Portrait traditionally identified as that of Ashikaga Takauji
Memorial Shinto shrine and mausoleum honoring Emperor Go-Murakami
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Japanese Imperial kamon — a stylized chrysanthemum blossom
Tomb of Ashikaga Takauji at Tōji-in in Kyoto

However, in 1336, because Ashikaga Takauji had raised a rebellion, the Emperor returned to Sakamoto with a strong force to confront him.

- Emperor Go-Murakami

He captured Kyoto for a few days in February 1336, only to be driven out and fled to Kyūshū due to the arrival of forces under Prince Takanaga, Prince Norinaga, Kitabatake Akiie and Yūki Munehiro.

- Ashikaga Takauji

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Emperor Go-Daigo

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The 96th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.

The 96th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.

Woodblock print triptych by Ogata Gekkō; Emperor Go-Daigo dreams of ghosts at his palace in Kasagiyama
Memorial Shinto shrine and mausoleum honoring Emperor Go-Daigo
Empress Kishi and Emperor Go-Daigo. From Taiheiki Emaki (c. 17th century), vol. 2, On the Lamentation of the Empress. Owned by Saitama Prefectural Museum of History and Folklore.
Japanese Imperial kamon — a stylized chrysanthemum blossom

The Kenmu restoration was in turn overthrown by Ashikaga Takauji in 1336, ushering in the Ashikaga shogunate, and split the imperial family into two opposing factions between the Ashikaga backed Northern Court situated in Kyoto and the Southern Court based in Yoshino led by Go-Daigo and his later successors.

18 September 1339 (Ryakuō 2, 15th day of the 8th month): In the 21st year of Go-Daigo's reign, the emperor abdicated at Yoshino in favor of his son, Noriyoshi-shinnō, who would become Emperor Go-Murakami.

The Imperial seats during the Nanboku-chō period were in relatively close proximity, but geographically distinct. They were conventionally identified as:

Kōkoku

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Japanese era of the Southern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts after Engen and before Shōhei, lasting from April 1340 to December 1346.

Japanese era of the Southern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts after Engen and before Shōhei, lasting from April 1340 to December 1346.

The Imperial seats during the Nanboku-chō period were in relatively close proximity, but geographically distinct. They were conventionally identified as:

During the Meiji period, an Imperial decree dated March 3, 1911, established that the legitimate reigning monarchs of this period were the direct descendants of Emperor Go-Daigo through Emperor Go-Murakami, whose Southern Court (南朝) had been established in exile in Yoshino, near Nara.

This illegitimate Northern Court (北朝) had been established in Kyoto by Ashikaga Takauji.

The Imperial seats during the Nanboku-chō period were in relatively close proximity, but geographically distinct. They were conventionally identified as:

Engen

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Japanese era of the Southern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts after Kenmu and before Kōkoku, lasting from February 1336 to April 1340.

Japanese era of the Southern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts after Kenmu and before Kōkoku, lasting from February 1336 to April 1340.

The Imperial seats during the Nanboku-chō period were in relatively close proximity, but geographically distinct. They were conventionally identified as:

Reigning Emperors were Emperor Go-Daigo and Emperor Go-Murakami in the south and Emperor Kōmyō in the north.

This illegitimate Northern Court (北朝) had been established in Kyoto by Ashikaga Takauji.

The Imperial seats during the Nanboku-chō period were in relatively close proximity, but geographically distinct. They were conventionally identified as:

Shōhei

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Japanese era (年號, nengō, lit. year name) of the Southern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts after Kōkoku and before Kentoku.

Japanese era (年號, nengō, lit. year name) of the Southern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts after Kōkoku and before Kentoku.

The Imperial seats during the Nanboku-chō period were in relatively close proximity, but geographically distinct. They were conventionally identified as:

During the Meiji period, an Imperial decree dated March 3, 1911 established that the legitimate reigning monarchs of this period were the direct descendants of Emperor Go-Daigo through Emperor Go-Murakami, whose Southern Court (南朝) had been established in exile in Yoshino, near Nara.

This illegitimate Northern Court (北朝) had been established in Kyoto by Ashikaga Takauji.

Emperor Kōmyō

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The second of the Emperors of Northern Court, although he was the first to be supported by the Ashikaga Bakufu.

The second of the Emperors of Northern Court, although he was the first to be supported by the Ashikaga Bakufu.

Japanese Imperial kamon — a stylized chrysanthemum blossom

When Ashikaga Takauji rebelled against Emperor Go-Daigo's Kenmu Restoration and entered Kyōto in 1336, Go-Daigo fled to Enryaku-ji on Mount Hiei.

