Scroll 26 - Empress Saimei

Accession of Empress Saimei


Empress Toyotakara Ikashihitarashi Hime [Saimei] was originally married to the grandson of Emperor Tachibana no Toyohi [Yomei], called Prince Takamuka, and gave birth to Imperial Prince Aya. Afterwards she married Emperor Okinagatarashihi Hironuka [Jomei] and gave birth to two boys and a girl.
In the second year of Jomei, she became the Empress as is recorded in the record of Emperor Okinagatarashihi Hironuka [Jomei]. In the 13th year, winter, tenth month of his reign, Emperor Okinagatarashihi Hironuka [Jomei] died. The next year, in the first month, the Empress suceeded to the Chrysanthemum Throne.
In the fourth year, sixth month, she abdicated the throne for Emperor Ameyorozu Toyohi [Kotoku]. Then she was named Empress Toyotakara Ikashihitarashi Hime and given the title Sumemioya no Mikoto, Empress Dowager. However Emperor Ameyorozu Toyoyhi [Kotoku] died in the fifth year of his rule, in the tenth month. In the new era, spring, first month, on the third day, Sumemioya no Mikoto assumed the Chrysanthemum Throne [again] at Itabuki Palace in Asuka.
Summer, fifth month. On the first day, there was a person riding a dragon in the sky. His appearance was like someone from Tang, and he wore blue oiled rain clothes and a triangle hat, and he rode from Mt. Kazuraki and hid at Mt. Ikoma. At the hour of the horse [around noon], he headed west over Matsumine in Sumi no E and departed.
Autumn, seventh month. On the 11th day, the Empress threw a feast for 99 people of the northern Emishi in Naniwa court, the northern Emishi being those from Koshi, and also for 95 of the eastern Emishi, they being the Emishi from Michi. This was together with 150 messengers who came with tribute from Baekje. She bestowed upon nine Emishi from Kikau and six Emishi from Tsugaru the second cap rank.
Eighth month. On the first day, Kawabe no Omi Maro and others came home from Tang.
Winter, tenth month. On the 13th day, construction began on Oharida Palace, and there were plans to use a tiled roof. However, because of the deep mountains and wide valleys, many of the materials they were going to be used for the palace rotted. In the end, construction was halted.That winter, there was a fire in Itabuki Palace in Asuka. Therefore the Empress moved to Kawahara Palace, also in Asuka.
That year, Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla all dispatched messengers to give tribute. The ambassador of Baekje, Seiho Tatsusotsu Yeo Uisu, and his deputy ambassador Toho Onsotsu Jo Sinin came with over 100 people. The Emishi and Hayato led their people and made allegiance, and presented objects to the court. Silla separately sent Kyusan Mimu as a hostage and 12 craftsmen. By chance Mimu got sick and died. The year was 655.
Second year, autumn, eighth month. On the eighth day, Goguryeo dispatched Dalsa to submit tribute. The Ambassador Dalsa, Deputy Ambassador Iriji, and their retinue was 81 people all together.
Ninth month. The Empress dispatched to Goguryeo as Ambassador Kashiwade no Omi Hatsumi and as Deputy Ambassadors Sakaibe no Muraji Iwasuki, Greater Judge Inukami no Kimi Shiromaro, Middle Judge Kochi no Fumi no Obito (name absent), and Smaller Judge Okura no Kinunui no Miyatsuko Maro.

