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Emperor Saga of Japan
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Emperor Saga of Japan

Emperor Saga (嵯峨天皇) (786-842) was the 52nd imperial ruler of Japan. He was the second son of Kammu, and younger brother of Heizei, his predecessor. He ruled from 809 to 823.

Saga was a scholar of the Chinese classics and, according to legend, the first Japanese emperor to drink tea. He was renowned as a skillful calligrapher. Saga succeeded to the throne after the retirement of Heizei due to illness, and soon after his enthronement was himself ill. This gave Heizei an opportunity to forment a rebellion, which Saga put down in a bloody civil war.

Saga was a supporter of the Buddhist monk Kukai and helped him to establish the Shingon School of Buddhism by granting him the Toji temple in the capital Heian (present day Kyoto).

Preceded by:
Heizei
Emperor of Japan Succeeded by:
Junna