Emperor Chuai (仲哀天皇)

Emperor Chuai (year of birth unknown - March 8, 200) was the fourteenth Emperor of Japan, as recorded in the "Kojiki" (The Records of Ancient Matters) and the "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan) (period of reign: February 11, 192 - March 8, 200). He was also called Tarashinakatsuhiko no Sumeramikoto, and written 足仲彦天皇 or 帯中日子天皇 (Kojiki).

The title 'Tarashihiko' was held by the twelfth Emperor, Keiko, the thirteenth Emperor, Seimu, and the fourteenth Emperor, Chuai, although this title is believed to have come into use in the early seventh century, when it was used by the thirty-fourth Emperor, Jomei and the thirty-fifth Emperor, Kogyoku, both of whom are known to have existed, and added later to the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth Emperors, raising doubts about the actual existence of Emperor Chuai (theory of Emperor Chuai as a fictional person).

He was regarded as the husband of Empress Jingu and the father of Emperor Ojin, but there are doubts over the certainty of his actual achievements as historical facts, including his actual existence.

Imperial Palaces

Anato no Toyura no Miya (traditionally believed to be where Iminomiya-jinja Shrine in Chofumiyanouchi Town, Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture now stands). Tsukushi no Kashii no Miya (traditionally believed to be where Kashii-gu Shrine in Kashii, Higashi-ku Ward, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture now stands).


According to the Nihon Shoki, Emperor Chuai was chosen as Crown Prince at the age of 31, because his uncle, Emperor Seimu had no heir. After thirteen years as Crown Prince, he was made Emperor in January 192. To commemorate his father Yamato Takeru no Mikoto, who died in 113 and flew to heaven as a swan, he ordered every province to present some swans, and when Ashikamino Kamami Wakenomiko, his younger half-brother, stole the swans presented by Koshi Province, he executed him. On February 28, 193, Emperor Chuai made Okinagatarashi Himeno Mikoto (born in 170) his Empress (Empress Jingu).

In 199 A.D., when visiting Chikushi (present-day Fukuoka, Kyushu) together with Empress Jingu in order to conquer the Kumaso (a rebellious group living in Kyushu), Emperor Chuai received an oracle from the empress, who was possessed by Sumiyoshi Okami (three great gods of Sumiyoshi).

The oracle told him that he would be given a land of treasure in the western sea (Silla, present-day South Korea). However, Emperor Chuai didn't believe it and criticized the Sumiyoshi Okami gods. As a result, he incurred the gods' wrath and died suddenly in February the following year. His corpse was sent by sea via Anato (present-day Yamaguchi) and was kept temporarily at Toyura no Miya by TAKEUCHI no Sukune. (According to the "Tenshoki" (Records of the Tensho Era), he was shot by a Kumaso arrow. ). In the "Kojiki," it is recorded that 'the age of Tarashinakatsuhiko no Sumeramikoto was fifty-two. He died on June 11 in the year of the Water-Dog in the sixty-year Chinese calendar cycle. The "Nihonshoki" also records an age of fifty-two but, if counted backwards, this results in the paradox of the Emperor being born thirty-six years after the death of Yamato Takeru, his father.

He established Miyake (manors under the direct control of the dynasty) in Awaji during this period.'

It is written in an entry in the Kojiki for February of the first year that he established an imperial territory (called "miyake" in Japanese) in Awaji.

Miyake is agricultural land under the direct control of Imperial Court, or a directly controlled fief.

Theory of Emperor Chuai as a fictional person

Historians count Emperor Chuai as an Emperor with a low possibility of actual existence. The main reason for this is that both his father (Yamato Takeru no Mikoto) and his wife (Empress Jingu) almost certainly did not exist. The stories of Yamato Takeru and Empress Jingu are thought to have been inserted into the Kojiki and Nihonshoki, with Yamato Takeru believed to be based on legends of heroes in Yamato region, condensed into the person of Osu no Mikoto, and Empress Jingu's story to be based on the sequence of events from the Battle of Hakusukinoe through the enthronement of Emperor Monmu by Empress Jito. The theory of Emperor Chuai as a fictional person asserts that Emperor Chuai was invented and inserted into the Kojiki and Nihonshoki to justify these fictional personalities and their stories as historical fact.

Also, if the honorific title Tarashihiko is removed from his Shigo (posthumous name), Tarashinakatsuhiko, the name Nakatsu remains, but this is an abstract noun and can't be said to be an actual name (usually, extra names are based on common nouns, as was the case with Emperor Tenchi). In other words, the Shigo of Emperor Chuai is not based on an actual name, but is an abstract common noun. Also, as mentioned above, the unnatural evidence in the "Nihonshoki" that points to him being born thirty-six years after the death of his father, Yamato Takeru no Mikoto, is often used to support the theory that he was a fictional character.

Imperial mausoleum

He was buried in Ega no Nagano no Nishi no Misasagi.
In Nihonshoki, it is recorded as 'Nagano no Misasagi in Kawachi Province,' and in Kojiki, it is recorded that 'misasagi (Imperial mausoleum) is at Nagae in Ega of Kawachi.'
This mausoleum is estimated to be the Okamisanzai tumulus (a circular tumulus with a rectangular frontage) located in Fujiidera City, Osaka Prefecture. It is surrounded by a moat with a width of more than fifty meters; however, it was partly renovated in medieval times to be used as a fortress.

Total length - 242m
Front square part - width 182m, height 16.0m
Rear round part - diameter 148m, height 19.5m, height at the top of round part, 53.5m
Location - 4 Chome, Fujiidera, Fujiidera City, Osaka Prefecture (Furuichi Tombs).

[Original Japanese]