- Reign: 593-628AD
- Period: Asuka Period
- Family: Emperor Bidatsu (husband) Emperor Kinmei (father) Emperor Yōmei (brother) Soga no Umako (uncle) Shōtoku Taisha (nephew)
- Burial Place: –
- Order of Succession: Predecessor Emperor Sushun * Successor Emperor Jomei
Prior to her Reign
Before her reign Suiko is said to have been very active in politics, especially during the reign of her brother Yomei.
She became Empress after her uncle Soga no Umako killed Emperor Sushun and installed her onto the throne, becoming the First Empress Regent in name.12 The Privy Seal was said to have been given to her, though it was already in use by then. During her reign, the word Tennō was imported from China.
She installed her nephew (Shotoku Taisha) as Crown Prince and as the de-facto leader now helped reorganised her court. The nobility was put into elaborate hierarchies, and appropriate robes and insignia were given, as well as an establishment and centralization of the administration system.1
After Shotoku Taisha died she did not appoint an heir leading to problems in court. And after her death court officials had to dedicated much attention to choosing the heir to Suiko.2
1. Martin, P. (1997) ”The Chrysanthemum Throne”. Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing Limited.
2. Tsurumi, P. (1981) “Early Female Emperors” Historical Reflections Vol.8 No.1 pp.41-49.
3. Yoda, H. and Alt, M. (2016) “Japandemonium: Illustrated: The Yokai Encyclopaedia of Toriyama Sekien.”. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.
Check out Japan Archives, our Japanese History Podcast