Emperor Keik%C5%8D
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Emperor Keik%C5%8D
Emperor Keik?.jpg
Emperor of Japan
Reign71-130 AD (traditional)[1]
Born7 November 13 BC
Died23 December 130
(aged 142 years, 46 days)
Yamanobe no michi no e no misasagi (Nara)
IssueSee below
FatherEmperor Suinin

Emperor Keik? (?,, Keik?-tenn?) was, according to legend, the 12th emperor of Japan.[2][3] His reign is conventionally dated as 71-130 AD.[4] He is also known as Ootarashihikooshirowake no Sumeramikoto.

Legendary narrative

Keik? is regarded by historians as a legendary emperor with little information about him. There is insufficient material available for further verification and study.[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 Keik?-tenn? was assigned to him posthumously by later generations.[9]

His legend was recorded in Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, but the accounts of him are different in these two sources. In Kojiki he sent his son Yamato Takeru to Ky?sh? to conquer local tribes. In Nihonshoki Keik? himself went there and won battles against local tribes. According to both sources, he sent Yamatotakeru to Izumo Province and eastern provinces to conquer the area and spread his territory.[10]

According to traditional sources, Yamato Takeru died in the 43rd year of Emperor Keiko's reign ().[11] The possessions of the dead prince were gathered together along with the sword Kusanagi; and his widow venerated his memory in a shrine at her home. Sometime later, these relics and the sacred sword were moved to the current location of the Atsuta Shrine.[12]Nihonshoki explains that this move occurred in the 51st year of Keiko's reign, but shrine tradition also dates this event in the 1st year of Emperor Ch?ai's reign.[13]

The actual site of Keik?'s grave is not known.[2] This emperor is traditionally venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine (misasagi) at Nara.

The Imperial Household Agency designates this location as Keik?'s mausoleum. It is formally named Yamanobe no michi no e no misasagi.[14]

Consorts and children

Empress (first): Harima no Inabi no Ooiratsume (?), daughter of Wakatakehiko (?)

  • Prince Kushitsunowake (?)
  • Prince Oousu (?), ancestor of Mugetsu no kimi (?)
  • Prince Ousu (), father of Emperor Ch?ai

Empress (second): Yasakairihime (), daughter of Yasakairihiko ()

  • Prince Wakatarashihiko (?) Emperor Seimu
  • Prince Iokiirihiko (?)
  • Prince Oshinowake ()
  • Prince Wakayamatoneko ()
  • Prince Oosuwake ()
  • Princess Nunoshinohime ()
  • Princess Iokiirihime (?)
  • Princess Kagoyorihime ()
  • Prince Isakiirihiko (), ancestor of Mitsukai no Muraji ()
  • Prince Kibinoehiko ()
  • Princess Takagiirihime ()
  • Princess Otohime (?)

Mizuhanoiratume (?), daughter of iwatsukuwake (?), younger sister of Iwakiwake (?)

  • Princess Ionono () Sai?

Ikawahime (?)

  • Prince Kamukushi (?), ancestor of Sanuki no Kimi (), Sakabe no Kimi ()
  • Prince Inaseirihiko (), ancestor of Saeki no Atai (), Harima no Atai ()

Abe no Takadahime (), daughter of Abe no Kogoto (?)

  • Prince Takekunikoriwake ()

Himuka no Kaminagaootane (?)

  • Prince Himuka no Sotsuhiko (?)

Sonotakehime ()

  • Prince Kunichiwake ()
  • Prince Kunisewake ()
  • Prince Toyotowake ()

Himuka no Mihakashihime ()

Inabinowakairatsume (), daughter of Wakatakehiko, younger sister of Harima no Inabi no Ooiratsume

  • Prince Mawaka ()
  • Prince Hikohitoooe ()

Igotohime (), daughter of Mononobe no Igui ()

  • Prince Igotohiko ()

See also


  1. ^ "Genealogy of the Emperors of Japan" at Kunaicho.go.jp; retrieved 2013-8-28.
  2. ^ a b Imperial Household Agency (Kunaich?): ? (12); retrieved 2013-8-23.
  3. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 11-14, p. 11, at Google Books; Brown, Delmer M. (1979). Gukansh?, p. 254; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinn? Sh?t?ki, pp. 96-99.
  4. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p. 33.
  5. ^ Kelly, Charles F. "Kofun Culture," Japanese Archaeology. April 27, 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 George. (1896). Nihongi, pp. 109.
  9. ^ Brinkley, Frank. (1915). A History of the Japanese People from the Earliest Times to the end of the Meiji Era,, 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.
  10. ^ Aston, William. (1998). Nihongi, Vol. 1, pp. 188-214.
  11. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1953) Studies in Shinto and Shrines, p. 433.
  12. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Studies in Shinto, p. 434.
  13. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Studies in Shinto, p. 435.
  14. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Studies in Shinto, p. 419.


Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Suinin
Legendary Emperor of Japan
71-130 AD
(traditional dates)
Succeeded by
Emperor Seimu

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