Emperor Yūryaku

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Emperor of Japan
Hatsuse no asakura Palace
Tajii no Takawashi-hara no misasagi (Osaka)

Emperor Yūryaku (雄略天皇, Yūryaku-tennō) was the 21st emperor of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession[2] Historians consider details about the life of Emperor Yūryaku to be possibly legendary, but probable.[3] The name Yūryaku-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]

Traditional history[change | change source]

According to the Kojiki and Nihonshoki, Yūryaku was the fifth and youngest son of Emperor Ingyō.

He was the brother of Emperor Ankō.[6]

Yūryaku was followed on the throne by his son, who would come to be known as Emperor Seinei.

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

Very little is known about the events of Yūryaku's life and rule. Only limited facts can be studied before the rule of the 29th monarch, Emperor Kimmei.[7]

After Ankō's death, Yūryaku overcame others in the struggle for power. He became the new emperor.

Yūryaku is known as a patron of silk.[8] It is said that he encouraged growing mulberry bushes for silkworms to eat.[6]

Poems that are said to be Yūryaku's are included in the Manyōshū. A number of his verses are kept in the Kojiki and the Nihonshoki.[8]

He is credited with bringing many artisans from Korea to Japan.[6]

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 Yūryaku.[9]

According to the Imperial Household Agency, the emperor's final resting place is in an earthen tumulus (kofun). This emperor 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), 雄略天皇 (21); retrieved 2011-10-16.
  2. Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 27-28; Varley, Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, pp. 113-115; 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. Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p. 30.
  5. Aston, William George. (1896). Nihongi, pp. 109.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Yūryaku Tennō" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 1068.
  7. Titsingh, pp. 34-36; Brown, pp. 261-262; Varley, pp. 123-124.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Nippon Gakujutsu Shinkokai (1969). The Manyōshū, p. 317.
  9. Aston (1998), pp. 146-147.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Emperor Yūryaku at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
Emperor Ankō
Legendary Emperor of Japan

(traditional dates)
Succeeded by
Emperor Seinei