Scroll 16 - Emperor Buretsu

A Contested Succession


Emperor Ohatsusenowakasazaki [Buretsu] was the oldest son of Emperor Oke [Ninken]. His mother was called Empress Kasuga no Oiratsume.
In the seventh year of Emperor Oke, he was made crown prince. When he grew to adulthood, he enjoyed punishing criminals and the judgment of right and wrong. He was accomplished in the law, and until the sun set he sat in the court, and unknown transgressions were surely penetrated, and he discerned the cases truly. However, he committed many foul acts, and didn’t do a single good thing. All the cruel punishments he always watched personally. The people all trembled in fear at him.
In the 11th year, eighth month of his reign, Emperor Oke died. Senior Minister Heguri no Matori no Omi despotically monopolized the administration, and sought to be the king of Yamato. He deceived the crown prince by pretending to build a palace for him, but when it was finishd he moved in himself. He dealt with matters haughtily and with disdain, and was not at all the model of a servant.

A Contested Woman


Then, the crown prince sought to engage Senior Minister Mononobe no Arakabi’s daughter Princess Kage, and dispatched an intermediary to the house of Princess Kage to arrange a meeting time.
Princess Kage had previously eloped with the son of Senior Minister Matori, Shibi. Shibi is read shi-bi, 茲寐. She feared going against the crown prince, and reported back, “I will wait at a public place in Tsubaki market.”
Therefore the crown prince was going to go out to the meeting place, and dispatched a messenger to the house of Heguri no Matori no Omi, and as an order of the crown prince, made him request official horses.
The Senior Minister said jokingly, “For whom are the official horses kept? I will comply with your order in full.” However, for a long time he did not send them. The crown prince thought it inexcusable, but did not say anything about it.
Then he went out at the scheduled time and place, and stood among the song-makers (this is read u-ta-ga-ki, 宇多我岐). He grasped Princess Kage’s sleeve, and was wandering around with her in tow.
Suddenly Shibi no Omi came, and separated the crown prince and Princess Kage, and stood between them. Therefore the crown prince released Princess Kage’s sleeve, and turned around and faced Shibi directly, then sang, “blah blah blah.”
Then Shibi sang in reply, “blah blah blah.”
The crown prince sang, “blah blah blah.”
And Shibi no Omi replyed, “blah blah blah.”
The crown prince then sang, “blah blah blah.”
Then the crown prince sang to Kage-hime, “blah blah blah.”
And Shibi no Omi sang in reply for Kage-hime, “blah blah blah.”
Then the crown prince knew for the first time the Shibi had previously taken Princess Kage, and became completely aware of the rudeness of both father and son, and he glowed with anger. That night he quickly went to the house of Otomo no Kanamura no Muraji, assembled soldiers, and made a plan.
Otomo no Muraji led 1000 troops, and waylaid him in the road, thus Shibi no Omi was killed at Narayama. By one written source, Shibi stayed at the residence of Princess Kage, and that night he was killed. At that time Princess Kage went to the place of execution, and saw the killing herself, and was shocked and afriad, and tears of sadness filled her eyes. Then she made a song, “blah blah blah.”
Then, when the burial was completely finished, Princess Kage wanted to return home, and in true sadness she said, “What pain! Today, I lost my beloved husband.”
Then she cried and was sad, and her heart was tied in knots, and she sang, “blah blah blah.”

Destruction of Matori


Winter, 11th month. On the 11th day, Otomo no Kanamura no Muraji said to the crown prince, “Matori is a traitor and should be attacked. Order it and I will strike.”
The crown prince said, “The realm is in disorder. If one is not brave in this world, no aid can come to it. As for the one who can pacify it, is there any other than the muraji?” Immediately they together planned their attack.
Then, Otomo no Kanamura led his soldeirs and was going to surround the house of the Senior Minister, let loose the flame and roast him. The place he led from swayed like a cloud.
Senior Minister Matori resented that things did not go well, and knew that it would be difficult to escape, and saw the desperation of his hopes, and spread salt all over as a curse. He was killed, along with all of his descendants. At the time of the curse, he only forgot to spread the salt of of the sea of Tsunu no Ka, so it failed to take effect. Therefore the salt from Tsunu no Ka is used for the Emperor’s meals, while that of other seas is detested.
12th month. Otomo no Kanamura no Murachi pacified the brigands and returned the administration to the crown prince. Then he asked to pronounce the honored title, saying, “Now the sovereign is the only remaining son of Emperor Oke, and for the hundreds of millions to give their allegiance, there is no other. You have relied on the support of the august wings of heaven and cleaned away the evil factions. Your superior planning and brave decisions fill the realm with heaven’s power and heaven’s blessing. Yamato must have a ruler. The ruler of Yamato can be none other than the sovereign. I wish you to take command of the realm, raise your head and respond to the gods of earth, spread wide heaven’s decree, shine throughout Yamato, and receive the country of silver [Korea].” Then the Emperor made an order that a dais be built in Namiki in Hatsuse and acceded to the Chrysanthemum Throne. He made this his capital. That day, Otomo no Kanamura no Muraji was made Senior General.