Construction of Palaces


That year, at Okamoto in Asuka, the land that would be used for the construction of a new palace was decided. At that time, Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla each dispatched messengers with tribute, so they spread a dark blue curtain at this palace ground and had a feast for them. At last the palace was built and the Empress moved in, and it was later called Okamoto Palace of Asuka. The peak of Mt. Tamu was surrounded with a wall. Tamu is read as ta-mu, 大務. And also near two zelkova trees that were on top of the mountain they built a watchtower and it was called Futatsuki Palace, or also Amatsu Palace.
At that time the Empress enjoyed the construction, and ordered a water worker to dig a waterway from the west of Mt. Kagu to Mt. Isokami. Then stones from Mt. Isokami were loaded on 200 ships and followed the current to the mountain east of the palace, and there the stones were made stacked up into a wall. People at the time complained about it, saying, “For the construction of a this ridiculous waterway, the labor of over 30,000 people was wasted, and for the construction of the wall that of over 70,000. On top of that the materials for the palace rotted and the mountaintop is buried.” Others complained saying, “This construction on the hill of Isoyama, let it collapse on its own.” This is probably something that was said before the construction was completed.
A palace was also built in Yoshino.
The messenger to the countries of the western sea Saeki no Muraji Takunawa (rank absent) and Lower Shosen Naniwa no Kishi Kunikatsu returned from Baekje and presented the Empress with one parrot. There was a fire in Okamoto Palace.
Third year, autumn, seventh month. On the thrid day, two men and four women from the country of Tokara drifted ashore in Tsukushi, saying, “We first drifted to the island of Amami.” They were summoned by messenger horses. On the 15th day, the statue of Sumi no Yama was made in the west of Asuka Temple and the ceremony of uranbon no ogami was performed. At dusk, there was a feast for the people from Tokara. One book says, the people from Tara.

Feigned Insanity of Prince Arima


Ninth month. Imperial Prince Arima was of a clever nature and feigned insanity, etc etc. He went to the hot springs of Muro, pretending it was to cure his illness, and praised the condition of the countryside, saying, “Just one look at the scenery of that country and my illness disappeared.” Etc etc. The Empress heard this and was happy, and wanted to go and look herself.
That year, a messenger was dispatched to Silla, saying, “We want the monk Chidatsu, Hashihito no Muraji Miumaya, and Yosami no Muraji Wakugo to be sent with the messengers of your country to Tang.” Silla did not receive this order, so the monk Chidatsu and the others came home. The messengers to the western sea Lower Shoke Azumi no Muraji Tsuratari and Lower Shosen Tsu no Omi Kutsuma (Kutsuma is read ku-tsu-ma, 倶豆磨) came back from Baekje and presented the Emperor with one camel and two donkeys. It was said in the country of Iwami that a white fox was seen.
Fourth year, spring, first month. On the 13th day, the Minister of the Left Kose no Tokoda no Omi died.
Summer, fourth month. Ahe no Omi (name absent) led 180 ships and attacked the Emishi. The Emishi of Agita and Nushiro saw this from afar and in fear surrendered. Then Ahe no Omi ordered the ships line up and enter the port of Agita. The Emishi of Agita Oga came forth and swore, “I do not hold a bow and arrow for fighting the army of the administration, but rather to hunt for my meat. If, against the administration’s army, I use this bow and arrow, let the gods of Agita port know of it. My intentions are pure, and I serve the court.” Then the rank of Upper Shootsu was bestowed upon Oga and the magistrates of Nushiro and Tsukaru were established. Subsequently the Emishi of the island of Watari were summoned to the beach at Arima, and after a great feast they returned home.

Death of Prince Takeru


Fifth month. The august grandchild Imperial Prince Takeru died at the age of eight. Near the valley of Imaki they built a temporary burial place. The Empress from before was greatly inclined to the obedience of the prince and therefore was greatly saddened and deeply moved. Speaking to the myraid ministers she said, “After 10,000 years and 1,000 autumns (after I die), you must bury him together with me in my tomb.” Then a song was made, going “blah blah blah.”

The Empress often sang this song and cried sadly.

