Emperor Murakami was a real person, and he reigned as Emperor of Japan from 946-967. He succeeded his brother Emperor Suzaku, both of whom were sons of the famed Emperor Daigo. Emperor Daigo and his father had serious issues with the Fujiwara Clan, and both challenged the Fujiwara clan’s political influence.
Emperor Murakami was less able to challenge the Fujiawara clan’s influence than his father, but stories about his attempt to lower taxes on the people, and interference with those plans by local officials, have been documented. The Accidental Samurai brings this issue and some of the tension between the Emperor and the Fujiwara Clan to a head. Emperor Murakami was, as The Accidental Samurai shows, a gifted musician. His biwa (a musical instrument), named Kenjou, mentioned in the novel, is famous in Japanese history.
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