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Emperor Yūryaku

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Title: Emperor Yūryaku  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Emperor Ankō, Emperor Ingyō, Emperor Kenzō, Emperor Ninken, List of Emperors of Japan
Collection: 418 Births, 479 Deaths, 5Th-Century Monarchs in Asia, Japanese Emperors, People of Kofun-Period Japan
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Emperor Yūryaku

Emperor of Japan
Reign 456 – 479 (traditional)[1]
Predecessor Ankō
Successor Seinei
Born legendary
Died legendary
Hatsuse no asakura Palace
Burial Tajii no Takawashi-hara no misasagi (Osaka)

Emperor Yūryaku (雄略天皇 Yūryaku-tennō) was the 21st emperor of Japan,[2] according to the traditional order of succession.[3]

Yūryaku is remembered as a patron of sericulture.[4]

No firm dates can be assigned to this emperor's life or reign, but he is conventionally considered to have reigned from 456–479.[5]


  • Legendary narrative 1
  • Consorts and Children 2
  • King Bu 3
  • Poetry 4
  • See also 5
  • Notes 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Legendary narrative

Yūryaku was a 5th-century monarch.[6] The reign of Emperor Kimmei (509?–571 AD), the 29th emperor,[7] is the first for which contemporary historiography is able to assign verifiable dates;[8] however, the conventionally accepted names and dates of the early emperors were not to be confirmed as "traditional" until the reign of Emperor Kammu (737–806), the 50th sovereign of the Yamato dynasty.[9]

According to the Kojiki, this emperor is said to have ruled from the Thirteenth Day of the Eleventh Month of 456 (Heishin) until his death on the Seventh Day of the Eight Month of 479 (Kibi).

According to Kojiki and Nihonshoki, Yūryaku was named Prince Ōhatsuse Wakatake (大泊瀬 幼武) at birth. Swords unearthed from some kofun tombs, such as the Inariyama Sword pictured at right, indicate his name was Waka Takeru (Ōkimi). Yūryaku is a name posthumously assigned to him by a much later era. He was the fifth and youngest son of Emperor Ingyō. After his elder brother Emperor Ankō was murdered, he won the struggle against his other brothers and became the new emperor. His title at his own lifetime was certainly not tennō, but presumably Ōkimi and/or Sumeramikoto (治天下大王 - amenoshita shiroshimesu ōkimi, or sumera no mikoto, Great King who rules all under heaven) and/or king of Yamato (ヤマト大王/大君 - yamato ōkimi, Great King of Yamato). He had three wives (including his consort Kusahahatahi). His successor, Prince Shiraka (Emperor Seinei), was his son by his wife Kazuraki no Karahime.

The actual site of Yūryaku's grave is not known.[2] This emperor is traditionally venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine (misasagi) at Osaka.

The Imperial Household Agency designates this location as Yūryaku's mausoleum. It is formally named Tajii no Takawashi-hara no misasagi.[10]

Consorts and Children

Empress: Kusaka no hatabihime no Himemiko (草香幡梭姫皇女), daughter of Emperor Nintoku Or Emperor Richū

Lady: Katsuragi no Karahime (葛城韓媛), daughter of Katsuragi no Tsubura no Ōomi (葛城円大臣)

  • Prince Shiraka (白髪皇子) (Emperor Seinei) (444?–484)
  • Princess Takuhatahime (栲幡姫皇女) (?–459) (Saikū)

Lady: Kibi no Wakahime (吉備稚媛) (?–479), daughter of Kibi no Kamitsumichi no omi (吉備上道臣)

  • Prince Iwaki (磐城皇子)
  • Prince Hoshikawa no Wakamiya (星川稚宮皇子) (?–479)

Lady: Wani no warawakimi (和珥童女君), daughter of Kasuga no Wani no omi Fukame (春日和珥臣深目)

  • Princess Kasuga no Ōiratsume (春日大娘皇女), married to Emperor Ninken

King Bu

King Bu, supposed to be Yūryaku Minabo Tarriko, sent an envoy to the emperor of Liu Song, a minor Chinese dynasty, in 478. The ambassador explained that their ancestors were the conquerors of 115 barbarian countries. This claim was followed by the request of military support against Goguryeo of the Three Kingdoms of Korea.[11]

