Emperor Kōrei

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Emperor of Japan
Tennō Kōrei thumb.jpg
Kataoka no Umasaka no misasagi (Nara)

Emperor Kōrei (孝霊天皇, Kōrei-tennō) was the 7th emperor of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession.[2] Historians consider Emperor Kōrei to be a legendary person;[3] and the name Kōrei-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 Kōrei ruled from the palace of Ihoto-no-miya at Kuroda in what will come to be known as Yamato province.[6]

Traditional history[change | change source]

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

Kōrei was the eldest son of Emperor Kōan.[6] Jinnō Shōtōki records that his mother was Oshihime, who was the daughter of Ametarashihiko-Kunio-shihito-no-mikoto.[8]

Some scholars question the existence of the first nine emperors. These critics consider Kōrei's great-grandson (Emperor Sujin) to be the earliest to have actually existed.[9]

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

The absence of information about Kōrei 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.[10]

The Kojiki notes that it was during Kōrei's reign that Kibi Province was conquered.[11]

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 Kōrei.[7]

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), 孝霊天皇 (7); retrieved 2011-10-19.
  2. Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 5-6; Brown, Delmer. (1979). Gukanshō, p. 252; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, pp. 90-92; Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (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; Varley, p. 90.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Aston, pp. 146-147.
  8. Varley, p. 90.
  9. "Life in the Cloudy Imperial Fishbowl," Japan Times. March 27, 2007; retrieved 2011-10-19.
  10. Titsingh, pp. 34-36; Brown, pp. 261-262; Varley, pp. 123-124.
  11. Chamberlain, Basil Hall. (1919). The Kojiki, p. 196.

Preceded by
Emperor Kōan
Legendary Emperor of Japan

290-215 BC
(traditional dates)
Succeeded by
Emperor Kōgen