Emperor Buretsu

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Emperor Buretsu (武烈天皇 Buretsu-tennō?) was the 25th 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 498-506.[3]


Legendary narrative

Buretsu is considered to have ruled the country during the late-fifth century and early-sixth century, but there is a paucity of information about him. There is insufficient material available for further verification and study.

Buretsu was a son of Emperor Ninken and his mother is Kasuga no Ōiratsume no Kōgō (春日大郎皇后). His name was Ohatsuse no Wakasazaki no Mikoto (小泊瀬稚鷦鷯尊).

Buretsu's reign

If Emperor Keitai began a new dynasty as some historians believe, then Buretsu is the last emperor of the first recorded dynasty of Japan.[4]

Buretsu's contemporary title would not have been tennō, as most historians believe this title was not introduced until the reigns of Emperor Tenmu and Empress Jitō. Rather, it was presumably Sumeramikoto or Amenoshita Shiroshimesu Ōkimi (治天下大王), meaning "the great king who rules all under heaven." Alternatively, Buretsu might have been referred to as (ヤマト大王/大君) or the "Great King of Yamato."

Buretsu is described as an essentially wicked historical figure. Nihonshoki likened him to Di Xin of the Shang Dynasty, but the record in Kojiki has no such indication. There are several theories on this difference. Some believe that this was to justify and praise his successor Emperor Keitai who took over under questionable circumstances. In history textbooks available before and during World War II, part of Buretsu's record was intentionally omitted.

The actual site of Buretsu'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 Buretsu's mausoleum. It is formally named Kataoka no Iwatsuki no oka no kita no misasagi.[5]

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