Emperor Yōmei

Japanese emperor
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Emperor Yōmei (用明天皇, Yōmei-tennō, died 587) was the 31st emperor of Japan,[1] according to the traditional order of succession.[2]

Emperor of Japan
Died587 (aged 69)
Kawachi no Shinaga no hara no misasagi (Osaka)

The years of the reign of Yōmei start in 585 and end in 587.[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 history


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

Emperor Yōmei was the fourth son of Emperor Kimmei. His mother, Soga no Kitashihime, was a daughter of Soga no Iname.[6]

His palace in Yamato Province was called Namitsuki no Miya at Ikebe.[7]

Yōmei had three Empresses and seven Imperial sons and daughters.[7]

Yōmei's son, Prince Umayado, is also known as Prince Shōtoku.[8]

Events of Yōmei's life

  • 586: In the 14th year of Bidatsu's reign, the emperor died. The succession (senso) received by Bidatsu's younger brother who would become Emperor Yōmei.[9] This was confirmed in ceremonies.[10]
  • 587, in the 4th month: Yōmei died and his body was placed in a coffin, but not buried.[7] His reign lasted only two years. He died at the age of 69.[11]
  • 587, in the 5th month: There was armed conflict over the succession; and forces led by Prince Shōtoku and Soga no Umako overcame the opposition. The throne passed to a younger brother who would become known as Emperor Shushun.[12]
The mausoleum (misasagi) of Emperor Yōmei in Osaka Prefecture.
  • 587, in the 7th month: The body of former Emperor Yōmei was buried.[7]

After his death


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



The chrysanthemum symbol of the Japanese emperor and his family.
  1. 1.0 1.1 Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō), 用明天皇 (31); retrieved 2011-10-18.
  2. Brown, Delmer. (1979). Gukanshō, p. 263; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki. pp. 125-126; Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du Japon, pp. 37-38.
  3. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2002). "Traditional order of Tennō" at pp. 962-963.
  4. Aston, William George. (1896). Nihongi, p. 109 n1.
  5. Kelly, Charles F. "Kofun Culture," Japanese Archaeology. April 27, 2009; retrieved 2013-1-31.
  6. Brown, Gukanshō, p. 263; Varley, p. 125.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Brown, Gukanshō, p. 263.
  8. Varley, pp.125-129.
  9. Brown, p. 263; Varley, p. 44; Titsingh, p. 37.
  10. Varley, p. 44; compare Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō), Ceremony of Accession (Sokui-no-Rei); retrieved 2011-12-19.
  11. Varley, p. 126.
  12. Brown, pp. 262-263.

Other websites


  Media related to Emperor Keitai at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
Emperor Bidatsu
Emperor of Japan

Succeeded by
Emperor Sushun