Accession of Empress Suiko
Empress Toyomikashikiyahime [Suiko] was the second daughter of Emperor Amekunioshiharaki Hironiwa [Kimmei] and younger sister of Emperor Tachibana Toyohi [Yomei] by the same mother. When she was young she was called Imperial Princess Nukatabe, and her figure was outstanding and beautiful, and in her comings and goings she followed protocol.
When she was 18, she became the Empress of Emperor Nunakakura Futotamashiki [Bidatsu]. When she was 34, Emperor Nunakakura Futotamashiki [Bidatsu] died.
When she was 39, in the fifth year, 11th month of Emperor Hatsusebe [Sujun], the Emperor was seen killed by the Senior Minister Soga no Umako no Sukune. The succession position was open. Then the myriad ministers asked the Empress of Emperor Nunakakura Futotamashiki [Bidatsu], Imperial Princess Nukatabe [Suiko], to step into the throne. The Empress refused and would not put herself out for the job. The public officials again submitted her as their recommendation, and on the third time she followed it. Therefore she received the Emperor’s seal.
Winter, 12th month. On the eighth day, the Empress succeeded to the Chrysanthemum Throne in Toyura Palace.
First year, spring, first month. On the 15th day, the Empress placed Buddhist relics inside the foundation stone of what was to be the main pillar at Hoko Temple. On the 16th day, the pillar was built.
Prince Shotoku becomes Crown Prince and Regent
Summer, fourth month. On the tenth day, Imperial Prince Umayamato no Toyotomimi [Prince Shotoku] was made crown prince. He was recorded as regent and completely entrusted with the 10,000 machines [charge of the realm].
He was the second child of Emperor Toyohi [Yomei], and his mother was called Imperial Princess Anahobe no Hashihito. On the day the Empress gave birth to him, she went around the interior of the palace, and examined all of the officers. When she came to the Commissioner of Horses, she experienced no labor and suddenly gave birth to him at the door of the stable.
When he was born he could already speak, and possessed the intelligence of a sage. When he was grown, he could listen simultaneously to the suits of ten people and not make an error in judgment, and knew things that had not yet come to pass. Also he learned the interior teachings (Buddhism) from the monk Hyeja of GoguryeoGoguryeo learned the exterior teachings of Confucianism from the scholar Gakga, and in both he completely excelled. His father the Emperor loved him, and made him dwell in the south upper hall of the palace. Therefore he was called Imperial Prince Kamitsumiya Umayato no Toyotomimi.
Autumn, ninth month. They re-buried Emperor Tachibana no Yoyohi in Kochi no Shinaga Tomb. That year, construction of Shitenno Temple in Arahaka in Naniwa began. The year was 593.
Proclamation to Spread Buddhism
Second year, spring, second month. On the first day, the Empress proclaimed to the Senior Minister and Crown Prince an order to the spread of the three treasures of Buddhism. At that time all the ministers and generals each, for their gratitude to their ruler and parents, built Buddhist facilities. These were called temples.
Third year, summer, fourth month. Some kind of wood [Aston says aloe] washed up on Awaji island. It was one itadaki around. The islanders did not know this wood, and so mixing it with their firewood they burned in their fireplaces. The black smoke was seen from far away, and thinking it strange they sent the wood to the Empress.
Fifth month. On the tenth day, the monk Hyeja from Goguryeo naturalized and became the master of the crown prince.
That year, the monk Hyechong came to Japan from Baekje. The two monks spread the Buddhist teachings and became the central pillars of the three treasures of Buddhism.
Autumn, seventh month. The shogun and others arrived in Tsukushi.
Fourth year, winter, 11th month. Construction of Hoko Temple was completed. The son of the Senior Minister, Zentoku no Omi, was made the abbot. That day, the two monks Hyeja and Hyechong first took residence in Hoko Temple.
Fifth year, summer, fourth month. On the first day, the King of Baekje dispatched Prince Asa to the court with tribute.
Winter, eleventh month. On the first day, the Empress dispatched Naniwa no Kishi Iwakane to Silla.
Sixth year, summer, fourth month. Naniwa no Kishi Iwakane arrived in Silla, and when he came back he presented two magpies to the Emperor. They were kept in the forest shrine of Naniwa, and therefore made in nest in the tree branches and gave birth.
Autumn, eighth month. On the first day, Silla sent one peacock as tribute.
Winter, tenth month. On the tenth day, the country of Koshi presented the Emperor with one white deer.
Seventh year, summer, fourth month. On the 27th day, there was an earthquake and the buildings were completely destroyed. It was ordered in all the four quarters that worship be performed to the god of earthquakes.
Autumn, ninth month. On the first day, Baekje sent one camel, one donkey, two sheep, and one white pheasant as tribute.
War on the Korean Peninsula
Eighth year, spring, second month. Silla and Gaya attacked each other. The Empress wanted to save Gaya. That year, she ordered that Sakaibe no Omi become head shogun and Hozumi no Omi became deputy shogun and that they lead the army (their names are not recorded). Accordingly they led more than 10,000 men and attacked Silla for Gaya. They directly pointed to Silla, and crossed the sea. They landed in Silla, and attacked five castles and took them. Then the King of Silla was afraid and raised a white flag, and went to the shoguns and stood below their banner. Then he ceded the six castles of Tatara, Sunara, Hochiki, Wada, South Kara, and Arara to them and admitted defeat. At that time the shoguns counseled together and said, “Silla knows its crime and admitted defeat, so we should not attack them any further.” They reported such to the Empress.
Then the Empress again dispatched Naniwa no Kishi Miwa to Silla, and again dispatched Naniwa no Kishi Itabi to Gaya. The two of them examined the circumstances. Then the King of Silla and the King of Gaya both sent tribute. They sent word to the Empress, saying, “ In heaven above there are gods, and on the earth there is the Empress. Aside from these two gods, what is there to fear? From now on will not attack each other. And so that the helms of our ships will never go dry, every year we will certainly send tribute. Thereby the Empress dispatched messengers to invite the shoguns to return. The shoguns and others left Silla, and then Silla again invaded Gaya.