Autumn, seventh month. On the fourth day, over 200 Emishi came to the court with tribute. The Empress gave a feast for them and provided gifts, and it was better than usual. Two Emishi from Kikau received one grade of rank and the koori no miyatsuko of Nushiro, Saniguna, received the rank of Lower Shootsu (in one place it says they were given two grades of rank and made to examine the household registers). His assistant the suke no miyatsuko Ubasa was given the rank of Kenmu, and two brave men were given one grade of rank. Separately the Empress gave to Saniguna 20 octopus-shaped flags, 2 drums, 2 bows with arrows, and two sets of armor. She bestowed upon the koori no miyatsuko of Tsukaru, Memu, the rank of Upper Daiotsu and on his assistant the suke no miyatsuko Aohiru the rank of Lower Shootsu, and two brave men received a one-grade rank promotion. Separately she gave 20 octopus-shaped flags, 2 drums, 2 bows with arrows, and two sets of armor to Memu. She bestowed upon the ki no miyatsuko of Sara (name absent) two grades of rank, and one grade of rank on the Upper Judge. She bestowed upon the ki no miyatsuko of Nutari, Otomo no Kimi Inatsumi, the rank of Lower Shootsu.

Also she proclaimed to the koori no miyatsuko of Nushiro, Saniguna, that he examine the households of the Emishi and captives. That month, the monks Chitsu and Chidatsu received the Emperor’s order and rode a Sillan boat to go to Tang, and they learned of the matters of all living things as taught by Musho from the monk Xuancheng.

Winter, tenth month. On the 15th day, the Empress visited the hot springs of Ki. The Empress longed for her grandchild Imperial Prince Takeru, and cried sadly, singing, “blah blah blah.”

The Empress proclaimed to Hada no Okura no Miyatsuko Maro “This song, do not forget it, but send it on to future generations.”

Prince Arima's Treason


11th month. On the third day, Soga no Akae no Omi, who was given charge of the realm during the Empress’ absence, said to Imperial Prince Arima, “The Empress’ administration has three defects. That large granaries are built which store up the people’s assets, that is one. That long canals are dug and the provisions thus spent, that is the second. That ships are loaded with stone that is transported for making a hill, that is the third.”
Then Imperial Prince Arima knew that Akae had taken a shine to him was pleased and replied, “This year I have reached the age when I can bear arms for the first time.”
On the fifth day, Prince Arima headed for the house of Akae and climbed the watchtower and plotted. Then one of their armrests broke by itself, and knowing that it was a bad sign, they stopped their alliance. The Imperial Prince returned to his residence.
That night, Akae dispatched Mononobe no E no I no Muraji Shibi leading the laborers who were building the palace, and they surrounded the house of Imperial Prince Arima in Ichibu and also sent messengers by horse to report to the Empress.
On the ninth day, Imperial Prince Arima was captured along with Mori no Kimi Oiwa, Sakaibe no Muraji Kusuri, and Shioya no Muraji Konoshiro, and they were sent to the hots spings of Ki. The servant Niitabe no Komemaro followed them. Then, the crown prince on his own asked Imperial Prince Arima, “Why do you plot?”
He replied, “Heaven and Akae know, but I myself do not.”
On the 11th day, Tajihi no Ozawa no Muraji Kuniso was dispatched and he hanged Imperial Prince Arima the hill of Fujishiro. That day, they beheaded Shioya no Muraji Konoshiro and the servant Niitabe no Muraji Komemaro at the hill of Fujishiro. Shioya no Muraji Konoshiro, when about to be put to death, said, “ I wish for you to make a treasure out of my right hand.” They banished Mori no Kimi Oiwa to the country of Kamitsukeno and Sakaibe no Muraji Kusuri to the country of Owari.
One book says, Imperial Prince Arima and Soga no Omi Akae, Shioya no Muraji Ohoko, Mori no Kimi Oiwa, and Sakibe no Muraji Kusuri did the divination of hineribumi for their plot.
One book says, Imperial Prince Arima said, “First burn the grand palace, then take 500 men and in one day and two nights attack [the Empress at] the port of Muro, and with fast boats block off the country of Awaji like a prison cell; then this will easily succeed.” Then someone instructed him, “It is impossible. You have made a plan, but are lacking in virtue [the faculty to carry out the plan]. Now the Imperial Prince is 19 years old, and still not an adult. When you become an adult, you will attain this virtue.” On another day, when Imperail Prince Arima consulted with a judge about the plot, the imperial prince’s armrest broke by itself. But he didn’t stop the plot, and subsequently was put to death.

