Soga no Umako

Soga no Umako

Soga no Umako (蘇我 馬子) was a member of the Soga Clan noted to have been even more powerful than his father, Soga no Iname.

During his lifetime many power struggles occurred in the Imperial Court as more Scripture and Buddhist images, as well as Nuns and Priest, were arriving from Korea. The Soga Clan wishing for the adoption of Buddhism.

Such was his political power he orchestrated placing his Nephew, Emperor Sushun on the throne after defeating Mononobe no Moriya in a skirmish as his clan wished to place another contender on the throne. Soon his nephew as Emperor demonstrated his distaste for Buddhism and wished to dislodge Umako from political power1
and so Umako had his nephew killed, buried without ceremony on the same day.12

After this Umako then installed his niece Empress Suiko on the throne after murdering another two male contenders for the throne.

Umako’s power waned during her reign after she instated her nephew Shotoku Taisha as Crown Prince who dominated the political scene of the Imperial Court. He died in 626AD, overshadowed by Shotoku for the rest of his life.1

Footnotes

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.

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Soga no Umako