Ninth year, spring, second month. The crown prince first built his palace in Ikaruga.
Third month. On the fifth day, the Empress dispatched Otomo no Muraji Kui to Goguryeo and Sakamoto no Omi Arate to Baekje with a proclamation saying, “Quickly save Gaya.”
Summer, fifth month. The Empress was in the temporary palace of Miminashi. Due to heavy rain,the rivers overflowed and filled the gardens of the palace.
Autumn, ninth month. On the eighth day, the spy Kamata arrived in Tsushima from Silla. He was captured and given to the Empress. Then he was banished to Kamitsuke.
Winter, 11th month. On the first day, counsel was held on attacking Silla.
Preparation to Attack Silla
Tenth year, spring, second month. On the first day, Imperial Prince Kume became shogun for attacking Silla, and was given the be of gods, all the kuni no miyatsuko and tomo no miyatsuko, and others, along with 25,000 men.
Summer, fourth month. Shogun Imperial Prince Kume arrived in Tsukushi. Then he advanced to the district of Shima and staying there collected ships for transport of the army’s provisions.
Sixth month. On the third day, Otomo no Muraji Kui and Sakamoto no Omi Arate both came back from Baekje. At that time, Imperial Prince Kume fell ill and could not lead the attack.
Winter, tenth month. The monk Gwalleuk came from Baekje to the came to the court. He tributed works on calendar making, astronomy, astrology, and divination. At that time the Empress selected three or four people to be taught by Gwalleuk. Tamafura, ancestor of the Yako no Fubito, learned calendar-making, and Otomo no Suguri Koso learned astronomy and astrology, and Yamashiro no Omi Hitate learned divination, and all were accomplished in their fields.
Intercalary tenth month. On the 15th day, the monks Seungryung and Unchong came from Goguryeo and naturalized.
11th month, spring, second month. On the fourth day, Imperial Prince Kume died in Tsukushi. Mounted messengers were dispatched to report it.
When the Empress heard this she was greatly shocked, and summoned the crown prince and Senior Minister Soga and said to them, “Shogun Imperial Prince Kume who was to attack Silla has died. He took on this great endeavor but it was not completed, and it is very sad.” Then there was a temporary burial at Saba in Suwa, and the Empress dispatched Haji no Muraji Ite to handle the temporary burial. Ite no Muraji’s descendants were called Saba no Muraji for this reason. Later he was buried atop Mt. Haniu in Kawachi.
Summer, fourth month. On the first day, Imperial Prince Kume’s older brother Imperial Prince Tagima was made shogun for the attack on Silla.
Autumn, seventh month. On the third day, Imperial Prince Tagima left Naniwa by ship. On the sixth day, Imperial Prince Tagima arrived in Harima. At that time, his wife Princess Toneri who was with him died at Akashi. She was buried atop the hill of Hikasa. Then Imperial Prince Tagima returned and the attack did not go through.
Winter, tenth month. On the fourth day, the Empress moved to Oharida Palace.
11th month. On the first day, the crown prince said to all the ministers, “I have revered Buddhist statues, but who can worship these statues?”
At that time, Hada no Miyatsuko Kawakatsu came forth and said, “I will worship them.” Then he recevied the statues. Therefore he made Hachi no Oka Temple.
That month, the crown prince asked the Empress to have made a great shield and a quiver (quiver is read yu-ki, 由岐), and also dye bright flags.
Institution of Cap Ranks
12th month. On the fifth day, for the first time a system of cap ranks was instituted. It was Greater and Lesser Toku, Greater and Lesser Nin, Greater and Lesser Rai, Greater and Lesser Shin, Greater and Lesser Gi, and Greater and Lesser Chi, all together 12 ranks, and each was sewn with a particular silk color. Hair was tied together at the top of the head like a bag, and they had border patterns. Only on the first day of the year was a hair accessory used (uzu is read u-zu, 于孺).
12th year, spring, first month. On the first day, caps were given to all the ministers for the first time, each according to their rank.
Prince Shotoku's Constitution
Summer, fourth month. The crown prince himself made a 17 article constitution for the first time.
Article 1 says: Treasure harmony, for avoidance of insubordination is honorable. People all have political factions, and ideal individuals are few. Therefore people do not abide their lords or fathers, and start divisions within their neighbors. However, if the higher are at peace and the lower amicable, and they harmonize in their discourse, thereby they will naturally fall into accord, then how can things fail to succeed?
Article 2 says: Genuinely respect the three treasures. The three treasures are the Buddha, the law, and the monks. They are the final home of the four lives, and they are accorded the greatest honor in the 10,000 countries. In any age for any people, is this not true? There are few people who are particularly evil, but even they can follow the teaching. If there is no devotion to the three treasures, how can crookedness be repaired?
Article 3 says: Receive the imperial proclamations and certainly respect them. The lord is like heaven, and the vassal like earth. Heaven covers and the earth turns, the four seasons go in sequence and the 10,000 mists can pass through. If the earth wants to cover heaven, this order will be destroyed. The lord speaks and the vassal receives his words, if the top acts the bottom yields. Therefore receive the imperial proclamations and certainly be cautious, for to not respect them will naturally result in failure.
Article 4 says: The myriad ministers and hundred bureaus [government offices] are based in rites. For the basis of the administration of the people, what is needed are called rites. If the top fails in its rites the bottom will not be uniform, and if the bottom has no rites it will necessarily have crime. Therefore, the myriad ministers have rites, and their ranks are not in chaos, the hundred bureaus have rites, and the state administrates itself.
