Places, Images, Times & Transformations

Kammu, Emperor

(736-806, r 781-806). The 50th sovereign in the traditional count (which includes several non-historical emperors). Because his mother was a commoner of Korean origin, Kammu was not originally in the line of succession, but he was named crown prince in 772 through the efforts of his father-in-law, the court official Fujiwara no Momokawa. Kammu moved the capital from Nara to Nagakakyō and then to Heiankyō (Kyoto) and reformed the provincial administrative system. He was a generous patron of the Buddhist monks Saichō and Kūkai. The power and prestige of the throne reached a peak during his reign. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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