Scroll 12 - Emperors Richu and Hanzei

Plot Against the Crown Prince

Emperor Izahowake [Richu] was the oldest child of Emperor Osazaki. [Nintoku] (Iza is read i-za, 伊奘). His mother was called Princess Iwa no Hime no Mikoto, the daughter of Kazuraki no Sotsubiko. In the 31st year, spring, first month of Emperor Osazaki’s reign, he was made crown prince. At this time he was 15 years old.
87th year, spring, first month. Emperor Osazaki died. When the Crown Prince finished mourning but still had not taken up sovereignty, he wanted to take the daughter of Hata no Yashiro no Sukne, called Princess Kuro, as his consort, and the engagement had been settled, so he dispatched Imperial Prince Sumie no Nakatsu to report the lucky day. At that time Imperial Prince Nakatsu assumed the Crown Prince’s name and eloped with Princess Kuro.
Imperial Prince Nakatsu forgot he had left his hand-bell at Princess Kuro’s house and went home. The next night, the crown prince, not knowing that Imperial Prince Nakatsu had eloped with her, went to see her. He went into her room, and opening the curtain inside there was a jeweled bed. Then, from the head of the bed a bell sounded. The Crown Prince thought it strange and asked her, “What is that bell?”
She replied, “Isn’t it the bell the Crown Prince left here last night? Why are you asking me?” The Crown Prince then knew that Imperial Prince Nakatsu had used his name and taken Princess Kuro, but he didn’t say anything and left. Later, Imperial Prince Nakatsu thought something might happen, so he planned to kill the crown prince. He secretly raised soldiers and surrounded the Crown Prince’s palace.

The Crown Prince Raises Troops

At that time the three men Heberi no Tsuku no Sukune, Mononobe no Omae no Sukune, and the ancestor of the Atai of Aya, called Achi no Omi, were telling the Crown Prince about it. The Crown Prince did not believe them. (By one account, the Crown Prince was drunk and asleep.) Therefore the three men saved the Crown Prince, ordering him onto a horse and escaped him. (By one account, Omae no Sukune held the Crown Prince on his own horse.) Imperial Prince Nakatsu did not know where the crown prince was at, so he set fire to the crown prince’s palace, and the fire burned throughout the night without subsiding. The Crown Prince arrived in the country of Kawachi, to Haniu no Saka, and woke up. Looking back on Naniwa, he saw the light of a fire and was in great shock.
Then he quickly ran his horse to Osaka and then made for Yamato, and arrived at Mt. Asuka, and at the the mouth of the mountain pass, met a young girl. He asked her, “Are there people on this mountain?”
She said, “There are many who are armed within the mountain. You should go around and cross using the pass of Tagima.” The Crown Prince heard the words of the girl and believed that he could escape danger, and then sang, “blah blah blah.” Then he returned and commandered the troops of that province, drawing them to him, and crossed over Mt. Tatsuya.
At that time some tens of soldiers holding weapons came chasing after them. The Crown Prince looked far away and said, “Who are these men that are coming? Why do they march so fast? Are they rebels?” Then he hid within the mountain and awaited them.
When they got close, he dispatched a person to ask them, “Who are you, and where are you going?”

They replied, “We are fishermen from Awaji. By the order of Azumi no Muraji Hamako (By one account, he is called Azumi no Muraji Kurotomo), we were ordered to pursue the Crown Prince for Imperial Prince Nakatsu.” Then they came out and ambushed the soldiers, surrounding them capturing them all.

Pardon of Agoko

At this time, the Atai of Yamato Agoko was originally a friend of Imperial Prince Nakatsu. So he knew about this treason, and secretly collected a few hundered of his best troops at Kuribayashi in Kakihami for Imperial Prince Nakatsu to resist the Crown Prince.
The Crown Prince did not know these troops were blocking him and came out of the mountain and went several ri, and the mass of troops was blocking him, and he could no longer proceed. Then he dispatched a messnger to ask, “Who are you?”
They said, “We are with Agoko, Atai of Yamato.”
Then they asked the messenger, “Whose messenger are you?”
He said, “I am the messenger of the Crown Prince.” At that time Agoko was afraid that the opposing soldiers were more numerous, told the messenger,
“Tell the Crown Prince that he is in a difficult situation, and if he needs aid we will send troops to support him.” But the Crown Prince did not believe these words, and wanted to kill him.
Then Agoko was startled, and gave up his older sister, Princess Hi, and by this he was spared the death penalty, and they pardoned him. As for the Atai of Yamato giving up ladies in waiting, this was probably the first time.

