Emperor Keikō

Emperor Keikō
Artistic depiction of Emperor Keikō.

Emperor Keikō

Emperor Keikō (景行天皇) was the twelfth Emperor of Japan, being the third child of Emperor Suinin described as being of giant physical stature and a victorious warrior.1

He is reported as the ruler who gave the North-West district of Kyushu its name of ‘Abundance’ after seeing the abundance of yams that grew here as well as giving Chikanoshima its name ‘Near Isles’ due to its proximity to Kyushu.2

During his lifetime many military campaigns were led by his son Yamato Dake, with the Emperor being said to have had 72 sons and 8 daughters.1 He is also said to have led a campaign to quash a rebellion in Kyushu. Whilst on board ship his navigator is said to have sailed there using ‘strange lights’ as a guide. These were the phenomenon known as the Shiranui.3

Emperor Keikō is said to have died at Shiga in Omi which he made his capital towards the end of his life.1


1. Martin, P. (1997) ”The Chrysanthemum Throne”. Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing Limited.
2. Yasumaro. O, translated by Gustav Heldt. (2014) “Kojiki. An Account of Ancient Matters”. New York: Columbia University Press.
3. Yoda, H. and Alt, M. (2016) “Japandemonium: Illustrated: The Yokai Encyclopaedia of Toriyama Sekien.”. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

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