Emperor Jimmu – The Founder of Japan

Emperor Jimmu (神武天皇 Jinmu-tenno) was the first emperor of Japan. According to historical records, his reign lasted from 660 BC to 585 BC.

According to Japanese mythology, Jimmu was a descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu and a descendant of the thunder god Susanoo.

He is recorded as the first ruler of Japan in the first two chronicles, Kojiki and Nihon Shoki.

Nihon Shoki gives the dates of his reign as 660 BC to 585 BC

He was born as Kamuyamato Iwarebiko on February 13, 711 BC, in the territory that would become the island of Kyushu.

Japanese chronicles record his expedition east of Hyuga in 607 BC along the Inland Sea of Japan, subjugating tribes and arriving in Yamato, where he established his power.

Emperor jimmu - the founder of japan

Despite Jimmu's importance as a link between Japan's ruling family and divine ancestors, he never had many cults in Japan.

A Shintō shrine was erected by the Japanese government in 1890 on the site of what is believed to be his burial place in Unebi.

Supposed Influences of Buddhism

Buddhism entered Japan via Korea in 520 CE Although it was not government-sponsored until 1638, it always had an appeal to emperors whose authority could be challenged by daimyo place that claimed to be kami.

By identifying yourself as kami, which in Buddhist terminology was considered a bodhisattva more powerful than others kami, the Emperor increased his mysticity and claimed to be unique.

After 1867, it became illegal for anyone to identify kami as a bodhisattva.

The word Shinto, translated as "the way", or "the essence" was not used until Buddhism entered Japan.

Emperor jimmu - the founder of japan

Emperor Jimmu's Legacy

First of all, whether myth or based on a ruler of Japan, Jimmu has a place of honor in Japanese tradition.

Therefore, the idea of a special bond between ruler, land and people helped to make governance more stable.

During shogunate periods the Emperor was still revered and remained, at least theoretically, the sovereign.

After all, such was the respect for the institution that began with Jimmu, revoking it was unthinkable.

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