Article 5 says: Terminate greed and throw away want, and intelligently discriminate suits. The litigations of the hundred bureaus number 1,000 in one day. If there is that much in one day, what will it be like over the years? Lately those deciding litigation have come to think it normal to seek personal profit, and verdicts are issued with an eye to receiving bribes. Therefore the litigation of those paying bribes are like a stone thrown into water, and the suits of the poor like water thrown upon a stone. Thereby the poor people do not know what to do, and the vassals are deficient in morals.
Article 6 says: Punishing evil and advancing righteousness, this is a good saying from ancient days. Therefore, do not hide the righteousness of someone, and certainly correct the evil that is seen. Flatters and deceivers are a sharp-edged tool that will overthrow the state and a sharp sword that will exterminate the people. Also, flatterers reply to those above with favor and those below with blame, and if they meet those below they slander those above them. People like this all have no loyalty to their lord and no benevolence to the people. They are the root of great misfortune.
Article 7 says: People each have their own duties. Do not abuse your power. If a wise man is appointed to the administration, the sounds of praises will rise up, but if a traitorous one holds office, disaster and confusion will cause difficulty. There are few people in the world are discerning, and extensive thinking makes one a sage. For things both great and small, get the correct person and they will surely be able to do the job. Whether time passes quickly or slowly, upon meeting a wise man room for comfort naturally arises. Thereby the state is eternal and there is no danger to the government. Therefore the old sage-kings sought men for government posts and did not seek posts for men.
Article 8 says: The myriad ministers and hundred bureaus will wake up early in the morning and retire late in the day. There is no leisure in public matters, and finishing one’s business in one day is difficult. If one is late in the morning they cannot deal with emergencies, and if they retire early certainly their work will go unfinished.
Article 9 says: Truth is the origin of righteousness, in all things be true. Right and wrong, success and failure, their vital point is truth. If the myriad ministers together have truth, what cannot be accomplished? If they do not have truth, all things will fail completely.
Article 10 says: Put an end to fury and cast away angry expressions, and do not be hostile if people disagree with you. All people have hearts, and hearts each have their own preferences. Another may think it so and you think it not, you may think it so and another think it not. You are certainly not a sage, and others are certainly not fools—all are ordinary people. As for absolute logic, who can establish it? Together we have wisdom and foolishness, like a ring and not a point. Therefore, even if you are angered at another, reflect on that anger and fear your own faults, even if you are alone in the right, follow the recommendations of others.
Article 11 says: Clearly observe success and failure, and certainly reward and punish them. These days there is reward without success and punishment without crime. The actions of the myriad ministers should make clear reward and punishment.
Article 12 says: The governors and kuni no miyatsuko may not tax the people. In the country there are not two lords, and in the people do not have two masters. Leading the hundred million people of this land, the king is made master. The administrators who are appointed are all vassals of the lord. How can they dare to tax the people along with the government?
Article 13 says: All those appointed to the administration must know their occupation. If they are sick or sent on a mission, there will be deficit in their work. However when they come to know the day [they can return to work] let them be harmonious in their understanding as they were before. It may not be that public affairs are hindered because someone has not heard what is going on.
Article 14 says: The myriad ministers and hundred bureaus should not be jealous. If you are jealous of others, others will be jealous of you. The disaster of jealously knows no limit. By failing to be pleased when someone’s knowledge exceeds your own, you become jealous because your own talent is inferior. Then in 500 years, we may only meet one wise man, and in 1,000 it is difficult to meet even one sage. Yet if there are not wise men or sages, how will the country be administrated?
Article 15 says: Turn your back on private things and turn toward public affairs, for this is the way of the minister. Ordinary people necessarily have hatred, and regretfully they are certainly not all thinking in common. Because they are not thinking in common, private affairs obstruct public matters, and unfortunately this causes violation of the laws and precepts. The first article says that the higher and lower must be in harmony, this is again that feeling.
Article 16 says: When putting the people to work, think of the good sayings of the past. Therefore, during the winter months, you can use the people. Accordingly, from the spring to the fall, during the agriculture seasons, you cannot put the people to work. If the people do not farm, what will they eat, and if they do not cultivate mulberry trees, what will they wear?
Article 17 says: Matters cannot be judged independently, but should require the discussion of many. Small things can be passed over easily and do not require many people, however in discussing important matters, if there is doubt there may be mistakes. Therefore, make distinctions together with everyone, thus your expressions will have reason.
Autumn, ninth month. The morning ceremonies were amended. Thereby the Empress proclaimed, “Whenever going in or out of the palace gate, place both hands on the ground and kneel, and stand after clearing the door.” That month, the artist groups of Kifumi and Yamashiro were established for the first time.
Construction of Buddhist Statues
13th year, summer, fourth month. On the first day, the Empress proclaimed to the crown prince, the Senior Minister, all the princes, and all the ministers to make an oath at the same time to make one Buddhist statue of copper and one embroidered 6-jo Buddhist image each. Then she ordered Kuratsukuri no Tori to be the statue maker. At that time, the King of Goguryeo Daeheung heard that the Empress of Yamato was making Buddhist statues and made tribute of 300 ryo of gold.
Intercalary seventh month. On the first day, the crown prince ordered that the many princes and many ministers all wear wide belts.
Winter, tenth month. The crown prince was in Ikaruga palace.
14th year, summer, fourth month. On the eighth day, the copper and six-jo Buddhist images were completed. That day, the six-jo Buddhist statue was to be set in the Golden hall at Ganko Temple. At that time, the statue was taller than the door of the godlen hall, and they could not get it inside. Then, all the carpenters consulted and said, “Let’s break the door and set it inside.” But by the supassing handiwork of Kuratsukuri no Tori, they and got it in the hall without breaking the door. The next day a saie was performed. At that time, the assembled people were so many that they could not all be counted. Starting with this year, every year on the fourth month, eighth day and the seventh month, on the 15th day a saie is performed.
