Accession of Emperor Yomei
Emperor Tachibana no Toyohi [Yomei] was the fourth child of Emperor Amekuni Oshiharaki Hironiwa [Kimmei]. His mother was called Princess Kitashi. The Emperor believed in the Buddhist doctrine, and honored the gods.
In the 14th year, autumn, eighth month of his reign, Emperor Nunakura no Futotamashiki [Bidatsu] died. In the ninth month, on the fifth day of that year, the Emperor succeeded to the throne. His palace was in Iware, and named Ike no Be no Natsuki Palace. Soga no Umako no Sukune was made Senior Minister [ oo-omi ] and Mononobe no Yuge no Moriya no Muraji was named Senior General [ oo-muraji ], as they were before. On the 19th day, the Emperor proclaimed such and such, and Imperial Princess Sukate was charged with worship of the Sun goddess. The Imperial Princess worshiped the Sun goddess until the time of Emperess Kashikiya Hime [Suiko]. Then of her own will she withdrew to Kazuraki and died. This is seen in the record of Kashikiya-hime [Scroll 22].One book says for 37 years she worshiped the Sun goddess, then of her own will withdrew and died.
First year, spring, first month. On the first day, Imperial Princess Anahobe no Hashihito was made Empress. She gave birth to four sons.The first was Imperial Prince Uyamato, also called Toyomimito Shotoku, or Toyomimi no Nori no Okimi, or Nori no Ushi no Okimi. This imperial prince first lived in Kamitsu Palace, then later he moved to Ikaruga. During the time of Empress Mike Kashikiya Hime [Suiko], he was in the East Palace [the crown prince] and did the work of the Empress in all aspects. This is told in the record of Emperess Mike Kashikiya Hime [Suiko]. The second was called Imperial Prince Kume, the third was called Imperial Prince Ekuri, and the fourth was called Imperial Prince Manta.
Also Ishikina, daughter of Senior Minister Soga no Iname no Sukune, was made a consort. She gave birth to Imperial Prince Tame (also called Imperial Prince Toyura).
Hiroko, the daughter of Kazuraki no Atai Iwamura, gave birth to one boy and one girl. The boy was called Imperial Prince Maroko, and he is the ancestor of the Kimi of Tagima. The girl was called Imperial Princess Sukate, and this princess served in the worship of the sun goddess for three ages.
Plot of Imperial Prince Anahobe
Summer, fifth month. Imperial Prince Anahobe wanted to rape Empress Kashikiya no Hime and tried by force to go into the temporary burial palace on his own. Her favorite minister, Miwa no Kimi Sakau, summoned the guards and closed the gate, denying him entry. Imperial Prince Anahobe asked, “Who’s there?”
The guards answered, “Miwa no Kimi Sakau is here.” Then seven times Anahobe asked them to open the gate, but they would not heed his order and let him in.
Then Imperial Prince Anahobe asked of the Senior Minister and Senior General, “Sakau is always rude. At the temporary burial palace garden, he said in his eulogy, ‘There will be no desolation in the court, but clean like the face of a mirror, so will I administrate and pacify it in service.’ How rude. Now, the Emperor’s younger brothers are many, and also both Senior Ministers serve. How can he have these selfish feelings, as if he alone served? Also when I went to see inside the temporary burial palace, he would not heed my order and let me in. I said, ‘Open up’ seven times, and he did not abide. Now I want to kill him.”
Both Senior Ministers said, “As you say.” Then Imperial Prince Anahobe secretly plotted to take over the realm, and using killing Sakau as an excuse, got Senior General Mononobe no Moriya to lead troops and surround Iware no Ikebe. Sakau no Kimi knew this, and hid himself in the peak at Mt. Mimoro. That night, he went out of the mountain and hid himself in the outer palace (the place where Empress Kashikiya no Hime’s cottage was, called Tsubakiichi palace). Sakau’s relatives Shiratsutsumi and Yokoyuama betrayed Sakau no Kimi’s location. Imperial Prince Anahobe then dispatched Senior General Moriya (by one book, Imperial Prince Anahobe and Imperial Prince Hatsusebe planned together and dispatched Senior General Moriya) saying, “You are ordered to go and attack Sakau no Kimi and his two sons. The Senior General led his soldiers and went.
Soga no Umako no Sukune had heard this plan and went to where the imperial prince was, and met him at the lower gate (lower gate means the gate of the imperial prince’s house). The imperial prince was going to go to where the Senior General was.