In April 1352, taking advantage of the Kan'ō Disturbance, a family feud in the Ashikaga clan, the Southern Emperor Emperor Go-Murakami entered Kyoto, capturing it and carrying away Kōmyō along with Emperor Kōgon, Emperor Sukō, and the Crown Prince Tadahito.

The Imperial seats during the Nanboku-chō period were in relatively close proximity, but geographically distinct. They were conventionally identified as:

Jōwa (Muromachi period)

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Japanese era or nengō which was promulgated by the more militarily powerful of two Imperial rival courts during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts (南北朝時代).

Japanese era or nengō which was promulgated by the more militarily powerful of two Imperial rival courts during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts (南北朝時代).

The Imperial seats during the Nanboku-chō period were in relatively close proximity, but geographically distinct. They were conventionally identified as:

During the Meiji period, an Imperial decree dated March 3, 1911, established that the legitimate reigning monarchs of this period were the direct descendants of Emperor Go-Daigo through Emperor Go-Murakami, whose Southern Court (南朝) had been established in exile in Yoshino, near Nara.

This illegitimate Northern Court (北朝) had been established in Kyoto by Ashikaga Takauji.

The Imperial seats during the Nanboku-chō period were in relatively close proximity, but geographically distinct. They were conventionally identified as:

Nanboku-chō period

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The Imperial seats during the Nanboku-chō period were in relatively close proximity, but geographically distinct. They were conventionally identified as:
Emperor Go-Daigo
Ashikaga Takauji

The Nanboku-chō period (南北朝時代, Nanboku-chō jidai, "North and South court period", also known as the Northern and Southern Courts period), spanning from 1336 to 1392, was a period that occurred during the formative years of the Muromachi (Ashikaga) shogunate of Japanese history.During the early period, there existed a Northern Imperial Court, established by Ashikaga Takauji in Kyoto, and a Southern Imperial Court, established by Emperor Go-Daigo in Yoshino.

In 1350 he rebelled and joined his brother's enemies, the supporters of the Southern Court, whose Emperor Go-Murakami appointed him general of his entire army.

The Imperial seats during the Nanboku-chō period were in relatively close proximity, but geographically distinct. They were conventionally identified as:

Kōei

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Japanese era name (年号, nengō, lit. year name) of the Northern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts after Ryakuō and before Jōwa.

Japanese era name (年号, nengō, lit. year name) of the Northern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts after Ryakuō and before Jōwa.

The Imperial seats during the Nanboku-chō period were in relatively close proximity, but geographically distinct. They were conventionally identified as:

During the Meiji period, an Imperial decree dated March 3, 1911 established that the legitimate reigning monarchs of this period were the direct descendants of Emperor Go-Daigo through Emperor Go-Murakami, whose Southern Court (南朝) had been established in exile in Yoshino, near Nara.

This illegitimate Northern Court (北朝) had been established in Kyoto by Ashikaga Takauji.

The Imperial seats during the Nanboku-chō period were in relatively close proximity, but geographically distinct. They were conventionally identified as:

Ryakuō

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Japanese era of the Northern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts, lasting from August 1338 to April 1342.

Japanese era of the Northern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts, lasting from August 1338 to April 1342.

The Imperial seats during the Nanboku-chō period were in relatively close proximity, but geographically distinct. They were conventionally identified as:

During the Meiji period, an Imperial decree dated March 3, 1911 established that the legitimate reigning monarchs of this period were the direct descendants of Emperor Go-Daigo through Emperor Go-Murakami, whose Southern Court (南朝) had been established in exile in Yoshino, near Nara.

This illegitimate Northern Court (北朝) had been established in Kyoto by Ashikaga Takauji.

Kitabatake Chikafusa, as drawn by Japanese painter Kikuchi Yosai

Kitabatake Chikafusa

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Japanese court noble and writer of the 14th century who supported the Southern Court in the Nanboku-cho period, serving as advisor to five Emperors.

Japanese court noble and writer of the 14th century who supported the Southern Court in the Nanboku-cho period, serving as advisor to five Emperors.

Kitabatake Chikafusa, as drawn by Japanese painter Kikuchi Yosai

In particular, he disliked Ashikaga Takauji, the first Ashikaga shogun, who had originally supported Go-Daigo's claim to the Throne, but who ultimately headed the Northern Court and sought to destroy all who supported the Emperor's Southern Court.

He sent copies of his major works to the new emperor, twelve-year-old Emperor Go-Murakami, advising him and his advisors.