She ascended the Throne upon the death of Emperor Mommu in 707 because the crown prince (later Emperor Shomu) was too young to reign. The name of her era was changed to Wadō (Japanese copper) because copper was presented to the Imperial Court from Chichibu in Musashi Provinces (Saitama Prefecture) for the first time in that year. Copper coins began to be minted since that time, the first being called Wado Kaiho. In 710, the Imperial capital was moved to Nara and Yasumaro Ono compiled Kojiki, the first history of Japan. In 713, Genmei Tennō ordered Fudoki (local records) to be presented to the Court from the various provinces. In 714, she abdicated in favor of Princess Hidaka (Gensho Tenno). She reigned for eight years from 707 to 715.