Meiō was an era from 7/19 of 1492 to 2/29 of 1501 (based on the Japanese lunisolar calendar) in the Sengoku period.  The change to the new era was initiated by Kanroji Chikanaga, the Chief Councilor of State, owing to an epidemic.  The Meiō era was marked by the prominent political role performed by Ashikaga Yoshiki, who even weighed in on the name chosen for the era.

During this era:

Gotsuchi-mikado served as the 103rd emperor from 1464 to 1500.

Gokashiwabara served as the 104th emperor from 1500 to 1526.

Ashikaga Yoshiki (later Yoshitane) as the tenth shōgun and Ashikaga Yoshizumi as the eleventh shōgun of the Muromachi bakufu.  The deposing of Yoshiki while in his role as the shōgun against the will of the emperor was an important and symbolic event in a period that gave rise to the phenomenon of gekokujō, whereby persons of traditionally lesser authority usurped the positions of their superiors. 

Key events

In 1493, in the Meiō Political Incident (Meiō no seihen), Hosokawa Masamoto ousted Ashikaga Yoshiki and installed Ashikaga Yoshizumi as the eleventh shōgun.  Masamoto wielded power in his role as the kanrei, or deputy shōgun.  This event marked the beginning of the Sengoku period.

In 1498, a major earthquake occurred in the Tōkai Region, an event known as the Great Earthquake of Meiō.  The ensuing tsunami causing a cleavage that connected Lake Hamana to the ocean.

In 1500, citizens of Kyōto performed the procession of festival floats mounted with decorative halberds for the Gion Festival, which had been held in Kyōto since the ninth century.  This event resumed after a thirty-three year hiatus owing to the Ōnin-Bunmei War (Ōnin-Bunmei on ran) that erupted in Kyōto and extended into the surrounding provinces during the period from 1467 to 1477.

In the autumn of 1500, Emperor Gokashiwabara succeeded Emperor Gotsuchi-mikado following the demise of the latter.

Key battles

In 1499, the East-West Battle of Harima  (Tōzai-toriai kassen) occurred.  This was an internal revolt led by Uragami Murakuni against Uragami Norimune as a chapter in a succession struggle within the Akamatsu clan after a long period of governance by Akamatsu Masanori.  The term is associated with the temporary division of Harima Province between east and west as a result of the conflict.

Notable births

In 1493, Asakura Norikage, the tenth head of the Asakura clan

In 1494, Takeda Nobutora, the father of Takeda Shingen, the military governor of Kai Province

In 1494, Saitō Dōsan, the sengoku daimyō of Mino Province

In 1496, Emperor Gonara, the 105th emperor to the throne

In 1497, Mōri Motonari, the sengoku daimyō of Aki Province

Notable deaths

In 1493, Hatakeyama Masanaga, a bushō and kanrei, or deputy shōgun

In 1495, Ōuchi Masahiro, the shugo daimyō

In 1496, Hino Tomiko, the formal wife of Ashikaga Yoshimasa and mother of Ashikaga Yoshihisa

In 1499, Rennyo, a monk and ancestor who rejuvenated the jōdo-shinshū sect of Buddhism

In 1500, Gotsuchi-mikado, the 103rd emperor to the throne