Emperor Keitai

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Keitai
Emperor of Japan
Statue of Emperor Keitai.jpg
Reign legendary
Born legendary
Died legendary
Buried Mishima no Akinu no misasagi (Osaka)
Predecessor Buretsu
Successor Ankan

Keitai (継体天皇 Keitai-tennō?), also known as Keitai okimi, was the 26th emperor of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession.[2] Historians consider details about the life of Emperor Keitai to be possibly legendary, but probable.[3] The name Keitai-tennō was created for him posthumously by later generations.

No certain dates can be assigned to this emperor's life or reign.[4] The conventionally accepted names and sequence of the early emperors were not to be confirmed as "traditional" until the reign of Emperor Kammu, who was the 50th monarch of the Yamato dynasty.[5]

Some modern reference works of history call Keitai the King Ohoto of Koshi.[6] Koshi was a small regional entity in what would become Koshi Province in northern Japan.

Traditional history[change | edit source]

According to the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, Ketai was a fifth generation grandson of Emperor Ōjin.

When Emperor Buretsu died without a successor, Ketai attained the throne.

There was a period of disputes over the succession after Keitai's death. One branch of the Yamato clan supported sons who would become Emperor Ankan and Emperor Senka. Another branch supported the third son who would become known as Emperor Kimmei.[7]

Events of Keitai's life[change | edit source]

Very little is known about the events of Keitai's life and reign. Only limited information is available for study prior to the reign of the 29th monarch, Emperor Kimmei.[8]

Keitai confronted rebellion in Kyūshū, which was then known as the Island of Tsukushi (筑紫島 Tsukushi-no-shima?). The emperor sent forces to calm the unrest.

It is not known how long Keitai lived after his abdication. Keitai abdicated in his favor of his eldest son who would become known as Ankan.[9] Ankan died four years later, and Keitai's next oldest son would attain the throne. This son would come to be known as Emperor Senka.[10]

Senka died after three years as emperor; and the throne would be vacant. The third son of Ketai would attained the throne, and he would become known as Emperor Kemmei.[8]

After his death[change | edit source]

This emperor's official name after his death (his posthumous name) was regularized many centuries after the lifetime which was ascribed to Keitai.[11]

According to the Imperial Household Agency, the emperor's final resting place is in an earthen tumulus (kofun). Keitai is venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine (misasagi) which is associated with the burial mound.[1]

Related pages[change | edit source]

References[change | edit source]

The chrysanthemum symbol of the Japanese emperor and his family.
  1. 1.0 1.1 Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō), 継体天皇 (26); retrieved 2011-10-18.
  2. Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 31-33; Varley, Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, pp. 119-120; Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric et al. (2002). "Traditional order of Tennō" in Japan encyclopedia, pp. 962-963.
  3. Kelly, Charles F. "Kofun Culture," Japanese Archaeology. April 27, 2009; retrieved 2011-10-18.
  4. Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p. 30.
  5. Aston, William George. (1896). Nihongi, pp. 109.
  6. Aston, William. (1998). Nihongi, Vol. 2, pp. 1-25.
  7. Hall, John Whitney. The Cambridge history of Japan: Ancient Japan, Vol. I., p. 154.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Titsingh, pp. 34-36; Brown, Delmer et al. (1979). Gukanshō: The Future and the Past, pp. 261-262; Varley, pp. 123-124.
  9. Titsingh, p. 33; Varley, p. 120 .
  10. Titsingh, pp. 33-34; Varley, pp. 121-122.
  11. Aston (1998), pp. 146-147.

Other websites[change | edit source]

Media related to Emperor Keitai at Wikimedia Commons


Preceded by
Emperor Buretsu
Legendary Emperor of Japan
Keitai

507-531
(traditional dates)
Succeeded by
Emperor Ankan