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; also known as Mimakiiribikoinie no Sumeramikoto or Hatsukunishirasu Sumeramikoto;  was the 10th emperor of Japanmarker to appear on the traditional list of emperors. Emperor Sujin is considered by most historians to be a legendary figure; and the name Sujin Tennō was assigned to him posthumously by later generations.

Legendary narrative

Modern scholars have come to question the existence of at least the first nine emperors; and Sujin is the first many agree might have actually existed, in third or fourth century.

No firm dates can be assigned to this historical figure's life or reign. Sujin 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. There is insufficient material available for further verification and study. If Sujin 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.

According to Kojiki and Nihonshoki he was the second son of Emperor Kaika. He founded some important shrines in Yamato province, sent generals to subdue local provinces and defeated a prince who rebelled against him. He was credited with having subdued Queen Himiko or her successor; and yet there is another theory that Himiko was a paternal great-aunt of the Emperor Sujin.

Jien records that Kōan ruled from the palace of Mizogaki-no-miya at Shiki in what will come to be known as Yamato province. He is said to have been interested in agriculture and irrigation. His reign encompassed a period of relative prosperity; and he may have been the first to establish and regularize a system of taxation.

Sujin 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 Sujin, possibly during the time in which legends about the origins of the Yamato dynasty were compiled as the chronicles known today as the Kojiki.

Although the final resting place of this legendary sovereign remains unknown, Sujin's officially designated Imperial misasagi or tomb can be visited today in Yanagimoto-cho, Tenri City near Nara City.

The kami of Toyoki-iri-hoko no mikoto, the son of Emperor Sujin, is venerated at Futarayama jinja in Utsunomiya, Shimotsuke province.

See also


  1. Brown, Delmer et al. (1979). Gukanshō, p. 253; Varley, Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, pp. 93-95; Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 7-9.
  2. "Life in the Cloudy Imperial Fishbowl," Japan Times. March 27, 2007.
  3. Aston, William. (1998). Nihongi, Vol. 1, pp. 150-164.
  4. Brown, p. 253.
  5. Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p.32.
  6. Suijin's misasagi -- map
  7. Ponsonby-Fane, p. 127.


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