At that time he [Soga] warned him, saying, “A king does not draw near to criminals. You should not go yourself.” The Imperial Prince did not listen and went anyway. Then Umako no Sukune followed him and got to Iware, and went to Ike no Be. Then he again warned him. The Imperial Prince followed the warning and stopped. Then at that place he sat on a chair and waited on the Senior General.
The Senior General came after a while leading many troops and reported, “I have finished killing Sakau and the others.” One book says that Anahobe himself went and shot him to death.
Then Umako no Sukune was saddened and sighed, “Rebellion in the realm is not far off.”
The Senior General heard this and replied, “You lower servants know not of what you speak.”
(This Miwa no Kimi Sakau was loved by Emperor Osada [Bidatsu], and was completely entrusted with things inside and out). Therefore Empress Kashikiya no Hime and Umako no Sukune came to hate Imperial Prince Anahobe. The year was 586.
Adoption of Buddhism
Second year, summer, fourth month. On the second day, the feast of first fruits was held near the Iware river. That day, the Emperor felt sick and returned to the palace, and the myriad ministers attended on him. The Emperor proclaimed to the myriad ministers, saying, “I want to become Buddhist. You all should hold counsel about it.” The myriad ministers went into the court and conferenced.
Senior General Mononobe no Moriya and Nakatomi no Katsumi no Muraji were against the proclamation and said, “How can we reject our country’s gods and respect foreign ones? Up to now we have never known a thing like this.”
Then Soga no Umako no Sukune said, “You should follow the order and aid him. Who has a different plan?”
Then Imperial Prince Sumeirodo (Imperial Prince Sumeirodo is Imperial Prince Anahobe, that is to say the Emperor’s younger brother) ordered the monk Toyokuni (name absent) into the palace. Senior General Mononobe no Moriya looked at this and was greatly angered.
At that time Oshisakabe no Fubito Kekuzo came in a hurry with a secret report to the Senior General, “Now the myriad ministers are planning against you, and are going to cut off your road.” The Senior General heard this and retired to Ato (In Ato the Senior General had a separate residence) and collected men. Nakatomi no Katsumi no Muraji went to his house and collected many men and was going to aid the Senior General. Then he made statues of the crown prince Imperial Prince Hikohito and Imperial Prince Takeda and did majina [a curse using an effigy of the target]. But suddenly he knew that things would be difficult, and returned and attached himself to Imperial Prince Hikohito at Mimata Palace. Mimata is read mi-ma-ta, 美麻多. The servant Tomi no Ichii waited for a time when Katsumi no Muraji would be apart from Imperial Prince Hikohito, drew his sword, and killed him. (Tomi is his clan title, and Ichii is his name. Ichii is read I-chi-hi, 伊知[田比]).
The Senior General, from his house in Ato, send messengers to Mononobe no Yasaka, Ochi no Miyatsuko Osaka, and Nuribe no Miyatsuko Ani, and said to the Senior Minister, “I hear the myriad ministers are planning against me, so therefore I retired.” Senior Minister Umako then made Haji no Yashima no Muraji go to Otomo no Hirafu no Muraji to tell him the words of the Senior General. Therefore Hirafu no Muraji took his bow and arrows and his leather shield and went to the house in Tsukikuma, and without leaving day and night protected the Senior Minister. (The house in Tsukikuma was the Senior Minister’s house).
Death of the Emperor
The Emperor’s sickness got worse, and he when he was at the end of his time, Kuratsukuri no Tasuna (the child of Shime Tatsuto) said to the Emperor, “I serve the Emperor, and will become a monk and practice religion. Also I will build a six jo buddhist statue and a temple.” The Emperor was saddened and moved at this. Now in Sakata Temple in Minabuchi, there is a six jo wooden Buddhist statue and its attending bodhisattva. On the ninth day, the Emperor died in the great hall.
Autumn, seventh month. On the 21st day, the Emperor was buried in Iware no Ike no Ue Tomb.
Accession of Emperor Sujun
Emperor Hatsusebe [Sujun] was the twelfth child of Emperor Amekuni Oshiharaki Hironiwa [Kimmei]. His mother was called Oane no Kimi. She was the daughter of Iname no Sukune, as is seen above.
