Emperor Suizei

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Emperor Suizei (綏靖天皇 Suizei-tennō?); also known as Kamu-nuna-kaha-mimi no mikoto; was the 2nd emperor of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession.[2]

No firm dates can be assigned to this emperor's life, but he is conventionally considered to have reigned from 581 to 549 B.C.[3]

Contents

Legendary narrative

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

Suizei 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 the Kojiki little more than his name and genealogy are recorded. The Nihonshoki is more expansive, though the section is mythical, and almost wholly cut from the cloth of Chinese legends. An Imperial misasagi or tomb for Suizei is currently maintained, despite the lack of any reliable early records attesting to his historical existence. He is ranked as the first of eight emperors without specific legends associated with them, also known as the "eight undocumented monarchs" (欠史八代, Kesshi-hachidai?).[8]

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