned 1155-58. After his abdication he controlled affairs for 34 years, which saw the rise and fall of the Taira family and the establishment of the Kamakura shogunate. In the Heiji Disturbance of 1160 he exploited the rivalry between the Taira and the Minamoto family, and then turned Minamoto no Yoritomo against his younger brother Minamoto no Yoshitsune. He was responsible for the compilation of contemporary songs (imayō) called Ryōin hishō. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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