Yamato hiko no Mikoto (倭彦命)

Yamato hiko no Mikoto (year of birth unknown - October 30, 2 B.C.?) was a member of the Imperial family transmitted by "Kojiki" (Records of Ancient Matters) and "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan). He was the third prince of Emperor Sujin. His mother was Mimakihime. He was the younger maternal half-brother of Emperor Suinin. He was described as Yamatohiko no mikoto (Kojiki [The Records of Ancient Matters]) and 'Yamatohiko no miko' (Shoku Nihongi [Chronicle of Japan Continued]).

According to "Nihonshoki", he died on October 30, 2 B.C. On November 26, 2 B.C., he was buried in Musanotsukisaka, and advisers who were close to him were buried alive around his grave (junshi; suicide or killing to follow the master to the grave), but those that followed him to the grave did not die for many days and groaned night and day; when they died, dogs and birds picked on their rotten flesh. Emperor Suinin, who took pity on this, issued a ban of junshi. When his empress Hibasuhime no mikoto passed away in 3 A.D., by the advise of Nomi no Sukune, the Emperor ordered Haniwa (a clay figure artifact) of people, horses, and so on to be placed in the grave as the substitute for junshi, and since then, it this became the usual practice (the origin of Haniwa).

Furthermore, Musanotsukisaka where Yamato hiko no Mikoto was buried, is regarded as Masuyama Tumulus (square tumulus with sides 90m long) in Toriya cho, Kashihara City, Nara Prefecture, and is under the control of the Imperial Household Agency.

[Original Japanese]