Emperor Richū

Emperor Richū (履中天皇, Richū-tennō), also known as Ōenoizahowake no Mikoto (大兄去来穂別尊) was the 17th legendary Emperor of Japan,[2] according to the traditional order of succession.[3]

Emperor Richū
Emperor Richū.jpg
Emperor of Japan
Reign400–405 (traditional)[1]
Died406 (aged 69–70)
Mozu no Mimihara no Minami no misasagi (百舌鳥耳原南陵) (Osaka)
IssueSee below
Posthumous name
Chinese-style shigō:
Emperor Richū (履中天皇)

Japanese-style shigō:
Ōenoizahowake no Sumeramikoto (去来穂別天皇)
HouseImperial House of Japan
FatherEmperor Nintoku
MotherPrincess Iwano-hime

No firm dates can be assigned to this Emperor's life or reign, but he is conventionally considered to have reigned from 400 to 405.[4]

Legendary narrativeEdit

Richū is regarded by historians as a "legendary Emperor" of the 5th century.[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]

According to Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, Richū was the eldest son of Emperor Nintoku and Iwanohime, his name was Ōenoizahowake no Mikoto (大兄去来穂別尊).

Richū's contemporary title would not have been tennō, as most historians believe this title was not introduced until the reigns of Emperor Tenmu and Empress Jitō. Rather, it was presumably Sumeramikoto or Amenoshita Shiroshimesu Ōkimi (治天下大王), meaning "the great king who rules all under heaven". Alternatively, Hanzei might have been referred to as ヤマト大王/大君 or the "Great King of Yamato".

Some scholars identify him with King San in the Book of Song. King San sent messengers to the Liu Song dynasty at least twice in 421 and 425.[9]

Emperor Richū is traditionally associated with this kamiishizu misanzai in Sakai.

Richū escaped from Naniwa Place to Isonokami Shrine because of arson.[10] Richū succumbed to disease in his sixth year of reign. His tomb is in Kawachi province, in the middle of present-day Osaka Prefecture. He was succeeded by his younger brother Emperor Hanzei. None of his sons succeeded to the throne, although two grandsons would eventually ascend as Emperor Kenzō and as Emperor Ninken.

The site of Richū's grave is not known.[2] The Emperor is traditionally venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine (misasagi) in Sakai, Osaka. The Imperial Household Agency designates this location as Richū's mausoleum. It is formally named Mozu no mimihara no minami no misasagi.[11] It is also identified as the Kami Ishizu Misanzai [ja] kofun.

Consorts and childrenEdit

Imperial Consort: Kuro-hime (黒媛), Katsuragi no Ashita no Sukune's daughter

Empress: Princess Kusakanohatabino-hime (草香幡梭皇女), Emperor Ōjin's daughter

  • Princess Nakashi no Hime (中磯皇女), wife of Prince Ōkusaka, later married Emperor Anko

Concubine: Futohime no Iratsume (太姫郎姫), Prince Funashiwake's daughter

Concubine: Takatsuru no Iratsume (高鶴郎姫), Prince Funashiwake's daughter



See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Genealogy of the Emperors of Japan" at Kunaicho.go.jp; retrieved 2013-8-28.
  2. ^ a b Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō): 履中天皇 (17); retrieved 2013-8-28.
  3. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 24–25; Brown, Delmer M. (1979). Gukanshō, p. 257; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, p. 111.
  4. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p. 38.
  5. ^ Kelly, Charles F. "Kofun Culture", Japanese Archaeology. 27 April 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. (1896). Nihongi, pp. 109.
  9. ^ Aston, William. (1998). Nihongi, Vol. 1, pp. 301–311.
  10. ^ Nihon Shoki, Chapter 12
  11. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, p. 419.
  12. ^ "Genealogy". Reichsarchiv (in Japanese). Retrieved 9 January 2021.


External linksEdit

Regnal titles
Preceded by Emperor of Japan:

(traditional dates)
Succeeded by