Fifth month. On the fifth day, the Empress ordered Kuratsukuri no Tori, saying, “I wanted to spread the inner doctrine [Buddhism], and to build a temple first sought Buddhist cremated remains. At that time your grandfather, Shime Tatsuto, presented cremated remains to me. Also there were no monks and nuns in the country, and your father, Tasuna, became a monk for and venerated the Buddhist law for Emperor Tachibana no Toyohi. Also your aunt Shimame was the first to enter the priesthood, and instructed all the monks, and worked in the teaching. Now I made a plan for building a six-jo Buddhist statue, and the plan that you submitted to me was according to my heart. Also when the statue was finished, we couldn’t get it into the hall. All the carpenters were of no use, and were going to break the hall door. However you, without breaking the door, got it in. All of these are your successes.” Then she granted him the rank of Dainin and gave him 20 cho of rice paddies in the district of Sakata in the country of Omi. Tori, with these fields, built Kongo Temple for the Empress. Now it is called Minabuchi no Sakata no Ama-dera.
Autumn, seventh month. The Empress proclaimed to the crown prince an order to lecture on the Shoman sutra. In three days he had finished explaining it. That year, the crown prince lectured on the Lotus Sutra at Okamoto Palace. The Empress was greatly pleased, and gave the crown prince 100 cho of rice fields in the country of Harima. Therefore he built Ikaruga Temple.
15th year, spring, second month. The mibu be was established. On the ninth day, the Empress proclaimed, “I hear that in the happy days of my imperial ancestors, they crouched under heaven and stepped carefully on the earth, and did extensive rites to the gods of heaven and earth, and went around making shrines for the mountains and rivers, and had spiritual communion with masculine and feminine. Thus yin and yang were opened at peace, and made civilization and harmony. Now in my days, how can we be lazy in the worship of the gods? Therefore the myriad servants, with all their hearts, should worship the gods.”On the 15th day, the crown prince and the Senior Minister led the public officials in the worship of the gods of heaven and earth.
Envoy to Sui
Autumn, seventh month. On the third day, Dairai Ono no Omi Imoko was dispatched to Great Tang [The Sui dynasty - Tang did not begin until 618; afterwards translated as Sui]. Kuratsukuri no Fukuri was made interpreter. That winter, in the country of Yamato Takechi resevoir, Fujiwara resevior, Kataoka resevoir, and Sugawara resevoir were constructed. In the country of Yamashiro a great canal was dug in Kurukuma. In the country of Kawachi a Tokari resevoir and Yosami resevoir were constructed. In each country a granary was established.
16th year, summer, fourth month. Ono no Omi Imoko returned from Sui. Sui gave him the name So Yingao. The Sui messenger Pei Shiqing and 12 lower people came with Imoko no Omi to Tsukushi. The Empress dispatched Naniwa no Kishi Onari to summon the guests from Sui, Hai Seisei and the others. For the guests from Sui, they also built a new hall in Naniwa next to the foreign guest house for Goguryeo.
Sixth month. On the 15th day, the guests stayed at the port of Naniwa. That day, 30 decorative ships went out to greet the guests at the river mouth, and escorted them to the new foreign guest house. Then, Nakatomi no Miyadokoro no Muraji Omaro, Oshi Kouchi no Atai Arate, and Fune no Fubito Ohei were made their assistants. Then Imoko no Omi reported to the Empress, “At the time I came and returned, the Emperor of Sui gave me a letter. However, on the way back we passed through Baekje, and the people of Baekje searched me and took it. Therefore I cannot present it to you.”
At this the myriad ministers consulted and said, “Even if a messenger meets with death, he cannot relinquish his charge. Why did this messenger, in his laziness, lose the writing of the great country?” Accordingly they planned to banish him.
Then the Empress ordered them, saying, “Imoko has the sin of losing the message, but cannot be simply be punished out of hand. If the messengers of the great country hear of this, it will not be good.” Then he was released from punishment.
Autumn, eighth month. On the third day, the guests from Sui came to the capital. That day, the Empress dispatched 75 decorative horses to greet the guests from Sui on the road at Tsubaki market. Nukatabe no Muraji Hirafu said the words of greeting to them. On the 12th day, the Empress summoned the guests from Sui to the court and ordered them to deliver their message. At that time Ahe no Tori no Omi and Mononobe no Yosami no Muraji Idaki were guides for the guests.
Then the objects of the great country were placed in the garden. At that time, the primary messnger Pei Shiqing himself held a document, and he bowed twice, stated his purpose as messenger, then stood. The document said, “Our Emperor sends his greetings to the Emperor of Yamato. The messenger Chori Dairai So Yingao and others came and expressed your heart. I respectfully received the precious order [of heaven] and attend to the upbringing of the universe. I want to spread virtue and civilization, and cover all the spiritual world, and my feelings of loving upbrining are not separated by distance. I know that your majesty dwells across the sea, and lays the comfort of peace upon the people, and that there is tranquilitiy within your borders, and the customs are in harmony. With the deepest loyalty, you have sent tribute from far away to our court, and I think excellent these items of admiration. While the weather is warm, I am as always [in good health]. Therefore I dispatched the head of foreign guest reception Pei Shiqing and others with charge to proclaim my feelings, and I also send objects as stated separately.”
At that time Ahe no Omi came forth, and received the document, and advanced with it. Otomo no Kui no Muraji greeted him and received the document, and placed it atop the desk before the great gate, and then reported to the Empress, then when the mater was finished retired. Then, the imperial princes, all the princes, and all the ministers put a hair ornament in their hair, and their garments were all of brocade, purple, sewn goods, and embroidered goods, and they were used five-colored fine silk. One says that their garment colors all used the colors of their caps. On the 16th day, The Empress had a banquet for the guests from Sui in the court.
