Soga no Umako

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In this Japanese name, the family name is Soga.
Soga no Umako
Native name 蘇我 馬子
Born 551?
Died June 19, 626(626-06-19)
Resting place Shimanoshō, Asuka, Nara Prefecture, Japan (traditionally)
Coordinates: 34°28′0.44″N 135°49′34.14″E / 34.4667889°N 135.8261500°E / 34.4667889; 135.8261500
Monuments Ishibutai Kofun (traditionally)
Other names Shima no Ōomi (嶋大臣?)
Years active late 6th century – early 7th century
Known for Political reforms of Asuka period, associate of Prince Shōtoku, promoter of Buddhism
Spouse(s) Daughter of Mononobe no Ogushi
Children Kahiiko no Iratsume, Soga no Emishi, Soga no Kuramaro, Tojiko no Iratsume, Hode no Iratsume
Parent(s) Soga no Iname
Ishibutai kofun is considered likely to have been intended as the tomb of Soga no Umako

Soga no Umako (蘇我 馬子?, 551? - June 19, 626[1]) was the son of Soga no Iname and a member of the powerful Soga clan of Japan.

Umako conducted political reforms with Prince Shōtoku during the rules of Emperor Bidatsu and Empress Suiko[2] and established the Soga clan's stronghold in the government by having his daughter married with members of the imperial family.

In the late 6th century, Soga no Umako went to great lengths to promote Buddhism in Japan. At that time, the Soga clan employed the immigrants from China and Korea, and obtained a high technology and knowledge. Soga no Umako, who made the acceptance of Buddhism, defeated Mononobe no Moriya in the Battle of Shigisen, and secured Soga dominance. On January 15, 593, Relics of Buddha Shakyamuni were deposited inside the foundation stone under the pillar of a pagoda at Asuka-dera (Hōkō-ji at the time), a temple which Umako ordered to construct, according to the Suiko section of the Nihongi.[3]

Ishibutai Kofun is believed to be the tomb of Soga no Umako.[4]


Soga no Umako's wife was a daughter of Mononobe no Ogushi and a sister of Mononobe no Moriya; they had five children.


  1. ^ June 19, 626 corresponds to the twentieth day of the fifth month of 626 (Heibo) of the traditional lunisolar calendar used in Japan until 1873
  2. ^ Mulhern, Chieko Irie (1991). Heroic with grace: legendary women of Japan. Armonk, N.Y: M.E. Sharpe. p. 40. ISBN 0-87332-552-4. 
  3. ^ Aston, W. G. (2008). Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times. New York: Cosimo, Inc. ISBN 978-1-60520-146-7. 
  4. ^ "Ishibutai kofun". Retrieved 2012-06-10.