Soga no Umako

Soga no Umako (蘇我 馬子, 551? – June 19, 626[1]) was the son of Soga no Iname and a member of the powerful Soga clan of Japan.

Soga no Umako
蘇我 馬子
Died(626-06-19)June 19, 626
Resting placeShimanoshō, Asuka, Nara Prefecture, Japan (traditionally)
Coordinates: 34°28′0.7″N 135°49′34.1″E / 34.466861°N 135.826139°E / 34.466861; 135.826139
MonumentsIshibutai Kofun (traditionally)
Other namesShima no Ōomi (嶋大臣)
Years activelate 6th century – early 7th century
Known forPolitical reforms of Asuka period, associate of Prince Shōtoku, promoter of Buddhism
Spouse(s)Daughter of Mononobe no Ogushi
ChildrenKahiiko no Iratsume
Soga no Emishi
Soga no Kuramaro
Tojiko no Iratsume
Hode no Iratsume
Parent(s)Soga no Iname
Ishibutai kofun is considered likely to have been intended as the tomb of Soga no Umako

Umako conducted political reforms with Prince Shōtoku during the rules of Emperor Bidatsu and Empress Suiko[2] and established the Soga clan's stronghold in the government by having his daughters married to members of the imperial family.

In the late 6th century, Soga no Umako went to great lengths to promote Buddhism in Japan, and was instrumental in its acceptance. At that time, the Soga clan employed immigrants from China and Korea, and worked to obtain advanced technology and other knowledge. In 587, Umako defeated Mononobe no Moriya in the Battle of Shigisan, securing Soga dominance. On January 15, 593, relics of Buddha Shakyamuni were deposited inside the foundation stone under the pillar of a pagoda at Asuka-dera (Hōkō-ji at the time), a temple whose construction Umako ordered, according to the Suiko section of the Nihonshoki.[3]

Ishibutai Kofun is believed to be the tomb of Soga no Umako.[4]


Soga no Umako's wife was a daughter of Mononobe no Ogushi and a sister of Mononobe no Moriya; they had five children.


  1. ^ June 19, 626 corresponds to the twentieth day of the fifth month of 626 (Heibo) of the traditional lunisolar calendar used in Japan until 1873
  2. ^ Mulhern, Chieko Irie (1991). Heroic with grace: legendary women of Japan. Armonk, N.Y: M.E. Sharpe. p. 40. ISBN 0-87332-552-4.
  3. ^ Aston, W. G. (2008). Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times. New York: Cosimo, Inc. ISBN 978-1-60520-146-7.
  4. ^ "Ishibutai kofun". Retrieved 2012-06-10.