Takenouchi no Sukune

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Takenouchi no Sukune drawn by Kikuchi Yosai

Takenouchi no Sukune (武内宿禰) or Takeshiuchi no Sukune was a legendary Japanese hero-statesman, and is a Shinto kami.


Takenouchi no Sukune was supposedly the son of Princess Kagehime, and is said to be grandson to Prince Hikofutsuoshinomakoto (彦太忍信命).[1] Descended from Emperor Kōgen, Takenouchi no Sukune served under five legendary emperors, Emperor Keikō, Emperor Seimu, Emperor Chūai, Emperor Ōjin, and Emperor Nintoku, but was perhaps best known for his service as Grand Minister to the Regent Empress Jingū, with whom he supposedly invaded Korea. While Jingu was regent to her son, Ojin, Takenouchi was accused of treason. He underwent the "ordeal of boiling water" as a way to prove his innocence.

In addition to his martial services to these emperors, he was reputedly also a saniwa, or spirit medium.


Twenty-eight Japanese clans are said to be descended from Takenouchi no Sukune, including Takeuchi and Soga. He is a legendary figure, and is said to have drunk daily from a sacred well, and this helped him to live to be 280 years old. Further, he is enshrined as a Kami at the Ube shrine, in the Iwami district of the Tottori Prefecture and at local Hachiman shrines.

Takenouchi no Sukune is grandfather of Takenouchi no matori (竹内真鳥) who created manuscript books of Takenouchi monjo (竹内文書) which depicted ancient Japan before the era of Kojiki and Nihon Shoki. The copies still exist in Kōsō Kōtai Jingū shrine in Ibaraki prefecture.

His portrait has appeared on the Japanese yen, and dolls of him are popular Children’s Day gifts.

Yen bill with a representative drawing attributed to Takenouchi no Sukune on its obverse.
  • First convertible silver yen bill (1889-1958)
  • First five yen bill (1899-1939)
  • Third five yen bill (1916-1939)
  • Second one-yen bill (1943-1958)
  • Second 200 yen bill (1945-1946)


  • Father: Yanushioshiotakeogokoro-no-mikoto (屋主忍男武雄心命, ?–?)
  • Mother: Yamashita no Kage-hime (影媛), sister of Kiinokuni no Miyatsukuko Uzuhiko (Ujihiko) (山下影日売)
    • Wife(s): unknown
      • Son: Hata no Yashiro (羽田矢代, ?–?), ancestor of the Hata uji (波多氏).
      • Son: Kose no Okara (許勢小柄, ?–?), ancestor of the Kose uji (巨勢氏).
      • Son: Soga no Ishikawa (蘇我石川, ?–?), ancestor of the Soga uji (蘇我氏).
      • Son: Heguri no Tsuku (平群木菟, ?–?), ancestor of the Heguri uji (平群氏).
      • Son: Ki no Tsuno (紀角, ?–?), ancestor of the Ki uji (紀氏).
      • Daughter: Kume no Matio-hime (久米能摩伊刀比売, ?–?)
      • Daughter: Nonoiro-hime (怒能伊呂比売, ?–?)
      • Son: Katsuragi no Sotsuhiko (葛城襲津彦, ?–?), ancestor of the Katsuragi uji (葛城氏).
      • Son: Wakugo no Sukune (若子宿禰)


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