Empress Hibasuhime

Empress Hibasuhime

  • Period: Legendary Period
  • Occupation: Empress
  • Family: Emperor Suinin (husband)
  • Birth: –
  • Death: –

Empress Hibasuhime

Empress Hibasuhime (日葉酢媛命) was the wife of Emperor Suinin. Upon her death the Emperor asked what should be done for her funeral. Some of the ministers stated that they should follow the tradition carried out upon the death of Yamatohiko, in that her retainers should be buried alive alongside her.

However, Nomi no Sukune devised an alternative as he thought this form of sacrifice was contrary to a benevolent government. Nomi no Sukune took 300 poetters and made images from clay, the Emperor liking what had been created decreed they would be used instead of burying peoples retainers alive. These items became known as haniwa. This event is recorded in the Nihongi but not the Kojiki.1

Footnotes

1. Borgen, R. (1975) “The Origins of the Sugawara. A History of the Haji Family”. Monumenta Nipponica. Vol.30 No.4 pp.405-422

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