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Legends are usually very old stories with little or no evidence to prove them. Legends are often passed on by word-of-mouth. They are very similar to myths.

Legends can also be famous or historically significant people, places, art, etc.. We sometimes say of someone who is extremely famous that they are a "legend" or "of legendary fame".

Examples of legends are Ali Baba, the Fountain of Youth, and the Loch Ness Monster. Some legends are stories about real people; others are not. Robin Hood for example might have been real but most the stories about him are definitely fiction.

Legendary emperors of Japan[change | change source]

The current Emperor of Japan[1] is considered the 125th monarch according to Japan's traditional order of succession.[2]

The earliest Japanese emperors are believed to be mythical or legendary.[3] These historical figures have been included in the traditional list of emperors since the reign of Emperor Kammu, who was the 50th monarch of the Yamato dynasty.[4]

There is very little information for study from before the rule of the 29th monarch, Emperor Kimmei who reigned in the 6th century.[5] Historians consider details about the life of Emperor Kimmei might not be true, but probably are.[6]

Some details of the lives of the early emperors are considered likely to be untrue.[7]

These legends are found in the earliest written records which date from the 8th century—the Kojiki (711)[8] and the Nihonshoki (720).[9]

References[change | change source]

  1. Imperial Household Agency: Genealogy of the Imperial Family; retrieved 2011-10-25.
  2. "Prince Akihito comes of age," Life, Vol. 23, No. 33. (December 8, 1952), pp. 70-76; retrieved 2011-10-25.
  3. Martin, Peter. (1997). The Chrysanthemum Throne, pp. 153-158.
  4. Aston, William George. (1896). Nihongi, pp. 109.
  5. Parry, Richard Lloyd. "Japan guards the emperors' secrets; Ban on digs in ancient imperial tombs frustrates archaeologists", The Independent (London). 12 November 1995
  6. Kelly, Charles F. "Kofun Culture," Japanese Archaeology. April 27, 2009; retrieved 2011-10-25.
  7. Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 34-36; Brown, Delmer M. (1979). Gukanshō, pp. 261-262; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, pp. 123-124.
  8. Titsingh, p. 64.
  9. Titsingh, p. 66.