Emperor Kimmei

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Kimmei
Emperor of Japan
Reign 540–571
Born 509
Died 571 (aged 61–62)
Buried Hinokuma no saki Ai no misasagi (Nara)
Predecessor Senka
Successor Bidatsu

Emperor Kimmei (欽明天皇 Kimmei-tennō?, 509-571), also written as Kinmei, was the 29th emperor of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession.[2] His reign started in 540 and ended in 571.[3] Historians consider details about the life of Emperor Kimmei to be possibly legendary, but probable.[4] The name Kimmu-tennō was created for him posthumously by later generations.

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]

Traditional history[change | change source]

Emperor Kimmei's father was Emperor Keitai and his mother was Emperor Ninken's daughter, Princess Tashiraka (手白香皇女 Tashiraka Ōjo?).[6] He was the third son; and his older brother was Emperor Senka.

Kimmei had six wives and 25 Imperial children (16 sons and 9 daughters).[6]

Events of Kimmei's life[change | change source]

  • 539: Emperor Senka died from old age in 539, and the succession was received by his younger brother, who would become known as Emperor Kimmei.[7]
  • 572: In the 32nd year of Kimmei's reign, he died; and his second son became his successor.[9]

Kimmei established his court at Shikishima no Kanazashi (磯城嶋金刺宮?) in Yamato.[6]

Kimmei's reign was marked by the introduction of Buddhism in Japan. The King of Kudara in Korea sent the emperor gifts of Buddhist scripture and a statue of the Buddha.[10]

In this reign, the emperor's chief ministers were:

After his death[change | change source]

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

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

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

The chrysanthemum symbol of the Japanese emperor and his family.
  1. 1.0 1.1 Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō), 欽明天皇 (29); retrieved 2011-10-18.
  2. McCullough, Helen Craig. (1966). Yoshitsune: a fifteenth-century Japanese chronicle, p. 322.
  3. Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du Japon, pp. 34-36; Brown, Delmer et al. (1979). Gukanshō, pp. 261-262; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki. pp. 123-124; Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric et al. (2002). "Traditional order of Tennō" in Japan encyclopedia, pp. 962-963.
  4. Kelly, Charles F. "Kofun Culture," Japanese Archaeology. April 27, 2009; retrieved 2011-10-18.
  5. Aston, William George. (1896). Nihongi, pp. 109.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Brown, p. 262.
  7. Varley, p. 121.
  8. Varley, p. 44. Compare Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō), Ceremony of Accession (Sokui-no-Rei); retrieved 2011-12-23.
  9. Titsingh, p. 36; Brown, pp. 261-262, Varley, p. 44.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Martin, Peter. (1997). The Chrysanthemum Throne: a history of the Emperors of Japan, p. 34.
  11. Aston, William. (1998). Nihongi, pp. 146-147.


Preceded by
Emperor Senka
Emperor of Japan
Kimmei

540-571
Succeeded by
Emperor Bidatsu