Emperor Nintoku

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Emperor Nintoku (仁徳天皇 Nintoku-tennō?) was the 16th 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 313-399.[3]


Legendary narrative

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

According to Nihon Shoki, he was the fourth son of Emperor Ōjin and the father of Emperors Richū, Hanzei, and Ingyō.

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

Events of Nintoku's life

Although the Nihon Shoki states that Nintoku ruled from 313-399, modern research suggests those dates are likely inaccurate.[4]

The achievements of Nintoku's reign which are noted in Nihon Shoki include:

  • constructed a thorn field bank called Namba no Horie to prevent a flood in Kawachi plains and for development. It is assumed that this was the Japan's first large-scale engineering works business.
  • established a thorn field estate under the direct control of the Imperial Court (まむたのみやけ)
  • constructed a Yokono bank (horizontal parcel, Ikuno-ku, Osaka-shi).[5]

Consorts and Children

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