Ahe Hirafu Attacks the Mishihase and Emishi


That year, the head of the country of Koshi, Ahe no Hiketa no Omi Hirafu, attacked the country of the Mishihase and presented to the Emperor two live bears and 70 bear pelts. The monk Chiyu built a south-pointing chariot [a compass].
In the country of Izumo it was said, “At the north sea beach a fish died, and its thickness was three shaku, its size like that of a blowfish, with a beak like a sparrow and needles like fish scales, but some inches longer than fish scales. The locals said, ‘A sparrow went into the sea and changed into a fish, calling them suzumi-o, the sparrow fish.’”
One book says, in the sixth year, seventh month, Baekje dispatched messengers saying Silla and Tang had combined their power and attacked them. Already King Uija and the Empress and princes have been taken prisoner and carried away.” Therefore this country’s soldiers made camp at the northwest border, and repaired the fort there, and cut off the mountains and rivers. This was a sign.
Also the messenger to the countries of the western sea Lower Shoke Azumi no Muraji, Tsuratari, returned from Baekje saying, “When Baekje attacked Silla and returned, a horse was on its own going around the golden hall of the temple day and night without rest, stopping only to eat grass.” One book says this was a sign that Baekje would be overthrown.
Fifth year, spring, first month. On the third day, the Empress returned from the hot springs of Ki.
Third month. On the first day, the Empress went to Yoshino and held a banquet. On the third day, the Empress went to Omi, to the port of Hira (Hira is read hi-ra, [田比]羅). On the tenth day, a man from the country of Tokara together with his wife from the country of Shae came. On the 17th day, near the riverbank east of the hill of Umakashi, Mount Sumi [Sumi Palace] was built and the Empress had a feast for the Emishi of Mutsu and Koshi. Kashi is read ka-shi, 柯之. Kahara is read ka-ha-ra, 箇播羅.
That month, Ahe no Omi (name absent) led 180 ships and attacked the country of the Emishi. Ahe no Omi assembled 241 Emishi and 31 POWs from the two districts of Agita and Nushiro, 120 Emishi and 4 POWs from the district of Tsukaru, and 20 Emishi from Ifurisae in one place, and there was a great feast and presentation of gifts. Ifurisae is read i-fu-ri-sa-he, 伊浮梨娑陛. Accordingly one ship and five-color silk was offered to the gods of that place.
When they went to Shishirko, two Emishi from Toiu, called Ikashima and Uhona, came forth and said, “You should make Shiriheshi a seat of administration.” Shishiriko is read shi-shi-ri-ko, 之之梨姑. Toiu is read to-hi-u, 塗[田比]宇. Uhona is read u-ho-na,宇保那. Shiriheshi is read shi-ri-he-shi, 斯梨蔽之. The seat of administration probably refers to the Emishi districts.
Then according to the words of Ikashima and the others, he established a koori no miyatsuko and went home. The Empress bestowed upon the governors of Michinoku and Koshi two grades of rank, and on the koori no miyatusko and his assistant one grade of rank. One book says, Ahe no Hiketa no Omi Hirafu fought with the Mishihase and upon returning home presented the Empress with 49 POWs.