Succession Conflicts in Baekje


First year, spring, third month. On the second day, Kasuga no Iratsume was made Empress. Her father is unknown. The year was 499.
Second year, autumn, ninth month. The Emperor cut out a pregnant woman’s stomach and examined the fetus.
Third year, winter, tenth month. The Emperor pulled out a man’s fingernails and made him dig up sweet potatoes.
11th month. The Emperor made a proclomation to Senior General Otomo no Muroya, telling him to levy men of Shinano to build a castle in the village of Mimata. It was called Kinohe.
That month, Uidarang of Baekje died. He was buried atop Takada hill.
Fourth year, summer, fourth month. The Emperor pulled out a man’s hair, and made him climb to the top of a tree, then he cut down the tree and the man fell to death to the Emperor’s enjoyment.
That year, King Malda of Baekje was wicked, and commited atrocities against the people. The people of that country eventually removed him and set up King Sama. This was King Munyeong.
According to the Kudara Shinsen, King Malda was wicked and commited atrocities against the people. The people of that country eliminated him and established King Munyeong, called posthumously King Sama(shima-kishi). He was the child of King Gonji. Accordingly, he was the older brother of King Malda by a different mother.
Konki came to Yamato, and arrived in Tsukushi-shima, and gave birth to King Sama. He returned from the island and did not reach the capital. King Sama was born on an island, therefore he was named as such. Now there is the island of Kakara in the sea, and this is the island where the King was born. Therefore the people of Baekje call it Nirimu-sema. Now then, as King Ando was the son of King Gaero, and King Malda was the son of King Gonji, it is not clear how they were step-brothers of different mothers.

Death of the Emperor


Fifth year, summer, sixth month. The Emperor made men lay down in the sluice of a reservoir, and they were washed away, and holding a three-bladed halberd he stabbed them, and enjoyed it.
Sixth year, autumn, ninth month. On the first day, the Emperor proclaimed, “In propagating a country, it is most important to establish an heir. I have no heir, so who can I name as successor? For the time being, according to previous Imperial precedent, the palace servants of Ohatsuse have been established and made to take the name of this reign, so that in 10,000 years this reign will not be forgotten.”
Winter, tenth month. Baekje dispatched Managun with tribute. The Emperor, because Baekje had for a many years not submitted any tribute, stayed him and would not release him.
Seventh year, spring, second month. The Emperor made a man climb a tree, then with a bow shot him down and laughed.
Summer, fourth month. The King of Baekje dispatched Maagun with tribute. In a separate note, the King said, “Previously to submit tribute I dispatched Managun, who was of no relation to the royalty of Baekje. Therefore, I humbly send Saa, that he may serve in the court.” He eventually had a son, the monk named Kun. He was the ancestor of the Yamato no Kimi.
Eighth year, spring, third month. The Emperor made women strip naked and sit atop a flat hill, and led a horse in front of them, and made them have sexual intercourse with it. Then he looked at the women’s genitals, and those who were wet were killed, while those who were dry were made administrative slaves. He enjoyed this.
Around that time, a pond was dug and a garden made, and it overflowed with birds and animals. The Emperor was fond of hunting, and ran dogs and raced horses. He went in and out out all times, regardless of high winds or heavy rain. In the warmth of his clothing he forgot the coldness of his people, and in his extravagant meals the famine in the realm. He had dwarves and poets perform obscene music, prepare outrageous plays, and indulged in their lewd voices. Day and night he was always getting the palace courtiers drunk. His seat cushions were made of fine silk, and many of his garments damask.
Winter, 12th month. On the eighth day, the Emperor died at Namiki Palace.

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