Emperor Ōjin

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Emperor Ōjin.jpg
Emperor of Japan
Reign270–310 (traditional)[1]
PredecessorJingū (de-facto)
Chūai (traditional)
Born200 (traditional)
Umi (Fukuoka)
Died310 (traditional)
Karushima no Toyoakira (Nara)
Eega no Mofushi no oka no misasagi (惠我藻伏崗陵) (Osaka)
IssueSee below
HouseImperial House of Japan
FatherEmperor Chūai
MotherEmpress Jingū

Emperor Ōjin (応神天皇, Ōjin-tennō), also known as Hondawake no Mikoto (誉田別尊) or Homuta no Sumeramikoto (譽田天皇), was the 15th Emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.[2][3]

No firm dates can be assigned to this Emperor's life or reign, but he is conventionally considered to have reigned from 270 to 310.[4]

Legendary narrative[edit]

Ōjin is regarded by historians as a "legendary Emperor" of the 5th century.[5] The reign of Emperor Kinmei (c. 509 – 571 AD), the 29th Emperor,[6] is the first for which contemporary historiography is able to assign verifiable dates;[7] however, the conventionally accepted names and dates of the early Emperors were not to be confirmed as "traditional" until the reign of Emperor Kanmu (737–806), the 50th sovereign of the Yamato dynasty.[8]

The name Ōjin Tennō was assigned to him posthumously by later generations. Ōjin is also identified by some as the earliest "historical" Emperor.[9]

According to the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki, Ōjin was the son of the Emperor Chūai and his consort Empress Jingū. As Chūai died before Ōjin's birth, his mother Empress Jingū became the de facto ruler. The history book written to the 8th century, alleged that the boy Ōjin was conceived but unborn when Chūai died. His widow, Empress Jingū, then spent three years in conquest of a promised land, which is conjectured to be Korea, but the story is largely dismissed by scholars for lack of evidence. Then, after her return to Japanese islands, the boy was born, three years after the death of the father.

Either a period of less than nine months contained three "years" (some seasons), e.g. three harvests, or the paternity is just mythical and symbolic, rather than real. Ōjin was born (in 200 according to the traditional) in Tsukushi Province upon the return of his mother from the invasion of the promised land, and was named Prince Hondawake. He became the crown prince at the age of four. He was crowned (in 270) at the age of 70 and reigned for 40 years until his death in 310, although none of the TC dates around his reign have any historical basis. He supposedly lived in two palaces, both of which are in present-day Osaka.

Ōjin was traditionally identified as the father of Emperor Nintoku, who acceded after Ōjin's death.[10] Ōjin has been deified as Hachiman Daimyōjin, regarded as the guardian of warriors. The Hata clan considered him their guardian Kami.

Memorial Shinto shrine and mausoleum honoring Emperor Ōjin.

The actual site of Ōjin's grave is not known.[2] The Emperor is traditionally venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine (misasagi) at Osaka.

The Imperial Household Agency designates this location as Ōjin's mausoleum. It is formally named Eega no Mofushi no oka no misasagi.[11]

Consorts and children[edit]

Empress: Nakatsu-hime (仲姫命), Prince Homudamawaka's daughter

  • Princess Arata (荒田皇女)
  • Fourth Son: Prince Ōosazaki (大鷦鷯尊) later Emperor Nintoku
  • Prince Netori (根鳥皇子), ancestor of Ōta no Kimi (大田君)

Consort: Takakiiri-hime (高城入姫命), Prince Homudamawaka's daughter

  • Prince Nukata no Ōnakatsuhiko (額田大中彦皇子)
  • Prince Ōyamamori (大山守皇子, d.310), ancestor of Hijikata no Kimi (土形君) and Haibara no Kimi (榛原君)
  • Prince Izanomawaka (去来真稚皇子), ancestor of Fukakawawake (深河別)
  • Princess Ōhara (大原皇女)
  • Princess Komukuta (澇来田皇女)

Consort: Oto-hime (弟姫命), Prince Homudamawaka's daughter

  • Princess Ahe (阿倍皇女)
  • Princess Awaji no Mihara (淡路御原皇女), married to Prince Netori
  • Princess Ki no Uno (紀之菟野皇女)
  • Princess Shigehara (滋原皇女)
  • Princess Mino no Iratsume (三野郎女)

Consort: Miyanushiyaka-hime (宮主宅媛), Wani no Hifure no Omi's daughter

  • Prince Uji no Wakiiratsuko (菟道稚郎子皇子), Crown Prince
  • Princess Yata (矢田皇女), married to Emperor Nintoku
  • Princess Metori (雌鳥皇女, d.353), married to Prince Hayabusawake

Consort: Onabe-hime (小甂媛), Wani no Hifure no Omi's daughter

  • Princess Uji no Wakiiratsu-hime (菟道稚郎女皇女), married to Emperor Nintoku

Consort: Okinaga Mawakanakatsu-hime (息長真若中比売), Kawamata Nakatsuhiko's daughter

  • Prince Wakanuke no Futamata (稚野毛二派皇子), ancestor of Okinaga clan (息長君), great-grandfather of Emperor Keitai

Consort: Ito-hime (糸媛), Sakuraitabe no Muraji Shimatarine's daughter

  • Prince Hayabusawake (隼総別皇子), husband of Princess Metori (雌鳥皇女)

Consort: Himuka no Izumi no Naga-hime (日向泉長媛)

  • Prince Ōhae (大葉枝皇子)
  • Prince Ohae (小葉枝皇子)
  • Princess Hatabi no Wakairatsume (幡日之若郎女), married to Emperor Richū

Consort: Kaguro-hime (迦具漏比売), Prince Sumeiroōnakatsuhiko's daughter

  • Princess Kawarata no Iratsume (川原田郎女)
  • Princess Tama no Iratsume (玉郎女)
  • Prince Kataji (迦多遅王)
  • 2 Princesses speculated as Prince Wakanuke no Futamatas daughters

Consort: Katsuragi no Irome (葛城野伊呂売), Takenouchi no Sukune's daughter

  • Prince Izanomawaka ? (伊奢能麻和迦王 - 去来真稚皇子 ?)

Consort: E-hime (兄媛), Kibi-no-Takehiko's daughter

See also[edit]


Japanese Imperial kamon — a stylized chrysanthemum blossom
  1. ^ "Genealogy of the Emperors of Japan" at Kunaicho.go.jp; retrieved 2013-8-28.
  2. ^ a b Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō): 応神天皇 (15); retrieved 2013-8-26.
  3. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 19–22; Brown, Delmer M. (1979). Gukanshō, p. 255–256; Varley, Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, pp. 103–110.
  4. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p. 36.
  5. ^ Kelly, Charles F. "Kofun Culture," Japanese Archaeology. 27 April 2009.
  6. ^ Titsingh, pp. 34–36; Brown, pp. 261–262; Varley, pp. 123–124.
  7. ^ Hoye, Timothy. (1999). Japanese Politics: Fixed and Floating Worlds, p. 78; excerpt, "According to legend, the first Japanese Emperor was Jinmu. Along with the next 13 Emperors, Jinmu is not considered an actual, historical figure. Historically verifiable Emperors of Japan date from the early sixth century with Kinmei.
  8. ^ Aston, William. (1896). Nihongi, pp. 109.
  9. ^ Wakabayashi, Tadashi. (1995) Japanese loyalism reconstrued, p. 108., p. 108, at Google Books
  10. ^ Aston, William George. (1998). Nihongi, p. 254–271.
  11. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, p. 419.


Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Chūai
Emperor of Japan:

(traditional dates)
Succeeded by
Emperor Nintoku