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Empress Suiko
Empress Suiko
(推古天皇, Suiko-tennō) (554 – 15 April 628) was the 33rd monarch of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession.[2] Suiko reigned from 593 until her death in 628.[3] In the history of Japan, Suiko was the first of eight women to take on the role of empress regnant. The seven women sovereigns reigning after Suiko were Kōgyoku/Saimei, Jitō, Genmei, Genshō, Kōken/Shōtoku, Meishō and Go-Sakuramachi.

Contents

1 Traditional narrative

1.1 Life

2 Ancestry 3 See also 4 Notes 5 References

Traditional narrative[edit] Before her ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, her personal name (her imina)[4] was Mikekashiya-hime-no-mikoto,[5] also called Toyomike Kashikiya hime no Mikoto.[6] Empress Suiko
Empress Suiko
had several names including Princess Nukatabe and (possibly posthumous) Toyomike Kashikiya. She was the third daughter of Emperor Kinmei. Her mother was Soga no Iname's daughter, Soga no Kitashihime. Suiko was the younger sister of Emperor Yōmei. They had the same mother. Life[edit] Empress Suiko
Empress Suiko
was a consort to her half-brother, Emperor Bidatsu, but after Bidatsu's first wife died she became his official consort and was given the title Ōkisaki (official consort of the emperor). She bore seven children. After Bidatsu's death, Suiko's brother, Emperor Yōmei, came to power for about two years before dying of illness. Upon Yōmei's death, another power struggle arose between the Soga clan and the Mononobe clan, with the Sogas supporting Prince Hatsusebe and the Mononobes supporting Prince Anahobe. The Sogas prevailed once again and Prince Hatsusebe acceded to the throne as Emperor Sushun in 587. However, Sushun began to resent the power of Soga no Umako, the head of the Soga clan, and Umako, perhaps out of fear that Sushun might strike first, had him assassinated by Yamatoaya no Ataikoma (東漢直駒) in 592. When asked to accede to the throne to fill the power vacuum that subsequently developed, Suiko became the first of what would be several examples in Japanese history where a woman was chosen to accede to the throne to avert a power struggle.

593 : In the 2nd year of Sushun-tennō 's reign (崇峻天皇二年), he died; and contemporary scholars then construed that the succession (senso)[7] was received by the consort of former Emperor Bidatsu. Shortly thereafter, Empress Suiko
Empress Suiko
is said to have ascended to the throne (sokui).[8]

Suiko's contemporary title would not have been tennō, as most historians believe this title was not introduced until the reigns of Emperor Tenmu
Emperor Tenmu
and Empress Jitō. Rather, it was presumably Sumeramikoto or Amenoshita Shiroshimesu Ōkimi (治天下大王), meaning "the great Queen who rules all under heaven". Alternatively, Suiko might have been referred to as (ヤマト大王/大君) or the "Great Queen of Yamato". Prince Shōtoku
Prince Shōtoku
was appointed regent the following year. Although political power during Suiko's reign is widely viewed as having been wielded by Prince Shōtoku
Prince Shōtoku
and Soga no Umako, Suiko was far from powerless. The mere fact that she survived and her reign endured suggests she had significant political skills. In 599, an earthquake destroyed buildings throughout Yamato Province in what is now Nara Prefecture.[9] Suiko's refusal to grant Soga no Umako's request that he be granted the imperial territory known as Kazuraki no Agata in 624 is cited as evidence of her independence from his influence. Some of the many achievements under Empress Suiko's reign include the official recognition of Buddhism
Buddhism
by the issuance of the Flourishing Three Treasures Edict in 594. Suiko was also one of the first Buddhist monarchs in Japan
Japan
and had taken the vows of a nun shortly before becoming empress. The reign of this empress was marked by the opening of relations with the Sui court in 600, the adoption of the Twelve Level Cap and Rank System in 603 and the adoption of the Seventeen-article constitution in 604. The adoption of the Sexagenary cycle
Sexagenary cycle
calendar (Jikkan Jūnishi) in Japan
Japan
is attributed to Empress Suiko
Empress Suiko
in 604.[10] At a time when imperial succession was generally determined by clan leaders, rather than the emperor, Suiko left only vague indications of succession to two candidates while on her deathbed. One, Prince Tamura, was a grandson of Emperor Bidatsu
Emperor Bidatsu
and was supported by the main line of Sogas, including Soga no Emishi. The other, Prince Yamashiro, was a son of Prince Shōtoku
Prince Shōtoku
and had the support of some lesser members of the Soga clan. After a brief struggle within the Soga clan in which one of Prince Yamashiro's main supporters was killed, Prince Tamura was chosen and he acceded to the throne as Emperor Jomei in 629. Empress Suiko
Empress Suiko
ruled for 35 years. Although there were seven other reigning empresses, their successors were most often selected from amongst the males of the paternal Imperial bloodline, which is why some conservative scholars argue that the women's reigns were temporary and that male-only succession tradition must be maintained in the 21st century.[11] Empress Genmei, who was followed on the throne by her daughter, Empress Genshō, remains the sole exception to this conventional argument.