Second year, summer, fourth month. Emperor Tachibana no Toyohi died [Yomei]. In the fifth month, Senior General Mononobe’s troops made three disturbances. The Senior General originally wanted to send off the other Imperial Princes and establish Imperial Prince Anahobe as Emperor. At that time, he wanted to use sport hunting as a plan to establish him, and secretly sent a messenger to Imperial Prince Anahobe saying, “I wanrt to go hunting with the Imperial Prince in Awaji.” But the plan leaked.
Sixth month. On the seventh day, Soga no Umako no Sukune and others attending on Empress Kashikiya Hime no Mikoto [Later Empress Suiko], by imperial proclamation ordered Saeki no Muraji Niute, Haji no Muraji Iwamura, and Ikuha no Omi Makui, saying, “You all quickly raise assemble soldiers and go kill Imperial Prince Anahobe and Imperial Prince Yakabe.”
That night, Saeki no Muraji Niute and the others surrounded the palace of Imperial Prince Anahobe. Then, the soldiers first climbed to the top of the watchtower and stabbed Imperial Prince Anahobe in the shoulder. The Imperial Prince fell from the watchtower and ran into a neighboring building, but the soldiers set fire to the building and killed him.
On the eighth day, Imperial Prince Yakabe was killed (Imperial Prince Yakabe was the child of Emperor Hinokuma [Senka] and the father of Princess Kamitushime, however it is still unclear). He was close to Imperial Prince Anahobe, therefore he was put to death.
On the 21st day, the nun Zenshin said to the Senior Minister, “The basis of being a nun is the Vinaya. We wish to go to Baekje to learn the doctrine of the Vinaya.” That month, a messenger from Baekje came to the court with tribute. The Senior Minister asked the messenger, “I want you to take these nuns and cross over to your country, so they can learn the doctrine of Vinaya. When they’re done send them back.”
The messenger replied, “We will return to our country and first tell our King. It will not be too late to send them after that.”
Death of Mononobe Moriya
Autumn, seventh month. Senior Minister Soga no Umako no Sukune suggested to all the imperial princes and myriad ministers that they plan the destruction of Senior General Mononobe no Moriya.
Imperial Princes Hatsusebe, Takeda, Umayato, Naniwa, and Kasuga, Senior Minister Soga no Umako no Sukune, Ki no Omaro no Sukune, Kose no Omi Hirafu, Kashiwade no Omi Katabu, and Kazuraki no Omi Onara led their troops and advanced to attack the Senior General. Otomo no Muraji Kui, Ahe no Omi Hito, Heguri no Omi Kante, Sakamoto no Omi Arate, and Kasuga no Omi (name absent) led their troops from the district of Shiki to their houses to the Shibu river.
The Senior General himself led his subordinates and slaves in his army, and built an inaki and fought. Then, the Senior General climbed to the fork of an Japanese hackberry tree in Kinusuri and looking down fired arrows like rain. His troops were strong, and they filled the houses and fields so that they seemed to overflow. The imperial princes and their troops and the myriad ministers were all weak and afraid and retreated three times.
At that time, Imperial Prince Umayato, with his hair in a hisagohana (in old times, youths of 15 or 16 would tie their hair in a hisagohana, and at 17 or 18 would change to a agemaki. This is the same now), followed the rear of the army and on his own guessing the conditions said, “We might lose. If we don’t pray for it, success will be difficult.” Then he cut down and took a nuride tree (nuride is read nu-ri-de, 農利埿), and made statues of the Four Heavenly Kings, and placed them in the crown of his hair and swore to them, saying, “Now if you make us win over our enemies, certainly I will build a temple and pagoda to the four protecting gods of the world.”
Senior Minister Soga no Umako also swore, saying, “All the kings of heaven, great god-king, and so forth, help us, and grant us profit, and I will make a pagoda and temple to the many heavenly and great god king, and spread Buddhism.” Swearing thus, he set up the soldiers and advanced to attack.
Tomi no Obito Ichii shot down the Senior General from below the trees branches, and then killed the Senior General and his children. Therefore the Senior General’s army was suddenly defeated, and then they all put on black silk and ran to the field of Magari in Hirose, and pretending like they were hunters dispersed.
In this fight, of the Senior General’s children and relatives, some fled to Ashihara and changed their names, and others fled and no one knows where they went. At that time people said, “Senior Minister Soga’s wife was the older sister of Seinor General Mononobe no Moriya. The Senior Minister carelessly used his wife’s plan and killed the Senior General.”
