Emperor Kaika

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Tennō Kaika thumb.jpg
Emperor of Japan
Reign 158 BC – 98 BC (traditional)[1]
Predecessor Kōgen
Successor Sujin
Born 208 BC
Died 98 BC (aged 110)
Burial Kasuga no Izakawa no saka no e no misasagi (Nara)
  • Ikagashikome
  • Taniwa no Takanohime
  • Hahatsuhime
  • Washihime
Issue See below
Father Emperor Kōgen
Mother Utsusikome

Emperor Kaika (開化天皇, Kaika-tennō); also known as Wakayamatonekohikooobi no Mikoto; is the ninth emperor of Japan,[2] according to the traditional order of succession.[3]

No firm dates can be assigned to this emperor's life or reign; he is conventionally considered to have reigned from 157 BC to 98 BC.[4] He may have lived in the early 1st century.[5]

Legendary narrative[edit]

Modern scholars have come to question the existence of at least the first nine emperors; Kaika's son Emperor Sujin is the first that many agree might have actually existed, in the third or fourth century.[6] The name Kaika-tennō was assigned to him posthumously by later generations.[7]

Kaika is regarded by historians as a "legendary emperor", and there is a paucity of information about him. There is insufficient material for further verification and study.[8] The reign of Emperor Kinmei (c. 509 – 571 AD), the 29th emperor,[9] is the first for which contemporary historiography is able to assign verifiable dates;[10] 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.[11]

In the Kojiki and Nihonshoki, only his name and genealogy were recorded. The Japanese have traditionally accepted this sovereign's historical existence, and an Imperial misasagi or tomb for Kaika is maintained; however, no extant contemporary records have been discovered that confirm a view that this historical figure reigned. He was the eighth of eight emperors without specific legends associated with them, also known as the "eight undocumented monarchs" (欠史八代,, Kesshi-hachidai).[12]

Jien records that Kaika was the second son of Emperor Kōgen and that he ruled from the palace of Isakawa-no-miya at Kasuga in what came to be known as Yamato Province.[13]

Official tomb of Emperor Kaika in Nara.

Kaika is a posthumous name. It is undisputed that this identification is Chinese in form and Buddhist in implication, which suggests that the name must have been regularized centuries after the lifetime ascribed to Kaika, possibly during the time in which legends about the origins of the Yamato dynasty were compiled as the chronicles known today as the Kojiki.[12]

The site of Kaika's grave is not known.[2] This emperor is traditionally venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine (misasagi) in Nara. The Imperial Household Agency designates this location as Kaika's mausoleum. It is formally named Kasuga no Izakawa no saka no e no misasagi.[14]

Consorts and children[edit]

Empress: Ikagashikome (伊香色謎命), daughter of Oohesoki (大綜麻杵)

  • Prince Mimakiirihikoinie (御間城入彦五十瓊殖尊) (Emperor Sujin)
  • Princess Mimatsuhime (御真津比売命)

Taniwa no Takanohime (丹波竹野媛), daughter of Taniwa no Ooagatanushi Yugori (丹波大県主由碁理)

  • Prince Hikoyumusu (彦湯産隅命)

Hahatsuhime (姥津媛), younger sister of Washihime

Washihime (鸇比売), daughter of Katsuragi no Tarumi no Sukune (葛城垂見宿禰)

  • Prince Taketoyohazurawake (建豊波豆羅和気王)

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): 開化天皇 (9); retrieved 2013-8-28.
  3. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 6–7, p. 6, at Google Books; Brown, Delmer M. (1979). Gukanshō, p. 252; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, p. 93
  4. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p. 30.
  5. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Kaika Tennō" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 451, p. 451, at Google Books.
  6. ^ Yoshida, Reiji. "Life in the Cloudy Imperial Fishbowl", Japan Times. March 27, 2007; retrieved 2013-8-22.
  7. ^ Brinkley, Frank. (1915). A History of the Japanese People from the Earliest Times to the end of the Meiji Era, p. 21, p. 21, at Google Books; excerpt, "Posthumous names for the earthly Mikados were invented in the reign of Emperor Kanmu (782–805), i.e., after the date of the compilation of the Records and the Chronicles."
  8. ^ Kelly, Charles F. "Kofun Culture", Japanese Archaeology. April 27, 2009.
  9. ^ Titsingh, pp. 34–36; Brown, pp. 261–262; Varley, pp. 123–124.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ Aston, William. (1896). Nihongi, pp. 109.
  12. ^ a b Aston, William. (1998). Nihongi, Vol. 1, pp. 148–149.
  13. ^ Brown, p. 252.
  14. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, p. 418.


Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Kōgen
Legendary Emperor of Japan
158 BC – 98 BC
Succeeded by
Emperor Sujin