Emperor Richū

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Emperor of Japan
Mozu no Mimihara no naka no misasagi (Osaka)

Emperor Richū (履中天皇, Richū-tennō) was the 17th emperor of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession.[2] Historians consider details about the life of Emperor Richū to be possibly legendary, but probable.[3] The name Richū-tennō was created for him posthumously by later generations.

Some scholars identify him with King San in the Book of Song. King San sent messengers to the Song Dynasty at least twice in 421 and 425; and this historical person was succeeded by his younger brother.[4]

No certain dates can be assigned to this emperor's life or reign.[5] 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.[6]

Traditional history[change | change source]

According to Nihonshoki and Kojiki, he was the first son of Emperor Nintoku.

Richū had two sons; but he was followed on the throne by his brother, who would become known as Emperor Hanzei. The enthronement of Hanzei by-passed Richū's two sons. Few other details have survived.[7]

Two of Richū's grandsons would attain the throne as Emperor Kenzō and as Emperor Ninken.

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

This is believed to be the burial mound of Emperor Richū -- in Sakai

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

In his sixth year of his reign, Richū died.

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 Richū.[9]

According to the Imperial Household Agency, the emperor's final resting place is in an earthen tumulus (kofun) at Sakai. Richū 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), 履中天皇 (17); retrieved 2011-10-16.
  2. Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 24-25; Varley, Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, p. 111; 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 2011-10-16.
  4. Aston, William George. (1998). Nihongi, Vol. 1, pp. 301-311.
  5. Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p. 30.
  6. Aston, William. (1896). Nihongi, pp. 109.
  7. Ponsonby-Fane, p. 39.
  8. Titsingh, pp. 34-36; Brown, pp. 261-262; Varley, pp. 123-124.
  9. Aston (1998), pp. 146-147.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Emperor Richu at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
Emperor Nintoku
Legendary Emperor of Japan

(traditional dates)
Succeeded by
Emperor Hanzei