Ōjin Tennō, First Historical Emperor of Japan, Reigns (Great Events from History: The Ancient World, Prehistory-476)
Article abstract: Ōjin was the first Japanese emperor who clearly was not legendary but an actual historical figure, and his reign saw a consolidation of power and economic and cultural development
Summary of Event
Ōjin Tennō, that is, Emperor Ōjin (also known as Homuda or Homutawake no Mikoto before his death), is the first such ruler who is actually a historical person. Although the oldest surviving written accounts of his reign, the Kojiki (712 c.e.; Records of Ancient Matters, 1883) and the Nihon shoki (compiled 720 c.e.; Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to a.d. 697, 1896) still include some events that are either purely mythical, or a mix of legend and history, scholars agree that Ōjin lived and ruled Japan, albeit much later than these eighth century sources calculated. His reign thus marks the shift of protohistorical to historical Japan.
Contemporary scholars have an inkling that Ōjin was a relative outsider who took over rule in the Yamato region of Japan and established his own reign there in one of the cradles of Japanese civilization. The ancient Yamato region encompasses the fertile Nara plain and is in the part of Japan’s central island of Honshū where the modern cities of Nara, Ōsaka, and Kobe are located, as well as the ancient shrine of Ise, dedicated to the emperor’s mythical ancestor, the sun goddess Amaterasu.
(The entire section is 1517 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!