Emperor Seinei

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Emperor Seinei (清寧天皇 Seinei-tennō?) was the 22nd 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 480-484.[3]


Legendary narrative

Seinei is thought to have ruled the country during the late 5th century. There is an overall paucity of information about him.

According to Kojiki and Nihonshoki, he was a son of Emperor Yūryaku. His name in birth was Shiraka. It is said that the color of his hair was white since birth.[4] After the death of his father, Seinei won the fight against Prince Hoshikawa, his brother, for the throne and so succeeded his father.

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

Seinei fathered no children; however, two grandsons of the 17th emperor, Emperor Richū, were found—later to ascend as Prince Oke and Prince Woke. Seinei adopted them as his heirs.[5]

The actual site of Seinei's grave is not known.[1] This emperor is traditionally venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine (misasagi) at Osaka.

The Imperial Household Agency designates this location as Seinei's mausoleum. It is formally named Kawachi no Sakado no hara no misasagi .[6]

See also

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