Yūryaku is believed to be referred to as Bu in contemporary Chinese records (武; read as Take or Takeru in Japanese). These records state that Bu began his rule before 477, was recognized as the ruler of Japan by the Liu Song, Southern Qi, and Liang dynasties, and continued his rule through to 502. Bu sent messengers to the Song dynasty in 477 and 478 to ask for military support for protecting Baekje against the threat of Goguryeo.[12]


This Japanese sovereign's interest in poetry is amongst the more well-documented aspects of his character and reign. Poems attributed to this 5th-century monarch are included in the Man'yōshū, and a number of his verses are preserved in the Kojiki and the Nihonshoki.[4]

See also


  1. ^ "Genealogy of the Emperors of Japan" at; retrieved 2013-8-28.
  2. ^ a b Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō): 雄略天皇 (21); retrieved 2013-8-28.
  3. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). pp. 27-28Annales des empereurs du japon,; Brown, Delmer M. (1979). p. 258Gukanshō,; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, pp. 113-115.
  4. ^ a b Nippon Gakujutsu Shinkokai (1969). The Manyōshū, p. 317.
  5. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p. 40.
  6. ^ Kelly, Charles F. "Kofun Culture," Japanese Archaeology. 27 April 2009.
  7. ^ Titsingh, pp. 34–36; Brown, pp. 261–262; Varley, pp. 123–124.
  8. ^ Hoye, Timothy. (1999). Japanese Politics: Fixed and Floating Worlds, p. 78; excerpt, "According to legend, the first Japanese emperor was Jimmu. Along with the next 13 emperors, Jimmu is not considered an actual, historical figure. Historically verifiable Emperors of Japan date from the early sixth century with Kimmei.
  9. ^ Aston, William. (1896). Nihongi, pp. 109.
  10. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, p. 419.
  11. ^ Batten, Bruce Loyd. (2006). pp. 17-18.Gateway to Japan, , p. 17, at Google Books
  12. ^ Aston, William. (1998). Nihongi, Vol. 1, pp. 333-372.


  • Aston, William George. (1896). Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to A.D. 697. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner. OCLC 448337491
  • Batten, Bruce Loyd. (2006). Gateway to Japan: Hakata in war and peace, 500-1300. Honolulu:University of Hawaii Press. 10-ISBN 0-8248-2971-9/13-ISBN 978-0-8248-2971-1; 10-ISBN 0-8248-3029-6/13-ISBN 978-0-8248-3029-8; OCLC 254764602
  • Brown, Delmer M. and Ichirō Ishida, eds. (1979). Gukanshō: The Future and the Past. Berkeley: University of California Press. 10-ISBN 0-520-03460-0; 13-ISBN 978-0-520-03460-0; OCLC 251325323
  • Nippon Gakujutsu Shinkokai (1969). The Manyōshū: The Nippon Gakujutsu Shinkokai Translation of One Thousand Poems. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-08620-2
  • Ponsonby-Fane, Richard Arthur Brabazon. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan. Kyoto: Ponsonby Memorial Society. OCLC 194887
  • Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Nihon Odai Ichiran; ou, Annales des empereurs du Japon. Paris: Royal Asiatic Society, Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. OCLC 5850691
  • Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki: A Chronicle of Gods and Sovereigns. New York: Columbia University Press. 10-ISBN 0-231-04940-4; 13-ISBN 978-0-231-04940-5; OCLC 59145842
  • 소진철. (2008). 백제무령왕의세계: 왕의세상은해양대국·대백제 (Paekche Muryŏng Wang ŭi segye: wang ŭi sesang ŭn haeyang taeguk tae Paekche). Seoul: 주류성. 10-ISBN 89-6246-010-6/13-ISBN 978-89-6246-010-0; OCLC 310625141

External links

  • Nihon Shoki Online English Translations.Scroll 14 - Emperor Yuryaku
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Ankō
Emperor of Japan:

(traditional dates)
Succeeded by
Emperor Seinei
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