After the fight was settled, in the country of Tsu they made a temple to the four heavenly gods. The Senior General’s slaves and his household were made the temple slaves, and they also used his private domains for it. 10,000 shiro of rice fields were given to Tomi no Obito Ichii. Senior Minister Soga, according to his oath, built Hoko Temple in Asuka.
Death of Totoribe Yorozu
Senior General Mononobe no Moriya’s servant Totoribe no Yorozu (Yorozu is his name) was leading 100 men in defense of the residence at Naniwa. When he heard that the Senior General had been overthrown, he went by horse at night and escaped, heading to Chinu no Agata, to the village of Arimaka. After visiting the house of his wife, he hid himself in the mountains. The court counseled, “Yorozu has a traitorous heart, therefore he’s hiding in the mountains. Quickly overthrow his clan, and do not be remiss.”
Yorozu then in ripped clothes and covered with bruises and looking emaciated came out alone holding his bow and wearing his sword. Then the leader dispatched some hundreds of troops to surround Yorozu. Yorozu was then startled and hid in a bamboo grove, and with ropes attached to the bamboo, he pulled them and made the bamboo move, so that it was impossible to figure out where he was. The soldiers were decieved and pointed at the bamboo, saying, “Yorozu is there.” Yorozu then let loose arrows, and not one missed. The soldiers were afraid and would not draw near. Yorozu then unstrung his bow and carrying it under his arm ran into the mountains. The soldiers came to a river and pursuing him fired, but none of them could hit him.
Then, one solider ran ahead of Yorozu and lay down beside the river, and shot him in the thigh. Yorozu took out the arrow and strang his own bow and shot, and lay down on the ground and said, “Yorozu, shield for the Emperor, would have served in valor, but there has been no inquiry. Quite the contrary, now I am coerced into destitution. Let someone I can speak with come forth. I want to ask if I will be killed or taken prisoner.” Then the soldiers raced their horses and shot Yorozu, and Yorozu defended against the flying arrows and killed over 30 of the soldiers. Then he took his sword and cut his bow into three pieces, and then bending the sword he threw it into the river, and drew another short sword, stabbed himself in the neck, and died.
The governor of Kawachi documented the circumstances of Yorozu’s death for the court. The court then commanded with an official hand-stamp, “Cut him into eight pieces, and scatter them throughout the eight countries.” The governor of Kawachi then did as the statement commanded, and when he cut the body, there was thunder and great rain.
Yorozu had kept a white dog, and it looked up and down and barked, and went to the side of the corpse. Then it carried the heard in its mouth, and set it in an old burial ground, and lying beside it as a pillow, died there of hunger. THe governor of Kawachi thought this dog was especially strange, and reported it to the court. The court heard this with pity, and dispatched another order, saying, “This dog is something strange in the world, and should be pointed out to future generations. You should make Yorozu’s family build a tomb and bury him there.” Therefore Yorozu’s family made two tombs in the village of Arimaka and buried Yorozu and his dog there.
Then the governor of Kawachi said, “In Ega no Kawahara, there are a lot of beheaded people, several hundreds at least. The heads and bodies are rotten, and the names are hard to know. However by the color of the clothes people take the bodies [for burial]. But the dog of Sakurai no Tabe no Muraji Inu took his head and body in its mouth and laid down beside the body to protect it, and after the body was made to be collected, departed.”
Eighth month. On the second day, Kashikiya no Hime no Mikoto and the myriad ministers recommended the Emperor for the succession, and he became assumed the Chrysanthemum Throne. Soga no Umako was made Senior Minister like before, and the minister’s ranks were also as before. That month, the palace was set in Kurahashi.
Nuns Dispatch to and Return from Baekje
First year, spring, third month. The daughter of Otomo no Arate no Muraji’s daughter Koteko was made a consort. She gave birth to Imperial Prince Hachinoko and Imperial Princess Nishikite.
That year, Baekje dispatched as messengers the monks Hyechong, Ryeonggeun, Hyesik, and others, and they presented Buddhist relics to the court.
Baekje also sent Onsotsu Susin, Tokusotsu Gaemun, Nasosu Bokbumisin, and others to present tribute and Buddhist relics, and the monks Ryeongjo, the risshi Ryeongwi, Hyejung, Hyesuk, Doeom, Ryeonggae, and others, and the temple-builders Taeryangmitae and Mungagoja, the fireplace artisan Shotoku Baek Maesun, the potters Nama Buno, Yang Gwimun, Reung Gwimun, Seokmajemi, and the artist Baekga.