Ninth month. On the fifth day, the Empress had a banquet for the guests in the district of Naniwa. On the 11th day, the guest from Sui Pei Shiqing returned to his country. Accordingly Ono no Imoko no Omi was made Ambassador and Kishi Onari Deputy Ambassador, and Fukuri was made interpreter, and with they were sent off with the guests from Sui.
Then the Empress sent words of greeting to the Sui Emperor, saying, “The Emperor of the East respectfully speaks to the Emperor of the West. The messenger and head of foreign guest reception Pei Shiqing and his retinue came and many years of care were released. The autumn is getting colder, how is it with you? I trust you are well, and here I am as always. Now I dispatched Dairai So Yingao and Dairai Onari and others to you. Respectfully yours.”
At that time she dispatched the students Yamato no Aya no Atai Fukuin, Nara no Osa Emyo, Takamuka no Ayahito Genri, and Imaki no Ayahito Okuin to Sui, and also the monks Ima no Ayahito Nichimon, Minamibuchi no Ayahito Shoan, Shiga no Ayahito Eon, and Imaki no Ayahito Kosai, in all eight people. That year, many Sillans naturalized.
Envoys from the Korean Peninsula
17th year, summer, fourth month. On the fourth day, the Viceroy [Dazai, preserving Aston’s translation] of Tsukushi said, “The monks Doheun and Hyemi leading 10 other monks and 75 commoners have come from Baekje and landed in the counry of Lower Hi no Michi at Ashikitatsu.
At that time the Empress dispatched Naniwa no Kishi Tokumaro and Fune no Fubito Tatsu and they asked them, “Why have you come?”
They answered, “The King of Baekje ordered that we be dispatched to the country of WuWu. In that country there is now a rebellion and we couldn’t get in, and were going back to our own country. Then suddenly we met with high winds and went adrift. However to our great happiness, we drifted to the shores of the sage-emperor, and greatly rejoiced.”
Fifth month. On the16th day, Tokumaro and the others returned. Accordingly the Empress returned Tokumaro and Tatsu to the where the people from Baekje were to send them back to their own country. When they arrived in Tsushima, Doheun and the other 11 all said they wished to stay. This was reported to the Empress who allowed them to do so. Therefore they were ordered to go to Ganko Temple.
Autumn, ninth month. Ono no Omi Imoko returned from Sui. However, his interpreter Fukuri did not come.
18th year, spring, third month. The king of Goguryeo sent the monks Damjing and Beopjeong as tribute. Damjing knew the five classics, and could make paint, paper, and ink, and made water mills. It was the first time someone had made water mills.
Autumn, seventh month. The Sillan messenger Satokuhou Nama Juk Sesa and the messenger of Gaya Takuhou Tasasu Jimae arrived in Tsukushi.
Ninth month. The Empress dispatched messengers to summon the messengers from Silla and Gaya.
Winter, tenth month. On the eighth day, the messengers from Silla and Gaya arrived in the capital. That day, the Empres ordered Nukatabe no Muraji Hirafu to become chief of decorative horses and greet the Sillan guests and Kashiwade no Omi no Otomo to become the chief of decorative horses for greeting the guests from Gaya, and she stationed in quarters at Ato, near the river. On the ninth day, the guests attended the court. Then the Empress ordered Hada no Miyatsuko Kawakatsu and Haji no Muraji Usagi to escort the Sillans, and Hashihito no Muraji Shiofuta and Ahe no Omi Ooko to escort those from Gaya. Together they came in from the south gate and stood in the courtyard.
At that time Otomo no Kui no Muraji, Soga no Toyura no Emishi no Omi, Sakamoto no Arate no Omi, and Ahe no Toriko no Omi together rose, went forward, and bowed in the courtyard. Then the messengers from both countries messengers bowed and presented their charge. These four ministers stood and went forth and read it to the Senior Minister. At that time the Senior Minister then stood in front of the building and heard it. Then presents were given to the guests in differing amounts. On the 17th day, the Empress had a banquet for the messengers in the court. Kochi no Aya no Atai Nie was made to dine with the Sillan messenger, and Nishikoro no Obito Kusa was made to dine with the messenger from Gaya. On the 23rd day, rites regarding the treatment of the guests were finished and they went home.
The Leper from Baekje
19th year, summer, fifth month. On the fifth day, there was a hunt for medicine at the field of Uda. At the time of the cock’s crow, they gathered near Fujiwara resevoir and set out at daybreak. Awata no Hosome no Omi was made pointer, and Nukata no be Hirafu no Muraji took the rear. That day, all the ministers set their clothing to match that of their cap rank and each put an hair ornament in his hair. Accordingly the Daitoku and Shotoku used gold, the Dainin and Shonin used leopard tails, and the Dairai and those below used bird-feathers.
Autumn, eighth month. Silla dispatched Satokuho Nama Bae Jilji and Gaya dispatched the Shuho Osha, Chinji and Juji, together to the court.
20th year, spring, first month. On the seventh day, the Empress had a drinking party for the myriad ministers. That day, the Senior Minister raised his cup and sang, “Blah blah blah.”
Then the Empress sang, “Blah blah blah.”
Second month. On the 20th day, Empress Kitashi was re-buried at Hi no Kuma Tomb. On that day, they did the eulogy on the road at Karu. First, Ahe no Uchi no Omitori eulogized at the order of the Empress and made offerings to the soul of the deceased. They were 15,000 types of mikemono and minashi. Second, all the imperial princes each said a eulogy. Third, Nakatomi no Muyadokoro no Muraji Omaro said the eulogy for the Senior Minister. Fourth, the Senior Minister led all the clans and Sakaibe no Omi Marise was ordered to eulogize on behalf of the aristocrats. At that time people said, “Marise and Omaro, those two could say eulogies, and only Omitori could not.”
Summer, fifth month. On the fifth day, there was a medicine hunt. They gathered at Hata and proceeded to the court. The clothing was the same as the from when they hunted at Uda.
