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Emperor Kammu facts for kids

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Emperor of Japan
Reign 773–81
Predecessor Kōnin
Successor Heizei
Born 735
Died 5 February 806(806-02-05) (aged 70)
Burial Kashiwabara no misasagi (Kyoto)

Emperor Kammu (桓武天皇, Kammu-tennō, 737-806), also written as Kanmu, was the 50th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign started in 781 and ended in 806.

Kammu ws the first monarch of the Heian period of the history of Japan.

Traditional history

Before he became the monarch, this prince's personal name (imina) was Yamabe (山部).

Prince Yamabe was the eldest son of Prince Shirakabe (later known as Emperor Kōnin). According to the Shoku Nihongi (続日本紀), Yamabe's mother was a descendant of King Muryeong of Baekje.

Kammu had 16 empresses and consorts, and 32 imperial sons and daughters. Among his sons were Emperor Heizei, Emperor Saga and Emperor Junna.

Events of Kammu's life

Before he became the monarch, he was Crown Prince for eight years.

During his reign, Kammu tried to simplify the hierarchy and the functions of his government.

The capital of Japan was moved from Nara (Heijō-kyō) to Nagaoka (Nagaoka-kyō) in 784. The capital would be moved again in 794 to Kyoto (Heian-kyō).

Kammu named Sakanoue no Tamuramaro (758-811) to lead a military expedition against the Emishi.


  • 737 (Tenpyō 9): Prince Yamabe was born.
  • 794 (Enryaku 13): When the capital was moved to Kyoto, the emperor's new home was named "Palace of Peace/Tranquility" (平安宮, Heian no Miya).
  • 17 November 794 (Enryaku 13, 21st day of the 10th month): The emperor traveled by carriage to the new capital. He moved in a grand parade. This marks the beginning of the Heian period in Japanese history.
  • 806 (Enryaku 25): Kammu died at the age of 70.

After his death

According to the Imperial Household Agency, the mausoleum (misasagi) of Kammu is in Kyoto. The emperor is traditionally venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine at this location.

Eras of reign

The years of Kammu's reign are identified by more than one era name (nengō).

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