Go-Daigo

Go-Daigo
born Nov. 26, 1288, Kyōto, Japan
died Sept. 19, 1339, Mount Yoshino, near Nara

Emperor of Japan whose efforts to overthrow the Kamakura shogunate (see Kamakura period) resulted in a split in the imperial family.

When Go-Daigo came to the throne in 1318, political authority was divided between the de jure government of the emperor and the de facto government of the shogun (military ruler) in Kamakura. However, neither emperor nor shogun had real power, their positions being controlled by powerful families. Go-Daigo sought to regain and hold the reins of government himself; but he alienated Ashikaga Takauji (see Ashikaga family), whose support had been crucial to his victory, by neglecting to appoint him to the position of shogun. Takauji rebelled and, victorious, elevated another member of the imperial family to the throne. Go-Daigo fled south to the Yoshino Mountains and established a rival court there. The period of Northern and Southern Courts (nanboku chō) that followed lasted until 1392. See also Hōjō family.

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