Emperor Kōshō

Hear this tale on Episode B13 of our Podcast, the Japan Archives.

Emperor Kōshō
Artistic renderring of Emperor Kōshō.

Table of Contents

Emperor Kōshō

Emperor Kōshō (孝昭 天皇) was the fifth Emperor of Japan also known as Mimatsuhiko Kaweshine (真津日子訶恵志泥命).12 He ruled from 475-393BC.1


Emperor Kōshō was one of two sons of Emperor Itoku and Amatoyotsuhime.12 Kōshō would go on to marry Yosotarashi hime123 and together they would have two sons, these being the future Emperor Kōan and Ameoshitarashihiko.23


Emperor Kōshō ascended to the throne in 475BC,4 after having been made heir to the throne in the ”22nd year, Spring, 2nd month, 12th day,” of Itoku’s reign. He is said to have been 18 at the time.2

Ponsonby states he was made heir in the 12th year of his fathers reign.1

Events from his reign detailed in the Nihongi are as follows:

    • 1st year, Spring, 1st month, 9th day Kōshō takes the throne.
    • Summer, 4th month, 5th day. He gives the Empress the title Kodaigo.
    • 7th month. The capital is moved to Waki no Kami, residing in the Palace Ikegokoro.
    • 29th year, Spring, 1st month, 3rd day. Yosotarashi hime is made Empress.
      • Two alternative versions say this was:
        • Nunakitsuhime, daughter of Haye, Agatanushi of Shiki.
        • Ohowihime, daughter of Toyoakisatao from Yamato.
      • The Empress gives birth to Emperor Kōan and Ameoshitarashihiko.
    • 68th year, Spring, 1st month, 14th day. Kōan is made heir.
    • 83rd year, Autumn, 5th day. Kōshō passes away.2

Emperor Kōshō died aged 11414 and is said to have reigned 93 years in the Kojiki and not 83 as in other sources.5

His misasagi is located on Hakatayama in Waki no Kami.5

He was buried in his misasagi in the 38th year, Autumn, 8th month, 146th day of the reign of Emperor Kōan.2


1. Ponsonby, F. (1959) “The Imperial House of Japan.” Kyoto: Ponsonby Memorial Society.
2. Aston. W.G. (1896) “Nihongi Volume 1: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to AD697”. Tuttle Publishing.
3. Chamberlain, B. H. (1932) “Translation of the Kojiki.” Kobe: J.L. Thompson & Co.
4. Varley, H.P (1980) “A Chronicle of Gods and Sovereigns: Jinnō Shōtōki of Kitabatake Chikafusa.” New York: Columbia University Press.
5. Yasumaro. O, translated by Gustav Heldt. (2014) “Kojiki. An Account of Ancient Matters”. New York: Columbia University Press.

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