Emperor Kōan

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Emperor Kōan (孝安天皇 Kōan-tennō?); also known as Yamatotarashihikokunioshihito no Mikoto; was the 6th 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 392 BC through 291 BC[3]


Legendary narrative

Modern scholars have come to question the existence of at least the first nine emperors; and Kōan's descendant, Emperor Sujin is the first many agree might have actually existed.[4] The name Kōan-tennō was assigned to him posthumously by later generations.[citation needed]

Kōan 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.[5] The reign of Emperor Kimmei (509-571), the 29th emperor of Japan according to the traditional order of succession, is the first for which contemporary historiography are able to assign verifiable dates;[6] however, the conventionally accepted names and dates of the early emperors were not to be confirmed as "traditional" until the reign of Emperor Kammu (737–806), the 50th sovereign of the Yamato dynasty.[7]

In Kojiki and Nihonshoki only his name and genealogy were recorded. He is believed to be son of Emperor Kōshō; and his mother is believed to have been Yosotarashi-no-hime, who was the daughter of Okitsuyoso, and ancestress of the Owari.[8] The Japanese have traditionally accepted this sovereign's historical existence, and an Imperial misasagi or tomb for Kōan is currently maintained; however, no extant contemporary records have been discovered which confirm a view that this historical figure actually reigned. He is considered to have been the fifth of eight emperors without specific legends associated with them, also known as the "eight undocumented monarchs" (欠史八代, Kesshi-hachidai?).[9]

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