Emperor Chūai
Chūai
Emperor of Japan
Reign legendary
Born legendary
Died legendary
Buried Ega no Naganu no nishi no misasagi (Osaka)
Predecessor Seimu
Successor Ōjin

Emperor Chūai (仲哀天皇 Chūai-tennō?); also known as Tarashinakatsuhiko no Sumeramikoto; was the 14th emperor of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession.[2]

No firm dates can be assigned to this emperor's life or reign, but he is conventionally considered to have reigned from 192–200.[3]

Contents

Legendary narrative

Chūai is regarded by historians as a "legendary emperor" and there is a paucity of information about him. There is insufficient material available for further verification and study.[4] If Chūai did exist, there is no evidence to suggest that the title tennō was used during the time period to which his reign has been assigned. It is much more likely that he was a chieftain, or local clan leader, and the polity he ruled would have only encompassed a small portion of modern day Japan. The name Chūai Tennō was assigned to him posthumously by later generations.[5]

According to the Kojiki and Nihonshoki, he was the father of Emperor Ōjin. Ōjin is generally believed to have existed, based on archaeological evidence;[4] but details of his life are scant.

Chūai's father was Yamato Takeru, a son of the Yamato monarch Emperor Keikō, but Yamato Takeru's story is problematic. Chūai's mother was Futaji no Iri Hime no Mikoto, a daughter of Emperor Kaika and an aunt of Chūai's father. Chūai's wife was Jingū.

According to these same legends, his wife was suddenly possessed by some unknown gods. The gods promised Emperor Chūai rich lands overseas. Chūai then looked to the sea, but he could see nothing and denounced his belief in the promises of the gods. The gods were enraged by this and declared that he would die and never receive the promised land. Instead they would go to his conceived but unborn son. The legend then states that Chūai died soon after and his widow, Jingū, conquered the promised land, which is conjectured to be part of modern day Korea. According to one version of the legend, Chūai's son was born three years after the death of Chūai, which lends further support to the notion that the stories surrounding him are based on myth rather than actual events. This legend also has many other flaws (it claims that Jingū was flown into the middle of the promised land and then conquered into Japan) which have largely discredited the story among historians.[6]

The actual site of Chūai's grave is not known.[1] This emperor is traditionally venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine (misasagi) at Nara.

The Imperial Household Agency designates this location as Chūai's mausoleum. It is formally named Ega no Naganu no nishi no misasagi.[7]

Consorts and Children

Empress Okinagatarashihime (気長足姫) Empress Jingū, daughter of Okinaga no sukune no Miko (息長宿禰王)

Ōnakatsuhime (大中姫命), daughter of Hikohitoōe no Mikoto (彦人大兄)

  • Prince Kagosaka (麛坂皇子)
  • Prince Oshikuma (忍熊皇子)

Otohime (弟媛), daughter of Ōsakanushi(大酒主)

  • Prince Homuyawake (誉屋別皇子)

See also

Notes

Japanese Imperial kamon — a stylized chrysanthemum blossom
  1. ^ a b Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō): 仲哀天皇 (14)
  2. ^ Varley, Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, pp. 100-101; Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 15. at Google Books
  3. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p. 34.
  4. ^ a b Kelly, Charles F. "Kofun Culture," Japanese Archaeology. April 27, 2009.
  5. ^ Brinkley, Frank. (1915). A History of the Japanese People from the Earliest Times to the end of the Meiji Era, p. 21 at Google Books; excerpt, "Posthumous names for the earthly Mikados were invented in the reign of Emperor Kammu (782-805), i.e., after the date of the compilation of the Records and the Chronicles.
  6. ^ Aston, William. (1998). Nihongi, Vol. 1, pp. 217-223.
  7. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, p. 419.

References

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Seimu
Legendary Emperor of Japan
192–200
(traditional dates)
Succeeded by
Empress Jingū

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