Emperor Bidatsu

Emperor of Japan

Emperor Bidatsu (敏達天皇, Bidatsu-tennō, 538-585) was the 30th emperor of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession.[2]

Bidatsu
Emperor of Japan
Reign572 –585 (traditional)
PredecessorKimmei
SuccessorYōmei
Born538 (traditional)
Died585 (traditional)
Burial
Kawachi no Shinaga no naka no o no misasagi (Osaka)

The years of reign of Bidatsu start in 572 and end in 585; however, there are no certain dates for this emperor's life or reign.[3] The names and sequence of the early emperors were not confirmed as "traditional" until the reign of Emperor Kammu, who was the 50th monarch of the Yamato dynasty.[4]

Traditional historyEdit

Historians consider details about the life of Emperor Bidatsu to be possibly legendary, but probable.[5] The name Bidatsu-tennō was created for him posthumously by later generations.

He was the second son of Emperor Kimmei. His mother, Ishi-hime, was a daughter of Emperor Senka.[6]

His palace in Yamato Province was called Osada no Miya of Iware.[6]

Although he had many children, none of them would ever become emperor.[7] According to Gukanshō, Bidatsu had four empresses and 16 Imperial children (6 sons and 10 daughters).[6]

Events of Bidatsu's lifeEdit

In the 15th year of Kimmei's reign, Bidatsu was named Crown Prince.[6]

In the 32nd year of Kimmei's reign (572), the emperor died; and his successor was Bidatsu.[8] This was confirmed in ceremonies.[9]

Bidatsu's reign was marked by power struggles about Buddhism. The two most important men in the court of Bidatsu were Soga no Umako and Mononobe no Moriya.[8] Soga supported the growth of Buddhism, and Moriya wanted to stop it.[10]

Bidatsu suffered from an unknown disease which afflicted him with sores. Probably, he was the first royal victim of smallpox in Japan.[11]

In the 14th year of Bidatsu's reign (585), he died;[12] and the succession (senso) were passed to his younger half-brother who became known as Emperor Yōmei.[13]

After his deathEdit

According to the Imperial Household Agency, the emperor's final resting place is in an earthen tumulus (kofun). Bidatsu is venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine (misasagi) which is associated with the burial mound.[1]

Related pagesEdit

ReferencesEdit

 
The chrysanthemum symbol of the Japanese emperor and his family.
  1. 1.0 1.1 Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō), 敏達天皇 (30); retrieved 2013-1-31.
  2. Jien; Delmer Myers Brown, Ichirō Ishida (1979). 愚管抄: A Translation and Study of the Gukansho, an Interpretative History of Japan Written in 1219. University of California Press. pp. 262–263. ISBN 978-0-520-03460-0.
  3. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric (2002). Japan Encyclopedia. Harvard University Press. pp. 962–963. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5.
  4. Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to A.D. 697. Society. 1896. p. 109.
  5. Kelly, Charles F. "Kofun Culture," Japanese Archaeology. April 27, 2009; retrieved 2013-1-31.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Jien; Delmer Myers Brown, Ichirō Ishida (1979). 愚管抄: A Translation and Study of the Gukansho, an Interpretative History of Japan Written in 1219. University of California Press. p. 262. ISBN 978-0-520-03460-0.
  7. Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959) The Imperial House of Japan, p. 46.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Klaproth, Julius von (1834). Nipon o dai itsi ran: ou Annales des empereurs du Japon. Oriental Translation Fund. p. 36.
  9. Varley, p. 44; compare Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō), Ceremony of Accession (Sokui-no-Rei); retrieved 2013-1-31.
  10. Jien; Delmer Myers Brown, Ichirō Ishida (1979). 愚管抄: A Translation and Study of the Gukansho, an Interpretative History of Japan Written in 1219. University of California Press. pp. 262–263. ISBN 978-0-520-03460-0.
  11. Hopkins, Donald R. (2002). The Greatest Killer, pp. 105-106.
  12. Martin, Peter (1997). The Chrysanthemum Throne: A History of the Emperors of Japan. University of Hawaii Press. p. 35. ISBN 978-0-8248-2029-9.
  13. Jien; Delmer Myers Brown, Ichirō Ishida (1979). 愚管抄: A Translation and Study of the Gukansho, an Interpretative History of Japan Written in 1219. University of California Press. p. 263. ISBN 978-0-520-03460-0.
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Kimmei
Emperor of Japan:
Bidatsu

572–585
Succeeded by
Emperor Yōmei