Yomei Emperor

Emperor Bidatsu

Emperor Bidatsu (敏達天皇 Bidatsu-tennō) (538- September 14, 585) was the 30th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 572 through 585.

He was called Nunakura no Futotamashiki (渟中倉太珠敷) in the Nihonshoki.


He was the second son of Emperor Kimmei by his consort Iwahime, a daughter of Emperor Senka. According to the Nihonshokiand Gukansho¯ , Bidatsu had four empresses and 16 Imperial children (6 sons and 10 daughters).

Bidatsu's first empress, Hirohime, died in the fifth year of his reign. To replace her, he elevated one of his consorts, Princess Nukatabe, to the rank of empress. Nukatabe was his half-sister by their father Kimmei. Later she ascended to the throne in her own right and is today known as Empress Suiko.

Though he had many children, none of them would ever become emperor. He was succeeded first by one of his brothers, Emperor Yo¯mei, then by another, Emperor Sushun, and then Empress Suiko, his sister and wife, before his grandson, Emperor Jomei, eventually took the throne.

  • Princess Hiro Hime, daughter of Prince Mate no Okinaga ; Empress 572; died 575 ; 3 imperial children:
    • Princess Sakanobori
    • Princess Uji no Shitsukahi
    • Prince Oshisako no Hikohito no Oe,born about 556, married (A) Princess Ohomata (Ohotomo), his aunt, daughter of Emperor Kimmei andSoga no Kitashi-Hime, by whom he had a son and a daughter ;(B) Princess Nukate-Hime (his half sister), by whom he had 3 sons ; (C) Princess Woharida (his half sister), by whom he had a son and a daughter :
      • Eldest son : Prince Chinu,born about 575, married to Princess Kibitsu-Hime, by whom he had a son and a daughter: Princess Takara (Empress Ko¯gyoku), born 594,and Prince Karu (Emperor Ko¯toku)
      • Princesse Kuhada
      • Prince Tamura (Emperor Jomei), born 593
      • Prince Nakatsu
      • Prince Tara
      • Prince Yamashiro
      • Princesse Kasanuhi
  • Ominako no Iratsume (Kusu Kimi no Iratsuko), daughter of Kasuga no Nakatsu Kimi no Omi ; second consort ; 4 imperial children :
    • Prince Naniha
    • Prince Kasuga
    • Princess Kuwada
    • Prince Ohomata
  • Unako no Otoshi (Wo-Umako no Iratsume), daughter of Ohoka no Obito no Okuma ; third consort; 2 imperial children :
    • Princess Futohime (Princess Sakurawi)
    • Princess Nukate Hime (Princess Takara or Tamura), born about 570, married to Prince Oshisako no Hikohito no Oe, her half brother
  • Princess Nukatabe, born 553, died 628; daughter of Emperor Kimmei and Soga no Kitashi hime; imperial consort ; Empress 576,(Empress SUIKO) ; 7 imperial children :
    • Princess Uji no Shitsukahi (Uji no Kahitako), born about 570, married to Prince Sho¯toku, son of Emperor Yo¯mei and Empress Anahobe
    • Prince Takeda
    • Princess Woharida, born about 572, married to her half brother Oshisako no Hikohito no Oe
    • Princess Umori (Karu no Mori)
    • Prince Wohari
    • Princess Tame, married to her nephew Emperor Jomei
    • Princess Sakurawi no Yumihari

Events of Bidatsu's life

He was appointed crown prince by his father Kimmei; after Kimmei died, Bidatsu ascended to the throne within a few days.

  • 572: In the 32th year of Kimmei-tennō's reign (欽明天皇32年), he died, and the succession (‘‘senso’’) was received by his second son. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Bidatsu is said to have acceded to the throne (‘‘sokui’’).

He ruled during a tense period between the Soga and Mononobe clans regarding acceptance of Buddhism in Japan.

In external affairs, Bidatsu sought to re-establish relations with Korean Kingdoms and, according to Nihonshoki, his court successfully established relations with Baekje and Silla, two of the Three Kingdoms of Korea.

The emperor died from a disease which afflicted him with sores, apparently the first royal victim of smallpox in Japan.


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