Emperor Buretsu

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Emperor Buretsu
Emperor of Japan
Died507 (aged 17–18)
Kataoka no Iwatsuki no oka no kita no misasagi (傍丘磐坏丘北陵) (Nara)
SpouseEmpress Kasuga no Iratsume
IssueSee below
Posthumous name
Japanese style: Ohatsusenowakasazaki no Sumeramikoto (小泊瀬稚鷦鷯天皇)
Chinese style: Emperor Buretsu (武烈天皇)
HouseImperial House of Japan
FatherEmperor Ninken
MotherKasuga no Ōiratsume

Emperor Buretsu (武烈天皇, Buretsu-tennō) was the 25th legendary Emperor of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession.[2]

No firm dates can be assigned to this Emperor's life or reign, but he is conventionally considered to have reigned from 498 to 506.[3]

Legendary narrative[edit]

Buretsu is considered to have ruled the country during the late-fifth century and early-sixth century, but there is a paucity of information about him. There is insufficient material available for further verification and study.

Buretsu was a son of Emperor Ninken and his mother is Empress Kasuga no Ōiratsume (春日大娘皇女). His name was Ohatsuse no Wakasazaki (小泊瀬稚鷦鷯). He had no children.

Buretsu's reign[edit]

Buretsu's contemporary title would not have been tennō, as most historians believe this title was not introduced until the reigns of Emperor Tenmu and Empress Jitō. Rather, it was presumably Sumeramikoto or Amenoshita Shiroshimesu Ōkimi (治天下大王), meaning "the great king who rules all under heaven". Alternatively, Buretsu might have been referred to as ヤマト大王/大君 or the "Great King of Yamato".

Buretsu is described as an essentially wicked historical figure. Nihonshoki likened him to Di Xin of the Shang dynasty, but the record in Kojiki has no such indication. There are several theories on this difference. Some believe that this was to justify and praise his successor Emperor Keitai, who took over under questionable circumstances. In history textbooks available before and during World War II, part of Buretsu's record was intentionally omitted.

If Emperor Keitai began a new dynasty as some historians believe, then Buretsu is the last Emperor of the first recorded dynasty of Japan.[4]

The actual site of Buretsu's grave is not known.[1] The Emperor is traditionally venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine (misasagi) at Nara.

The Imperial Household Agency designates this location as Buretsu's mausoleum. It is formally named Kataoka no Iwatsuki no oka no kita no misasagi.[5]

Consorts and children[edit]

  • Empress: Kasuga no Iratsume (春日娘子)



See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō): 武烈天皇 (25)
  2. ^ Varley, Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, pp. 117–118; Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 31., p. 30, at Google Books
  3. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p. 43.
  4. ^ Aston, William. (1998). Nihongi, Vol. 1, pp. 393–407.
  5. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, p. 419.
  6. ^ "Genealogy". Reichsarchiv (in Japanese). Retrieved 6 January 2021.


Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Ninken
Emperor of Japan:

(traditional dates)
Succeeded by
Emperor Keitai