The Crown Prince's Younger Brother Kills Prince Nakatsu

The Crown Prince went to Ishikami, to Furunokami Palace. Then Imperial Prince Mitsuhawake [later Emperor Hanzei] didn’t know where the Crown Prince was, and was asking about him in pursuit. However the Crown Prince doubted his younger brother the prince’s intentions and did not summon him.
Then Imperial Prince Mitsuhawake ordered an audience, saying, “I have no black heart, only I am anxious about the Crown Prince because I don’t know where he is and wish to come and attend on him.” At this the Crown Prince sent word to his younger brother the prince, saying
“I fear Imperial Prince Nakatsu’s betrayal, and alone escaped to this place, now how can I not doubt you? Imperial Prince Nakatsu, while he lives, his sole aim is to do me ill. So, I want to eliminate him. Therefore if you do not have a black heart, return to Naniwa and kill Imperial Prince Nakatsu, then afterwards I will see you.”
Then Imperial Prince Mitsuhawake told the Crown Prince, “Why do you worry so much? Now Imperial Prince Nakatsu is not following the way, and the myriad ministers and the people all detest him. All of his retainers think him a brigands, and he is alone and does not have conference with anyone. Even though I knew of his treason, I had not received an order from the crown prince, therefore alone lamented his indignation; now I have received his order; how can I be difficult about killing Imperial Prince Nakatsu? Only alone I worry that, after I kill Imperial Prince Nakatsu, still you will doubt me. I wish that someone loyal and true can see my action, for I want it to be clear that I am not deceiving you.” Then the Crown Prince sent Tsuku no Sukune to go with him.
Then Imperial Prince Mitsuhawake wept, saying, “Now the Crown Prince and Imperial Prince Nakatsu are both my elder brothers. Who should I follow, and who should I rebel against? However if I lose the one who is not of the way, and follow the one who is, who will doubt me?” Then he went to Naniwa, and asked Imperial Prince Nakatsu the circumstances. Imperial Prince Nakatsu thought the Crown Prince had escaped death and was not preparing retalitation.
At that time, there was a Hayato retainer of Imperial Prince Nakatsu, called Sashihire. Imperial Prince Mitsuhawake secretly summoned Sashihire and tempted him, saying, “If you kill the Imperial Prince, I will certainly reward you greatly.” Then he took off his embroidred robe and pants and gave them to Sashihire. Sashihire trusted this sign, and taking a halbred, waited for Imperial Prince Nakatsu to go into the toilet, then stabbed him to death, and became the servant of Imperial Prince Mitsuhawake.
Then, Tsuku no Sukune told Imperial Prince Mitsuhawake, “Sashihire has for another, killed his own lord. Even if this was a great deed for us, to his lord it is no benevolent. How can he be allowed to live?” Then he killed Sashihire. They headed to Yamato, and that night they reached Ishikami and reported. Then, the Emperor called his younger brother the prince, and favored him greatly, and gave him the miyake of Murawase. That day, they caught Azumi no Muraji Hamako.

Accession of Emperor Richu

First year, spring, second month. On the first day, the Crown Prince became Emperor at Iwarenowakasakura Palace.
Summer, fourth month. On the 17th day, he summoned Hamako, Muraji of Azumi, and said to him, “You and Prince Nakatsu together plotted treason, and sought to overturn the realm. This crime warrants death. However I will show mercy, and you will be spared death only be tattooed.” That day he was tattooed near the eye, and therefore was called from then on “Azumime.”Also he forgave the followers of Hamako, the fishermen of Noshima, and made them do forced labor on the miyake of Komoshiro.
Autumn, ninth month. On the fourth day, the daughter of Ashita no Sukune, called Princess Kuro, was made imperial consort. She gave birth to Imperial prince Iwasakanoichi no Be no Oshiwa, Imperial Prince Mima, and Imperial Princess Aomi (by one account, she was called Imperial Princess Iitoyo). His next consort was Imperial Princess Hadabi. She gave birth to Imperial Princess Nakashi. That year was 400.

Capital is Moved to Iware

Second year, spring, first month. On the fourth day, Imperial Prince Mitsuhawake was made heir.
Winter, tenth month. The capital was moved to Iware. At that time, the Heguri no Tsuku no Sukune, Soga no Machi no Sukune, Senior General Mononobe no Ikofu, and Senior Minister Tsubura were together (Tsubura is read tsu-bu-ra, 豆夫羅) carried out the affairs of the realm.
11th month. The reservoir of Iware was made.
Third year, Winter, 11th month. On the sixth day, the Emperor floated a two-branched boat in the reservoir of Iware no Ichishi, and with the Imperial consort (Kuro) rode and had a banquet. The Kashiwade no Omi Areshi served alcohol, and at that time a cherry blossom flower fell into the cup. The Emperor thought it strange, and summoned Mononobe no Nagamai no Muraji, and said to him, “This flower, although it is not the time for it to bloom, has done so. What do you call this flower? Search for it for me.” Then Nagamai no Muraji by himself sought the flower, and got it at Mt. Wakinokami no Mura. The Emperor was delighted at this rarity, and named the palace after it. Therefore it was called Iwarewaka Sakura Palace for this is the reason. That day, he upgraded Nagamai no Muraji’s title, calling him Wakasakurabe no Miyatsuko, and also granted Kashiwade no Omi Areshi the title Wakasakurabe no Omi.

