Emperor Kimmei

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Emperor Kimmei (欽明天皇 Kinmei-tennō?, 509–571)[1] was the 29th emperor of Japan,[2] according to the traditional order of succession.[3]

His reign is said to have spanned the years from 539 through 571.[4]

Contents

Traditional narrative

Kimmei'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, Kimmei might have been referred to as (ヤマト大王/大君) or the "Great King of Yamato."

Events of Kimmei's life

Because of several chronological discrepancies in the account of Emperor Kimmei in the Nihon Shoki, some believe that his was actually a rival court to that of Emperors Ankan and Senka. Nevertheless, according to the traditional account, it was not until the death of Emperor Kimmei's older brother Emperor Senka that he gained the throne.

According to this account, Emperor Senka died in 539 at the age of 73;[5] and succession passed to the third son of Emperor Keitai. This Imperial Prince was the next youngest brother of Emperor Senka. He would come to be known as Emperor Kimmei. He established his court at Shikishima no Kanazashi Palace (磯城嶋金刺宮) in Yamato.[6]

The emperor's chief counselors were:

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