Japanese era from 704 to 708

Keiun (慶雲), also known as Kyōun, was a Japanese era name (年号,, nengō,, lit. "year name") following Taihō and preceding Wadō. The period startedin May 704 and ended in January 708.[1] The reigning emperors were Mommu-tennō (文武天皇)[2] and Gemmei-tennō (元明天皇).[3]

Events of the Keiun era

  • 697 (Keiun 4): In the 11th year of Mommu's reign, the emperor died,[4] but his son and heir was too young to receive the succession (senso). Instead, the mother of the heir became Japan's monarch until her son grew older.[5]
  • 18 July 707 (Keiun 4, 15th day of the 6th month): Gemmei's role as monarch is confirmed by ceremonies (sokui). She was aged 48.[6]
  • 707 (Keiun 4): Deposits of copper were found in Musashi Province.[7]
  • 708 (Keiun 5): The era name was changed to mark the beginning of the reign of Empress Gemmei; and Wadō as the new nengō mark the welcome discovery of copper in the Chichibu District of what is now Saitama Prefecture.[7] The Japanese word for copper is (銅); and since this was indigenous copper, the "wa" (the ancient Chinese term for Japan) could be combined with the "dō" (copper) to create a new composite term — "wadō" — meaning "Japanese copper."


  1. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Keiun" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 506.
  2. Nussbaum, "Mommu Tennō," p. 655.
  3. Nussbaum, "Gemmei Tennō," pp. 235-236; Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du Japon, pp. 60-63; Brown, Delmer et al. (1979). Gukanshō, pp. 270-271; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki. pp. 137-140.
  4. Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō): 文武天皇 (42); retrieved 2012-5-27.
  5. Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, p. 44; a distinct act of senso is unrecognized prior to Emperor Tenji; and all sovereigns except Jitō, Yōzei, Go-Toba, and Fushimi have senso and sokui in the same year until the reign of Emperor Go-Murakami. Compare Kunaichō, Ceremony of Accession (Sokui-no-Rei); retrieved 2012-5-22.
  6. Brown, p. 271.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Titsingh, p. 63.

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Keiun 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
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