Audience with the Tang Emperor


Autumn, seventh month. On the third day, the Empress dispatched Lower Shokin Sakaibe no Muraji Iwashiki and Lower Daisen Tsumori no Muraji Kishi to Tang. They took an Emishi man and woman from Michiku to show the Emperor [of Tang].
According to the writing of Iki no Muraji Hakatoku, “In the days of this Empress, Lower Shokin Sakaibe no Iwashiki no Muraji and Lower Daisen Tsumori no Kishi no Muraji were were dispatched on the road to Tang on two ships. In the year of Tsuchinoto no Hitsuji, in the seventh month on the third day, they left the port of Mitsunoura in Naniwa, and on the eighth month, 11th day, they left the port of Otsu in Tsukushi.
Ninth month. On the 13th day, they reached an island south of Baekje, but the island’s name is not clear. On the 14th day, at the hour of the tiger (around 4 AM), the two ships went together into the open sea. On the 15th day, at dawn, Iwashiki no Muraji’s ship got a bad crosswind and drifted to a southern island, called Nikai. His ship was destroyed by the islanders, but with Yamato no Aya no Naga no Atai Arima and Sakaibe no Muraji Inatsumi, five people stole a boat from the islanders and escaped to Kuo Prefecture and the governer of the area sent them to the capital at Luoyang. On the 16th day at midnight Kishi no Muraji’s ship arrived at Kuaiji county in Yue Prefecture, Mount Xuan. A north-east wind was blowing and it was very strong. On the 23rd day, they reached Yuyao county. The large ship they rode and all the tribute and goods were stopped there.
Intercalary tenth month, first day, they went deep into Yue Prefecture and on the 15th day rode horses to the capital. The Emperor [of Tang] was in the eastern capital. On the 30th day, the Emperor had an audience and questioned them, asking, “The Empress of the country of Yamato, is she safe or no?”
They answered respectfully, “Her virtue is in line with heaven and earth, and she is at peace.”
Then the Emperor asked them, “As for the ministers doing their duties, are they good?”
They answered respectfully, “The Empress looks out for them, and they’re doing well.” The administration fills heaven and earth, and the 10,000 people are without incident.”
The Emperor then asked them, “This country of the Emishi, where is it?”
They answered repsectfully, “It is to the northeast.”
The Emperor then asked them, “How many varieties of Emishi are there?”
They answered respectfully, “There are three varieties. Those who are far away are called Tsukaru, and the next Araemishi, and the nearest are called Nikiemishi. These Emishi here are Nikiemishi. Every year they send triibute to our court.”
The Emperor asked them, “Does this country have the five grains?”
They answered respectfully, “It does not. They eat meat.”
The Emperor asked them, “Does this country have houses?”
They answered respectfully, “They do not. Deep in the mountains they live at the roots of trees.”
The Emperor then said to them, “I see these Emishi’s bodies are strange, and I am both delighted and shocked. You messengers, you have come a long way and must be tired. Retire to the foreign guest house and we will meet again later.”
11th month. On the first day, the court had the festival of the winter solstice. On that day they again saw the Emperor, and of all those in the court, the guests from Yamato were the most outstanding. Afterwards there was confusion because of a fire and they were discarded and not examined again.
12th month. On the third day, the retainer of Han Jiheung, called Kochi no Aya no Omaro, slandered the guests. The guests were convicted of a crime by the court and were banished. Previously they had banished Jiheung to outside of 3,000 ri. Among the guests Ishi no Muraji Hakatoku made a statement to the court, and they were pardoned. When this matter was settled afterwards the Emperor ordered, “Our country will next year certainly administrate the eastern sea-countries. You guests from Yamato may not return to the east.”
In the end, they were stayed in the western capital, and placed at separate locations. Their doors were blocked and they were prevented from going out, and not permitted to go east or west, and spent several years in hard times.”
Naniwa no Kishi Ohito writes, “The grand ambassador headed for Tang and his ship ran into an island and overturned. Then the deputy ambassador himself met with the Emperor and showed him the Emishi. The Emishi presented the Emperor with one white deer antler, three bows, and 80 arrows.
On the 15th day, the Empress proclaimed to the myriad ministers, “In the temples of the capital, recite the uranbon sutra, and make amends for seven generations of mothers and fathers [ancestors].”
That year, the Empress ordered Izumo no Kuni no Miyatsuko (name absent) to repair the palace of the god. A fox bit off the tip of a tile held by one of the workmen in the district of O and then ran off. Also, a dog bit off the hand of a dead man and placed it in the shrine of Iuya. Iuya is read i-fu-ya, 伊浮[王耳B]. It was a sign that the Emperor was going to die.
Also a messenger from Goguryeo brought one bear pelt and went into the market saying, “60 bolts of silk.” The Comissioner of the Market laughed and went away. Then the artist Komaro of Goguryeo invited guests of the same name into his home, and he borrowed 70 bear pelts from the administration and made them into a guest seat. The guests were ashamed and suspicious and retired.

