Emperor Suinin

nihongo|Emperor Suinin|垂仁天皇,|"Suinin-tennō" was the eleventh Emperor of Japan to appear on the traditional list of emperors. [Brown, Delmer "et al." (1979). "Gukanshō," pp. 253-254 ; Varley, Paul. (1980). "Jinnō Shōtōki," pp. 95-96; Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). "Annales des empereurs du japon," pp. 9-10.]

No firm dates can be assigned to this emperor's life or reign. Suinin 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.

Legend says that about two thousand years ago, Emperor Suinin ordered his daughter, Princess Yamatohime-no-mikoto, to set out and find a suitable permanent location from which to hold ceremonies for Amaterasu Omikami, the Sun Goddess. After twenty years of searching, she is said to have settled on the area of Ise, establishing the Ise Shrine.Brown, p. 253.]

"Nihonshoki" records the wrestling match of "Nomi no Sukune" and "Taima no Kehaya" held during his era, as the origin of "Sumai" (Sumo wrestling). In the context of events like this, the Japanese have traditionally accepted this sovereign's historical existence; however, no extant contemporary records have been discovered which confirm a view that this historical figure actually reigned.Aston, William. (1998). "Nihongi," Vol. 1, pp. 167-187.]

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 Suinin, if he existed, might have been a chieftain or a regional king in early Yamato tribal society.

Jien records that Suinin was the third son of Emperor Sujin, and that he ruled from the palace of "Tamaki-no-miya" at Makimuku in what will come to be known as Yamato province. Jien also explains that during the reign of Emperor Suinin, the first High Priestess ("Saiō", also known as "saigū") was appointed for Ise Shrine in what would become known as Ise province. [see above] ]

Suinin 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 Suinin, 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] ]

Although the final resting place of this legendary sovereign is said to remain unknown, Suinin's officially designated Imperial "misasagi" or tomb can be visited today in Nishi-machi, Amagatsuji, Nara City. [ [http://narashikanko.jp/english/kan_spot_data/e_si92.html Suinin's "misasagi" -- image] ] [ [http://narashikanko.jp/english/aria_map/map_pdf/9.pdf Suinin's "misasagi" -- map (mis-labelled as "Enperor Nonin s Tomb")] ] This "kofun"-type Imperial tomb is characterized by a keyhole-shaped island located within a wide, water-filled moat. [ [http://www.ozlab.osakac.ac.jp/KOFUN_E/ Suinin-type "kofun" -- see illustration #3, bottom of web page] ] [ [http://www.hgeo.h.kyoto-u.ac.jp/soramitsu/horaisan.html Suinin's "misasagi" -- aerial photo (also known as "Hōraisan kofun")] ]


* 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

External links

* [http://www.isejingu.or.jp/english/naigu/naigu.htm Ise Shrine - Naiku, official website]

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