That year, among those who naturalized from Baekje, there was one who had white spots on his face and body like a leper. People hated this strange thing, and wanted to throw him overboard into the sea. Then his said, “If you hate my spotted skin, then you cannot raise spotted cows and horses in your country. I have but a small talent: I can make the figures of great mountains. If I stay, it will be to the good of the country. Is it not fruitless to throw me into the sea? Then hearing these words they did not throw him overboard, and they were ordered to construct images of Mt. Sumi and the bridge of Kure in the sourthern courtyard. At that time people called this man Michiko no Takumi. He was also called Shikimaro.
Also there was a man from Baekje called Mimashi who naturalized and said, “I studied in Wu and can perform Wu music and dance.” Then he was set in Sakurai, and young people gathered and were made to learn the Wu music and dance from him. Then, Mano no Obito Deshi and Imaki no Ayahito Saimon learned and transmitted the music and dance. Now they are the ancestors of Ochi no Obito and Sakita no Obito.
21st year, winter, 11th month. They made the resevoirs of Waki no Kami, Unebi, and Wani. Also, a great road was made between Naniwa and the capital.
The Dying Sage
12th month. On the first day, the crown prince visited Kataoka. At that time there was a starving person laying by the road. He asked his title and name but he could not speak. Then the crown prince looked at him and gave him drink and food, and took from the clothes he was wearing himself and covered the starving man, saying, “Rest.” Then he sang, “blah blah blah.”
On the second day, the crown prince dispatched a messenger with orders to take a look at the starving person. The messenger came back and said, “The starving man is already dead.” Then the crown prince was greatly saddened, and therefore the man was buried in the place where he lay, and a mound made and tightly closed.
After several days, the crown prince summoned a learned man from nearby and asked him about it, and the learned man said “The other day a starving man lay in the road, but this was not common man, it was an true fellow.” Then the crown prince dispatched a messenger to take a look.
The messenger returned, saying, “I arrived at where the tomb was and looked, and the coffin hasn’t moved. Then I opened it up and looked, and the corpse was gone. Only the clothes remained on the coffin.” Then the crown prince sent the messenger back, and ordered him to take the clothes, and like before wore them. At that time people thought it strange and said, “A sage knows another sage, this is true.” Their awe of him grew on and on.
Envoys to Sui Go and Return
22nd year, summer, fifth month. On the fifth day, there was a medicine hunt.
Sixth month. On the 13th day, the Empress dispathced Inu Kami no Kimi Mitasuki and Yatabe no Miyatsuko (name absent) to Sui.
Autumn, eighth month. The Senior Minister collapsed from illness. For the Senior Minister 1000 people entered the priesthood.
23rd year, autumn, ninth month. Ino Kami no Kimi Mitasuki and Yatabe no Miyatsuko returned from Sui. Messengers from Baekje followed Inu Kami no Kimi to the court.
11th month. On the second day, the Empress had a banquet for the guests from Baekje. On the 15th day, the monk Hyeja from Baekje returned to his country.
24th year, spring, first month. The peaches and plum trees bore fruit.
Third month. Three people from Yakushima naturalized.
Summer, fifth month. 7 people from Yakushima naturalized.
Autumn, seventh month. 20 people from Yakushima naturalized. In all it was 30 people, and they were made to live in Enoi. They did not return to Yakushima, and all died there.
Autumn, seventh month. Silla dispatched Nama Juk Sesa with tribute of Buddhist statues.
25th year, summer, sixth month. People in Izumi said, “In the district of Kamuto there is a gourd as big as a pot.”That year, the five grains were abundant.
Attack on Koguryeo, Compilation of Histories
26th year, autumn, eighth month. On the first day, Goguryeo dispatched messengers with tribute. They said, “Emperor Yang of Sui attacked us with 300,000 troops, but in return we broke them. Therefore make tribute to you two of those captured, Zhengong and Putong, along with one tsuzumifue [an instrument to regulate the march], large bows, and catapults, some ten varieties of items, along with regional products and one camel.”
That year, the Empress dispatched Kawabe no Omi (name absent) to Aki and ordered a ship be made. Men went into the mountains to search for materials for the ship. Then they found a great tree, and were going to cut it down, but someone said, “This is a tree of the lightning god, and cannot be cut down.”
Then Kawabe no Omi said, “It does not matter if it is a lightning god, for who would go against the Emperor’s orders?” Then he hung up many offerings and sent servants with orders to cut it down. When they did there was heavy rain and lightining.
Then Kawabe no Omi readied his sword and said, “Thunder god, do not hurt the innocent, but instead wound me.” Then he challenged and over ten times the thunder struck, but it could not hurt Kawabe no Omi. Then the thunder god changed into a little fish, and was stuck inside the tree branches. They took the fish and roasted it, and then made the ship.
27th year, summer, fourth month. On the fourth day, people in Omi said, “At the Kawafu river there is something that looks like a human.”
Autumn, seventh month. A fisherman in the country of Tsu threw his net into the resevoir and something went in the net that looked like a child. It was not a fish and not a human, and no one knew its name.
28th year, autumn, eighth month. 2 people from Yakushima drifted to Izu island.
Winter, tenth month. Small stones were piled up atop Hi no Kuma Tomb. Around the outside earth was piled into mountains. The mountains were divided according to clan and great pillars were raised on top of them. At that time, Yamato no Aya no Saka no Ue no Atai’s pillar was significantly taller than all the others. Therefore people at that time called him Ohashi no Atai.
12th month. On the first day, red vapor appeared in the heavens. It was one jo long and shaped like a pheasant tail. That year, the crown prince and Senior Minister Shima held council together and compiled the Record of the Emperors, the Record of the Country, and the original record of the omi, muraji, tomo no miyatsuko, kuni no miyatsuko, 180 be, and all the people.
