Emperor Kōgen

was the eighth emperor of Japan to appear on the traditional list of emperors. [Brown, Delmer "et al." (1979). "Gukanshō," p. 252; Varley, Paul. (1980). "Jinnō Shōtōki," pp. 92-93; Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). "Annales des empereurs du japon," p. 6.]

No firm dates can be assigned to this emperor's life or reign. Kōgen is regarded by historians as a "legendary emperor" because of the paucity of information about him, which does not necessarily imply that no such person ever existed. Rather, scholars can only lament that, at this time, there is insufficient material available for further verification and study. In "Kojiki" and "Nihonshoki" only his name and genealogy were recorded. The Japanese have traditionally accepted this sovereign's historical existence, and an Imperial "misasagi" or tomb for Kōgen is currently maintained; however, no extant contemporary records have been discovered which confirm a view that this historical figure actually reigned. He is considered to have been the seventh of eight emperors without specific legends associated with them, also known as the nihongo|"eight undocumented monarchs"|欠史八代,|"Kesshi-hachidai". Aston, William. (1998). "Nihongi," Vol. 1, pp. 147-148.]

Later generations may have included this name to the list of emperors of Japan, thus making him posthumously an emperor and assigning him as one of the early sovereigns and ancestors of the dynasty that has reigned unbroken since time immemorial. If he lived, at his time the title "tenno" was not yet used, and the polity he possibly ruled did certainly not contain all or even the most of Japan. In the chronicle which encompasses his alleged successors in beginnings of historical time, it becomes reasonable to conclude that Kōgen, if he existed, might have been a chieftain or a regional king in early Yamato tribal society.

Jien records that Kōgen was the eldest son of Emperor Kōrei, and that he ruled from the palace of "Sakaihara-no-miya" at Karu in what will come to be known as Yamato province. [Brown, p. 252.] The Abe clan are said to have descended from a son of Emperor Kōgen. [Asakawa, Kan'ichi. (1903). "The Early Institutional Life of Japan," p.140.]

Kōgen is a posthumous name. It is undisputed that this identification is Chinese in form and Buddhist in implication, which suggests that the name must have been regularized centuries after the lifetime ascribed to Kōgen, possibly during the time in which legends about the origins of the Yamato dynasty were compiled as the chronicles known today as the "Kojiki". [see above] ]

References

* Asakawa, Kan'ichi. (1903). "The Early Institutional Life of Japan." Tokyo: Shueisha [reprinted by Paragon Book Reprint Corp.,. New York, 1963]
* Aston, William George. (1896). "Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to A.D. 697". London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner. [reprinted by Tuttle Publishing, Tokyo, 2007. 10-ISBN 0-8048-0984-4; 13-ISBN 978-0-8048-0984-9 (paper)]
* Brown, Delmer M. and Ichirō Ishida, eds. (1979). [ Jien, c. 1220] , "Gukanshō (The Future and the Past, a translation and study of the Gukanshō, an interpretative history of Japan written in 1219)." Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-03460-0
* Titsingh, Isaac, ed. (1834). [Siyun-sai Rin-siyo/Hayashi Gahō, 1652] , "Nipon o daï itsi ran; ou, Annales des empereurs du Japon, tr. par M. Isaac Titsingh avec l'aide de plusieurs interprètes attachés au comptoir hollandais de Nangasaki; ouvrage re., complété et cor. sur l'original japonais-chinois, accompagné de notes et précédé d'un Aperçu d'histoire mythologique du Japon, par M. J. Klaproth." Paris: Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. [http://books.google.com/books?id=18oNAAAAIAAJ&dq=nipon+o+dai+itsi+ran ...Click link for digitized, full-text copy of this book (in French)]
* Varley, H. Paul , ed. (1980). [ Kitabatake Chikafusa, 1359] , "Jinnō Shōtōki ("A Chronicle of Gods and Sovereigns: Jinnō Shōtōki of Kitabatake Chikafusa" translated by H. Paul Varley)." New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-04940-4

ee also

* Emperor of Japan
* List of Emperors of Japan
* Imperial cult


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