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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
Native name 蘇我 馬子
Born 551?
Died June 19, 626(626-06-19)
Resting place Shimanoshō, Asuka, Nara Prefecture, Japan (traditionally)
Coordinates: 34°28′0.44″N 135°49′34.14″E / 34.4667889°N 135.8261500°E / 34.4667889; 135.8261500
Monuments Ishibutai Kofun (traditionally)
Other names Shima no Ōomi (嶋大臣)
Years active late 6th century – early 7th century
Known for Political reforms of Asuka period, associate of Prince Shōtoku, promoter of Buddhism
Spouse(s) Daughter of Mononobe no Ogushi
Children Kahiiko 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 Shigisen, 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]

GenealogyEdit

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

ReferencesEdit

  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". Asukanet.gr.jp. Retrieved 2012-06-10.