Death of Prince Shotoku
29th year, spring, second month. On the fifth day at midnight, Imperial Prince Umayato no Toyotomimi no Mikoto died in Ikaruga Palace. At that time, all the princes, the ministers, and the people, like an old perosn who loses a beloved child and puts salt and vinegar in their mouth but cannot taste them, or like a young child whose beloved father and mother die, such as these their cries filled all the land. Then the famers stopped their sowing, and the maidens stopped their husking, and all said, “The sun and moon have lost their shine, and heaven and earth have crumbled. From now on, who can we depend on?”
That month, they buried Imperial Prince Kamitsu Miya Hitsugi in Shinaga Tomb. At that time, in Goguryeo the monk Hyeja heard that Imperial Prince Kamitsu Miya no Hitotsugi had died and was greatly saddened, and for the crown prince asked monks to do perform a saie. Then personally explaining sutras, he swore, “In the country of Yamato there was a sage, called Kamitsu Miya Toyotomimi. Heaven freely bestowed upon him the mysterious virtues of a sage, and he was born in the country of Nippon. Exuding the three principles, he collected the great plans of past sages, respected the three treasures [of Buddhism], and saved the people from danger: this was truly a great sage. Now the prince has passed on, and although I am of a different country, our hearts are hard to separate. What benefit is there in living on alone? I will surely die next year on the fifth day of the second month. Therefore I will meet Kamitsu Miya in the pure land and there together we will transform through the many lives." Then, Hyeja, on that day, died as well.
At that time all the people said, “Not only Imperial Prince Kamitsu Miya Hitsugi is a sage, but Hyeja is a sage as well.”
That year, the Sillans dispatched Nama I Mimae to the court with tribute. He brought a report to the Empress. This was the first time that Silla submitted written reports.
31st year, autumn, seventh month. The Sillans dispatched as grand ambassador Nama Ji Seoni and Gaya dispatched Tatsusotsu Namalji and they came to the court. They sent as tribute a Buddhist statue, a golden tower, cremated remains, a baptismal flag, and 12 smaller flags. The Buddhist statue was set in Uzumasa Temple in Kadono. The cremated remains, golden tower, baptismal flag, and the rest were set in Shitenno temple.
At that time, the student-monks Esai and Eko and the doctors Enichi, and Fukuin who had went to study in Tang all came back following Je Seoni. Then, Enichi and the others together reported, “Those who went to study in Tang have all succeeded in their study and should be summoned back.The country of Tang laws and rituals are prepared and established, and it is an excellent country. We should regularly have correspondence.”
Silla Overthrows Gaya
That year, Silla invaded Gaya, and Gaya became a feifdom of Silla. Thus the Empress wanted to attack Silla, and planned with the Senior Minister, and inquired of the ministers. Tanaka no Omi said in reply, “We cannot attack soon. First we must observe the circumstances, and know Silla’s response, and after doing that, it will not be too late to attack. Try sending a messenger to take a look at the situation.”
Nakatomi no Muraji Kuni said, “Gaya was originally our domain, and now the Sillans have invaded and taken it. We should prepare for battle and attack Silla, and take Gaya and attach it to Baekje. At any rate it is better than letting Silla have it.”
Then Tanaka no Omi said, “No. Baekje is a country with many covered in rebellion, and in the time it takes to pass on the road they will decieve us, and all the things they say cannot be believed. Therefore we cannot attack and give Gaya to Baekje.” Thereby they were not able to attack.
Then the Empress dispatched Kishi no Iwakane to Silla, and Kishi no Kuraji to Gaya, with orders to ask about the Gaya incident.
At that time the ruler of Silla dispatched eight ministers who told the things of the country of Silla to Iwakane, and told the things of the country of Gaya to Kuraji. Therefore they promised, saying, “The small country of Gaya is the fiefdom of the Emperor. How can Silla so lightly take it? As always, we will observe the domains that have been established, and we wish you to not worry.” Accordingly Nama Ji Seoni was to be sent with Kishi no Iwakane, and the man of Gaya Tatsusotsu Namalji was to be sent with Kishi no Kuraji along with the tribute from both countries.
However, as Iwakane and the others had not returned, after a year the Empress dispatched Daitoku Sakaibe no Omi Omaro and Shotoku Nakatomi no Muraji Kuni as shoguns and Shotoku Kawabe no Omi Nezu, Shotoku Mononobe no Yosami no Muraji Oto, Shotoku Hata no Omi Hironiwa, Shotoku Omi no Anami no Omi Iifuta, Shotoku Heguri no Omi Ushi, Shotoku Otomo no Muraji (no name), and Shotoku Oyake no Omi Ikusa as deputy shoguns, and they led some tens of thousands of men and went to attack Silla.
At that time, Iwakane and the others together met at the port, and were going to set out, and were waiting on the weather, waves, and wind. Then, many ships filled the seas, and the messengers from the two countries [Silla and Gaya] looked at this and were afriad, and returned to their homes and stayed. In exchange Gamji Daisha was made the tribute messenger from Gaya and sent the tribute. Then, Iwakane and the others spoke together saying, “This army has set out in defiance of our earlier promise. In regards to the Gaya problem, now it cannot succeed.” Then they set their ships out and crossed.
Only the shoguns first reached Gaya and took council, and wanted to invade Silla. Then, the ruler of Silla heard the the many armies and wanted to surrender out of fear. At that time the shoguns counseled together and reported it to the Empress. The Empress approved it.
Winter, 11th month. Iwakane, Kuraji, and the others returned from Silla. At that time the Senior Minister questioned them about the situation.
They said, “The Sillans received the order of the Empress with fear and awe. Then both countries sent messengers, and therefore the tribute of both countries was to be sent. However seeing the ships approach, the messengers to the court with the tribute fled, however the tribute has been sent.”
