Emperor Seimu

Emperor Seimu
Artistic depiction of Emperor Seimu.

Table of Contents

Emperor Seimu

Emperor Seimu (成務 天皇) was the thirteenth Emperor of Japan also known as Watakarashihiko (稚足彦天皇).12345 He ruled from 131-190AD.5

Family

Emperor Seimu was the son of Emperor Keikō and Yasakairihime.145

Marrying Ohotakara no iratsume he had one son called Wakanuke235.

Reign

Emperor Seimu ascended the throne in 131AD according to Ponsonby.5 This was after being made heir in 46th year of father reign, when he was 24 years1 due to Yamato Dake dying young.4

His palace was located in Takaanaho in Shiga in Omi45 (Shiga in Chikatsu Afumi23) and his reign is the first time in which an Emperor moved his palace from the area of Yamato Province.4

He took the throne in the 1st year, Spring, 1st month, 5th day according to the nihongi.1

He buried his father and made his mother Kodaigō in the 2nd year, Winter, 11th month, 10th day of his reign.1

In the 3rd year of his reign he bestowed the title of Ōomi (大臣) onto Takeuchi no Sukune,45 a position he would hold through several reigns.5 He was also born the same day as the Emperor and so he held a lot of affection for him.15

More specifically the above mention event happened in the 3rd year, Spring, 1st month, 7th day according to the nihongi.1

The kojiki says he was given the title to oversee the Ōkuniōkuni no kuni no miyatsuko (Rulers of the Great Countries and Small Countries) and Ōagata ōagata no agata nushi (Department Lords of the Great and Small Departments).23

In the 4th year, Spring, 2nd month, 1st day he made a decree admiring the rule of his father, also stating there are no lords or chiefs in the villages.1

Due to this in the 5th year, Autumn, 9th month he makes a decree to all provinces establishing miyakko (governors) in the provinces and districts, and inaki (akin to mayor) in the villages. All were given shields and spears with the provinces made by borders on mountains, with townships and villages established by lanes.1

In the Spring of the 48th year of his reign he makes his nephew Emperor Chuai the crown prince.14

Emperor Seimu died aged 95 according to the kojiki23, 107 according to the Jinnō Shōtōki4 and 108 according to Ponsonby.5 He reigned for 61 years according to Ponsonby,4 but 60 according to the nihongi.1

The nihongi agrees with the Jinnō Shōtōki on his age saying he passed in his 60th year, Summer, 6th month, 11th day.1

His misasagi is located Tatanami near Saki.23

Footnotes

1. Aston. W.G. (1896) “Nihongi Volume 1: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to AD697”. Tuttle Publishing.
2. Yasumaro. O, translated by Gustav Heldt. (2014) “Kojiki. An Account of Ancient Matters”. New York: Columbia University Press.
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. Ponsonby, F. (1959) “The Imperial House of Japan.” Kyoto: Ponsonby Memorial Society.

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Emperor Seimu