Attack on the Mishihase


Sixth year, spring, first month. On the first day, the messenger of Goguryeo Otsuso Ha Chwimun arrived in Tsukushi with more than 100 people.
Third month. Ahe no Omi (name absent) led 200 ships and attacked the country of the Mishihase. Ahe no Omi ordered the Emishi of Michikuto ride his ship and arrived at the side of a great river. Then the over 1,000 Emishi of Watarishima assembled on the beach and faced the river and prepared for battle. During their preparation two people came forth and suddenly screamed, “The Mishihase are coming with many ships to kill us therefore we want to cross the river and serve the government.”
Ahe no Omi sent a ship to summon these two Emishi and asked them where the rebels were hidden and how many ships they had. The two Emishi pointed out their hidden location and said, “They have over 20 ships.” Then he dispatched a messenger to call them but they did not come.
Ahe no Omi then stacked up silk, weapons, iron, and other things on the beach, to make the Mishihase desire them. The Mishihase army ships got in formation, then hung bird feathers from a tree and raised it as a flag. They rowed close and stopped their ships in the shallows. Then from the back of one ship two old men got out and went around examining the piles of silk and other things. Then at last they put on one piece of silk and each took one hashi of cloth, then returned to their ships which departed. Suddenly the two men came back and took off the silk and laid down the cloth in exchange, then they returned to their boats and retired.
Ahe no Omi dispatched a number of ships to summon them, but the did not come, and went to the island of Herobe. Herobe is different from the island of Watari. After a while they sued for peace, but Ahe no Omi would not permit it, and drew near their fort and attacked. At that time, Noto no Omi Mamutatsu was killed by the enemy. Still they fought, and while the fighting was not long, the rebels were broken and killed their own wives and children.
Summer, fifth month. On the eighth day, the messenger from Goguryeo Otsusou Ha Chwimun and the others arrived at the foreign guest house of Naniwa.
That month, the ministers, by order of the Empress, made 100 high seats, 100 nokesa, and made the had a meeting for the ninno hanniya sutra. Also, the crown prince first made a rokoku [water clock] so that the people could know the time. Also, Ahe no Hiketa no Omi (name absent) presented the Emperor with over 50 Emishi. Also, near the lake of Iso no Kami they built Mt. Sumi. It was high like the tower of a temple, and the Empress had a feast for 47 of the Mishihase there. Also, in the country people with no reason carried weapons when going back and forth on the road. The old people said, “It is a sign of the fall of Baekje.”