Then the Senior Minister said, “It is unfortunate that we rushed to attack.”
At that time people said, “These men of war, Sakaibe no Omi and Azumi no Muraji both previously got many bribes from Silla, therefore they encouraged the Senior Minister to rush to attack without waiting on the messengers to return.”
Previously when Iwakane, on the day that he and the others crossed over to Silla, arrived, in the port there was one decorative ship to greet them.
Iwakane asked them, “What country’s ship is that welcome ship?”
Men replied, “It’s a Sillan ship.”
Then Iwakane said, “Why is there no welcome ship from Gaya?” Then a ship from Gaya was added. The Sillan custom of sending two welcome ships started from this time.
From spring through autumn, there was a lot of rain and flooding, and the five grains were not so abundant.
Regulation of Monks
32nd year, spring, fourth month. On the third day, a monk struck his grandfather with an axe. The Empress heard this and summoned the Senior Minister and proclaimed, Those who go into the priesthood should revere the three treasures and hold the prohibitions of Buddhist law in their hearts. How can they not fear regret and lightly commit offences? Now I hear that there is a monk who struck his grandfather with an axe. Therefore summon all the temple monks and nuns and question them. If this is true, punish him harshly.”
Then he gathered all the monks and nuns and questioned them. The monk who had commited the offence and all the other monks and nuns were going to be punished. Then, the monk Gwallreuk from Baekje addressed the Empress, saying, “The Buddhist law passed from India to China, and after 300 years it came to Baekje. Since then only 100 years have passed. However my king heard that the Emperor of Japan was wise and bright, and so sent as tribute Buddhist statues and the interior doctrine, and since then not even 100 years have passed. Therefore at this time, the monks and nuns have not learned the laws and precepts, and easily commit offenses. All the monks and nuns are in fear, and do not know what to do. I ask that the other monks and nuns, aside from the offendor, be pardoned and made not guilty. This is a great endeavor in virtue.” The Empress did so.
13th day. The Empress proclaimed, “If even the priests violate the law, how can they teach the laiety? Therefore from now on employ a sojo and a sozu to inspect the monks and nuns.”On the 17th day, the monk Gwallreuk was made the sojo, and Kuratsukuri no Tokushaku was made sozu. That day, Azumi no Muraji (name absent) was made hozu.
Autumn, ninth month. On the third day, the temples, monks, and nuns were examined, and a record was made of when the temple was made, why monks and nuns entered it, and the date that they became monks. After that, there were 46 temples, 816 monks, 569 nuns, 1385 people all together.
Denial of Fiefs to Soga
Winter, tenth month. On the first day, the Senior Minister dispatched Azumi no Muraji (name absent) and Ahe no Omi Maro and ordered them to report to the Emperor, “The imperial domain in Kazuraki is originally my home, and therefore this domain is my namesake. Now I wish for this to last forever, and be given this domain as a fief.”
Then the Empress said, “Now I am also from the Soga clan, and the Senior Minister is my uncle. Therefore whatever the Senior Minister says, if said in the night before it is bright, or if said in the day before it is dark, whatever it is, it will not go unheard. However later generations of Emperors may ask about the loss of this domain, and later rulers will say, ‘ Because a lowly woman ascended to the thrown this domain was lost.’ How am I not being wise in this? Also, if the Senior Minister should be thought of as unloyal, and later generations will blame us.” She did not listen to his request.
33rd year, spring, first month. On the seventh day, the King of Goguryeo sent as tribute the monk Hyegwan. He was made sojo.
Death of Soga Umako
34th year, spring, first month. The peaches and plums bloomed.
Third month. It was cold, and frosted once.
Summer, fifth month. On the 20th day, the Senior Minister died. He was buried at the grave of Momohara. The Senior Minister was the child of Iname no Sukune, his character was brave, and he was talented in administration. He respected the three treasures, and his house was next to the Asuka river. In his courtyard there was a small pond, and there were lots of islands in the pond. Therefore people at this time called him Senior Minister Shima.
Sixth month. It snowed.
That year, from the third month to the seventh month, there was heavy rain. In the realm there was a great famine. The elderly people ate grass and roots and died in the roadside, and the infants sucking the teats of their mothers died along with their mothers. Also buglary and theft were frequent and could not be stopped.
35th year, spring, second month. In the counrty of Michi a badger turned into a person and sang songs.
Summer, fifth month. There were masses of flies. Their length was up to 10 jo and they flew over the Hill of Shinano. Their buzzing was like thunder, and they went into the east to the country of Kamitsuno and dispersed.
Death of the Empress
36th year, spring, second month. On the 27th day, the Empress fell ill.
Third month. On the second day, there was a solar eclipse. On the sixth day, the Empress’ sickness got worse and could not be concealed. Accordingly she summoned Imperial Prince Tamura and proclaimed to him, “Ascending to the imperial rank and regulating the vast foundation, managing the 10,000 machines for the upbringing of the people, this is not something that can be spoken of lightly, but requires constant attention. Therefore, you should act with care and be observant, and cannot speak carelessly.”
That day, she also summoned Yamashiro no Oe, and instructed him, saying, “You are still young, and if you wish to do something, do not simply declare it. You must wait on the ministers opinions and do what they say.”
On the seventh day, the Empress died. At that time she was 75 years old. There was a temporary burial in the southern courtyard.
Summer, fourth month. On the tenth day, there was hail. It was as large as peaches. From spring until summer, there was a drought.
Autumn, ninth month. On the 20th day, they began the Empress’ funeral. At that time the ministers and servants each said a eulogy at the temporary burial palace. Prior to this, the Empress had dispatched a proclomation to the ministers and servants, saying, “These past years the five grains have not been abundant, and the people are in a big famine, so do not go about making a great tomb for me. You should bury me in the tomb of Imperial Prince Taketa.” On the 24th day, she was buried in the tomb of Imperial Prince Taketa.