Emperor Kōgen

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Emperor of Japan
Tsurugi no ike no shima no e no misasagi (Nara)

Emperor Kōgen (孝元天皇, Kōgen-tennō) was the 8th emperor of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession.[2] Historians consider Emperor Kōgen to be a legendary person;[3] and the name Kōgen-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]

The Gukanshō records that Kōgen ruled from the palace of Sakaihara-no-miya at Karu in what will come to be known as Yamato province.[6]

Traditional history[change | change source]

Kōgen is almost certainly a legend. The Kojiki records only his name and genealogy. The Nihonshoki includes Kōgen as the seventh of "eight undocumented monarchs" (欠史八代,, Kesshi-hachidai).[7]

Kōgen was the eldest son of Emperor Kōrei.[6]

Some scholars question the existence of the first nine emperors. These critics consider Kōgen's grandson (Emperor Sujin) to be the earliest to have actually existed.[8]

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

The absence of information about Kōgen does not imply that no such person ever existed. Very little information is available for study prior to the reign of the 29th monarch, Emperor Kimmei.[9]

The Abe clan are said to have descended from a son of Emperor Kōgen.[10]

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 Kōgen.[11]

The actual site of his grave is not known. According to the Imperial Household Agency, this emperor is venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine (misasagi) at Nara.[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), 孝元天皇 (8); retrieved 2011-10-19.
  2. Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 6; Brown, Delmer et al. (1979). Gukanshō, p. 252; Varley, Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, pp. 92-93; 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 2011-10-19.
  4. Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p. 30.
  5. Aston, William George. (1896). Nihongi, pp. 109.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Brown, p. 252.
  7. Aston, pp. 146-147.
  8. "Life in the Cloudy Imperial Fishbowl," Japan Times. March 27, 2007; retrieved 2011-10-19.
  9. Titsingh, pp. 34-36; Brown, pp. 261-262; Varley, pp. 123-124.
  10. Asakawa, Kan'ichi. (1903). The Early Institutional Life of Japan, p.140.
  11. Aston, pp. 147-148.

Preceded by
Emperor Kōrei
Legendary Emperor of Japan

214-158 BC
(traditional dates)
Succeeded by
Emperor Kaika