The Imperial Consort Dies

Fourth year, autumn, eighth month. On the eighth day, the Emperor set reporters in the many countries for the first time, and they transmitted the words and deeds of the four quarters.
Winter, tenth month. The canal of Isonokami was dug.
Fifth year, spring, third month. On the first day, the three gods of Tsukushi appeared in the palace and said, “Why do you steal our people? Now we will shame you.” However the Emperor only prayed, but his prayers were not received.
Autumn, ninth month. On the 18th day, the Emperor was hunting in Awaji. On that day, the Umakai of Kawachi, by order of the Emperor, and were tending the horses. Previously, the tattoo near the eye of the Umakai had not healed completely. At that time in the island Izanagi no Kami said through an oracle, “I cannot endure the stench of blood.” Then they did divination, and the signs said, “It is the spirit from the tattooing of an Umakai.” From then on they stopped the tattooing of the stable attendants.
On the 19th day, there was, like the wind, a voice from the great sky, which said, “Prince Tsurugitachihitsugi.” Then it called again, saying, “The one Torikayouhata no Nanimo (nanimo is read na-ni-mo, 儺邇毛) has gone to be buried in Hasa.” It also said, “Sanakutakomotsu no Mikoto has gone to be buried in Hasa.”
Suddenly a messenger came and said, “The imperial consort died!” The Emperor was greatly shocked, got on his horse and made for home. On the 22nd day, the Emperor had made his way to Awaji.
Winter, tenth month. On the 11th day, the imperial consort was buried.

Correction of the Offense Against the Gods

Then the Emperor regretted that he had not pacified the evil influence of the gods and the imperial consort had died, and searched for the fault. Then one person said, “The head of the cart-bearer be went to Tsukushi and inspected the members of his be, and added to them all those entrusted with shrine service. Surely this is the crime.” The Emperor then summoned the master of the cart-bearers, and questioned him. It was true.
Then he reprimanded him, saying, “Although you are only master of the cart-bearer be, you freely conscripted my subjects. That is the first crime. Then, you put those who had been alotted to shrine duty in the cart-holders be—that is the second crime. Then he punished him with the expiation of evil and the expiation of good, and then sent him to Nagasu no Saki, and ordered him to perform the rites there. Then he said, “From now on, you are not the leader of the cart-bearers of Tsukushi.” Then he released them from service and put them in the service of the three gods.

Death of the Emperor

Sixth year, spring, first month. On the sixth day, Imperial Princess Kusaka no Hatabi was appointed Empress. On the 29th day, the treasury and the be that formed its staff were established.
Second month. On the first day, the daughters of Prince Funashiwake, Futohime no Iratsume and Takatsuru no Iratsume, were summoned and put in the inner palace, and made ladies at court. Then, the two ladies always sighed and said, “How sad! Where has our older brother the prince gone?”
The Emperor heard this sigh and asked them, “Why do you sigh?”
They said, “Our older brother Prince Washisumi, is powerful and nimble. Therefore, he went out alone to cross the Hiroya. Already many days have passed, and we have not seen his face or spoken. Therefore we sigh.”
The Emperor was pleased with this strength and summoned him, but he did not come. Then again he sent messengers to invite him, but still he did not come. He was always in the village of Sumiyoshi. After this, he stopped summoning him. The Kuni no Miyatsuko of Sanuki and the Ashikuiwake of Awa; he was the first ancestor of both of these.
Third month. On the 15th day, the Emperor’s body became ill, and water and earth were unbalanced. He died in Wakasakura Palace. He was 70 years old.
Winter, tenth month. On the fourth day, he was buried in the tomb of Mozunomimi no Hara.

Accession of Emperor Hanzei

Emperor Mitsuhawake [Hanzei] was the younger brother of Emperor Izahowake [Richu] by the same mother. He was made Crown Prince in the second year of the late Emperor Izahowake’s reign.
The Emperor was born in Awaji. When he was born his teeth were like one bone, and he was very attractive. Also, there was a well, called the well of Mitsu. They drew that water and washed the young prince with it. At that time, a Taji flower fell into the well, and that was how the prince was named. The Taji flower is now called the Itadori [Japanese Knotweed]. Therefore he was named Emperor Tajihi no Mitsuhawake.
Sixth year, spring, third month. Emperor Izahowake died.
First year, spring, first month. On the second day, the Crown Prince became Emperor.
Autumn, eighth month. On the sixth day, the ancestor of the Oyake no Omi and daughter of Kogoto, Princess Tsuno, was made consort. She gave birth to Imperial Princess Kahi and Imperial Princess Tsubura. Also her younger sister Princess Oto gave birth to Imperial Princess Takara and Imperial Prince Takabe.
Winter, tenth month. The capital was changed to Tajihi, in Kawachi. It was called Shibakaki Palace. Around that time, the wind and rain were in their proper times, and the five grains grew to fruition. The people were prosperous, and the realm was at peace. That year was 406.
6th year, spring, first month. On the 23rd day, the Emperor died in his primary bedchamber.

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