Memorial
Memorial
Shinto
Shinto
shrine and mausoleum honoring Empress Suiko

The actual site of Suiko's grave is known.[1] This empress is traditionally venerated at a memorial Shinto
Shinto
shrine (misasagi) at Osaka. The Imperial Household Agency
Imperial Household Agency
designates this location as Suiko's mausoleum. It's formally named Shinaga no Yamada no misasagi.[12] Ancestry[edit] [13]

Ancestors of Empress Suiko

4. Emperor Keitai
Emperor Keitai
(dates for Emperor Keitai's lifespan and reign unverified)

2. Emperor Kinmei
Emperor Kinmei
(509–571)

5. Princess Tashiraka (d. 5??)

1. Empress Suiko

6. Soga no Iname (506–570)

3. Soga no Kitashihime

See also[edit]

Empress Jingū, semi-legendary, rule preceded Empress Suiko Japanese empresses Emperor of Japan List of Emperors of Japan Imperial cult Suiko period

Notes[edit]

^ a b Imperial Household Agency
Imperial Household Agency
(Kunaichō): 推古天皇 (33) ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p. 48. ^ Brown, Delmer et al. (1979). Gukanshō, pp. 263–264; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, pp. 126–129; Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du Japon, pp. 39–42., p. 39, at Google Books ^ Brown, pp. 264; prior to Emperor Jomei, the personal names of the emperors (their iminia) were very long and people did not generally use them. The number of characters in each name diminished after Jomei's reign. ^ Varley, p. 126. ^ Ashton, William. (2005). Nihongi, p. 95 n.2. ^ Varley, p. 44; a distinct act of senso is unrecognized prior to Emperor Tenji; and all sovereigns except Jitō, Yōzei, Go-Toba and Fushimi have senso and sokui in the same year until the reign of Emperor Go-Murakami. ^ Titsingh, p. 39; Brown, pp. 263–264; Varley, pp. 126–127. ^ Hammer, Joshua. (2006). Yokohama Burning: The Deadly 1923 Earthquake and Fire that Helped Forge the Path to World War II, pp. 62–63. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Jikkan Jūnishi" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 420, p. 420, at Google Books; n.b., Louis-Frédéric is pseudonym of Louis-Frédéric Nussbaum, see Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Authority File ^ "Life in the Cloudy Imperial Fishbowl", Japan
Japan
Times. 27 March 2007. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, p. 420. ^ "Genealogy". Reichsarchiv. Retrieved 25 January 2018.  (in Japanese)

References[edit]

Aston, William George. (1896). Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan
Japan
from the Earliest Times to A.D. 697. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner. OCLC 448337491 Brown, Delmer M. and Ichirō Ishida, eds. (1979). Gukanshō: The Future and the Past. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-03460-0; OCLC 251325323 Hammer, Joshua. (2006). Yokohama Burning: The Deadly 1923 Earthquake and Fire that Helped Forge the Path to World War II. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-6465-5 Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 58053128 Ponsonby-Fane, Richard Arthur Brabazon. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan. Kyoto: Ponsonby Memorial
Memorial
Society. OCLC 194887 Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Nihon Ōdai Ichiran; ou, Annales des empereurs du Japon. Paris: Royal Asiatic Society, Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. OCLC 5850691 Varley, H. Paul. (1980). A Chronicle of Gods and Sovereigns: Jinnō Shōtōki of Kitabatake Chikafusa. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231049405; OCLC 6042764

Regnal titles

Preceded by Emperor Sushun Empress of Japan: Suiko 593–628 Succeeded by Emperor Jomei

v t e

Japanese monarchs

Italics mark imperial consort and regent Jingū, who is not traditionally listed. Years given as CE / AD

Legendary

Jimmu Suizei Annei Itoku Kōshō Kōan Kōrei Kōgen Kaika Sujin Suinin Keikō Seimu Chūai Jingū

Kofun

Ōjin Nintoku Richū Hanzei Ingyō Ankō Yūryaku Seinei Kenzō Ninken Buretsu Keitai Ankan Senka

Asuka

552–710

Kinmei Bidatsu Yōmei Sushun Suiko Jomei Kōgyoku Kōtoku Saimei Tenji Kōbun Tenmu Jitō Monmu Genmei

Nara

710–794

Genmei Genshō Shōmu Kōken Junnin Shōtoku Kōnin Kanmu

Heian

794–1185

Kanmu Heizei Saga Junna Ninmyō Montoku Seiwa Yōzei Kōkō Uda Daigo Suzaku Murakami Reizei En'yū Kazan Ichijō Sanjō Go-Ichijō Go-Suzaku Go-Reizei Go-Sanjō Shirakawa Horikawa Toba Sutoku Konoe Go-Shirakawa Nijō Rokujō Takakura Antoku Go-Toba

Kamakura

1185–1333

Tsuchimikado Juntoku Chūkyō Go-Horikawa Shijō Go-Saga Go-Fukakusa Kameyama Go-Uda Fushimi Go-Fushimi Go-Nijō Hanazono Go-Daigo

Northern Court

1333–1392

Kōgon Kōmyō Sukō Go-Kōgon Go-En'yū Go-Komatsu

Muromachi

1333–1573

Go-Murakami Chōkei Go-Kameyama Go-Komatsu Shōkō Go-Hanazono Go-Tsuchimikado Go-Kashiwabara Go-Nara Ōgimachi

Azuchi-Momoyama

1573–1603

Ōgimachi Go-Yōzei

Edo

1603–1868

Go-Yōzei Go-Mizunoo Meishō Go-Kōmyō Go-Sai Reigen Higashiyama Nakamikado Sakuramachi Momozono Go-Sakuramachi Go-Momozono Kōkaku Ninkō Kōmei Meiji

Empire of Japan

1868–1947

Meiji Taishō Shōwa

Japan
Japan
(Post-war Japan)

1947–present

Shōwa Akihito
Akihito
(Heisei period; Reigning Emperor)

Imperial family tree Imperial house

List Category Book

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 63966518 LCCN: nr200600

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