Soga no Umako no Sukune asked the monks from Baekje to enquire about receiving the doctrine of Vinaya. Then the nun Zenshin and the other nuns were attached to the messenger from Baekje Onsotsu Susinand the others and were sent to learn it. Then the house of the ancestor of the Asuka no Kinunui no Miyatsuko, Konoha, was destroyed, and they first raised Hoko Temple. This name of this land was the Asukahara Makami, also called Asuka Tomata. The year was 588.
Second year, autumn, seventh month. On the first day, the Emperor dispatched Omi no Omi Mitsu to Tosando to inspect the border with the Emishi. He dispatched Shishihito no Omi Kari to Umitsumichi to Tokaido to see the borders of the countries bordering the eastern sea, and he dispatched Ahe no Omi to Kuruga no Michi to inspect the borders of Koshi and other countries.
Third year, spring, third month. The nuns of Zenshin that had gone to study came back from Baekje. They lived in Sakurai Temple.
Winter, tenth month. Men went into the mountains to harvest resources for building the temple.
That year, nuns were made. The daughter of Otomo no Sadehiko no Muraji, Zentoku, Otomo no Koma’s maidservants Shiraki-hime [Sillan Lady] Zenmyo and Kudara-hime [Baekje Lady] Myoko, and the Ayabito [Chinese] Zenso, Zenshin, Myotoku, Hojosho, Zenchiso, Zenshie, and Zenko. Also Kuratsukuri no Shime Tatsuto’s son Tasuna became a monk at the same time. His name was monk Tokusai.
Fourth year, summer, fourth month. On the 13th day, Emperor Osada was buried at Shinaga tomb. This was the tomb where his mother the Empress was buried.
Proclomation to Restore Gaya
Autumn, eighth month. On the first day, the Emperor proclaimed to the myriad ministers, “I want to restore Gaya, what do you think?”
The myriad ministers said, “We should restore the domain of Gaya, and all agree with the leige’s proclomation.”
Winter, 11th month. On the fourth day, Ki no Omaro no Sukune, Kose no Saru no Omi, Otomo no Kui no Muraji, and Kazuraki no Onara no Omi were made shoguns, and led the other clans, and the omi and muraji were made deputy shoguns, and in charge of 20,000 troops they headed to Tsukushi. Then they dispatched Kishi no Kane to Silla and Kishi no Itabi to Gaya to enquire about the situation in Gaya.
Assassination of the Emperor
Fifth year, winter, tenth month. On the fourth day, someone presented the Emperor with a boar. The Emperor pointed to the boar and said, “Sometime, like you cut the neck of this boar, I will cut the head of the man I hate.” Many weapons were prepared, more so than usual. On the tenth day. Soga no Umako no Sukune heard the Emperor’s proclomation and was alarmed at this hatred directed towrd him, and summoned together his people and plotted to kill the Emperor. That month, construction began on Hoko Temple’s Buddha hall and walking path.
11th month. On the third day, Umako no Sukune deceived the myriad ministers, saying, “Today, I submit the tax of the eastern countries.” Then he ordered Yamato no Aya no Atai Koma to kill the Emperor. In one book, Yamato no Aya no Atai Koma is rendered Yamato no Aya no Atai Iwai. That day, they buried the Emperor at Kurahashi no Oka Tomb. By one book, Otomo no Mimekoteko resented her loss of favor and sent a messenger to Soga no Umako no Sukune, saying, “Recently someone presented a boar to the Emperor. Then the Emperor pointed at the boar and said, ‘Like cutting the neck of this board, will I not sometime cut the one I am thinking of?’ Also a lot of weapons are being prepared in the palace.” Thus Umako no Sukune heard this and was afraid.
On the fifth day, a horse messenger was dispatched to the shogun in Tsukushi saying, “Just because of an internal rebellion you cannot neglect outside things.”
That month, Yamato no Aya no Atai Koma secretly took Soga no Mimekawakami no Iratsume and married her. Kawakami no Iratsume was the daughter of Soga no Umako no Sukune. Umako no Sukune did not know that Kawakami no Iratsume had been stolen by Koma, and thought that she had died. Later it was known that Koma had defiled her and the Senior Minister killed him.