Fall of Baekje


Autumn, seventh month. On the 16th day, the messenger from Goguryeo Otsuso Ha Chwimun returned to his country.
Also, a man from the country of Tokara, Kenzuhashi Datsua, wanted to return to his country, and sought the sending of an escort messenger, saying, “I wish afterwards to send tribute to the great country. I will stay my wife as a sign of this.” Then with some tens of people he went over the sea to the west.
In the Nippon Seiki by the monk Dohyeon of Goguryeo it says:
Seventh month, etc etc. Chun Chuji borrowed the aid of the great general Su Dingfang, attacked Baekje, and overthrew it. Someone said, ‘Baekje did itself in. The hashikashi [queen or courtier] of the king was an evil woman and without reason she stole the country’s administration and put to death the wise and good, and she summoned this disaster. Be careful, be careful.’”
According to this note, Silla’s Chun Chuji requested aid from the interior minister Gaegim [of Goguryeo], but being denied, therefore sent messengers to Tang, and threw away his country’s clothes and tophat, and wished to be taken in by the Emperor of Tang, and threw disaster on neighboring countries, made plans as such.
According to the writing of Iyoshi no Muraji Hakatoku:
“By the year Ka no Esaru, eighth month, Baekje had been conquered. In the ninth month, on the 20th day, the guests were released to their home country. On the 19th day, they set off from the western capital. In the 10th month on the sixth day, they returned to the east capital, and first were able to meet Arima with the other four companions. In the 11th month on the first day, the men of Baekje captured by the general Su Dingfang, from the king and Crown Prince Ryung down to some 13 princes, and from the senior ministers Sataku Cheonbok and Guk Byeonseong down to some 37 people, all together 50 people, were presented to the court and taken to the Emperor right away. The Emperor released an order of pardon and they were released. On the 19th day, we received gifts. On the 24th day, we left the eastern capital.
Ninth month. On the fifth day, Baekje dispatched Tatsusotsu (name absent) with the novice monk Gakjong following (in one book it says, they fled and came seeking refuge) to report to the Empress, “This year, in the seventh month, Silla relying on power and exerting its influence is not friendly to its neighbors. They led people from Tang and overthrew Baekje. Both lords and vassals have been captured, and few remain.” One book says, This year seventh month tenth day, Tang Su Dingfangled ships and men to the port of Bishi, and the King of Silla Chun Chuji led soldiers and cavalry to Mt. Nosuri. They attacked Baekje and fought for three days before they felled our king’s castle. In the same month, on the 13th day, they began to destroy the king’s castle. Mt. Nosuri is the eastern border of Baekje.
However, Seiho Onsotsu Gwisil Boksin resented this and went to Mt. Imsagi. (one book says to the north of Mt. Imseori). Tatsusotsu Yeo Jajin also went to the castle of Gumanori in the central region (one book says to Mt. Dodogiryu), and prepared each place, and summoned and collected the soldiers that were scattered. The soldiers had previously used all their weapons, so they fought with poles. The Sillan army was broken, and the men of Baekje stole their weapons. Now the weapons of Baekje are sharper, and Tang dares not come in. Boksin and the others summoned the people of the country and together hold the king’s castle. The people of the country respect him, saying, ‘Sahe Boksin! Sahe Jajin!’ Only Boksin raised the divine warrior authority in the country which was already overthrown.”

Boksin Seeks Aid and Restoration of the Baekje Royalty


Winter, tenth month. Sahe Kishitsu Boksin of Baekje dispatched Sahe Gwiji (one book says Sahe Gwiji and Tatsusotsu Jeongjin) and the came to the court to present over 100 Tang POWs. Now they are in the country of Mino, in the two districts of Fura and Kataagata. Also he requested military aid along with the Prince Yeo Pungjang, saying, “The people of Tang led our maggot brigands [Silla] and came to cause trouble in our lands, and they overthrew our state and captured our lords and vassals, including the king of Baekje Uija, his wife Eungo, and their child Ryung, plus their servants Sahei Cheonbok, Guk Byeonseong, and Sondeung, all together more than fifty people. In autumn, in the seventh month on the third day, the army of Dingfang captured them and they were sent to Tang. Probably this is what was meant by the meaningless bearing of arms. The country of Bakje depends on the thoughts of the far-away Empress for protection, and collecting its people has remade the country. Now we humbly request that you dispatch the prince Pungjang sent from Baekje who now attends on the court, that he may become our ruler.” Etc etc.
The Empress proclaimed, “As for requesting aid, I have heard it from the past. Helping during danger, and continuing that which is come to an end, it is often written in the manuscripts. The country of Baekje is in poverty and has come to us. Their halbreds have become pillows, and they lick their stomachs, and certainly have come for rescue. Coming from afar to say this request, my intention cannot be taken away. I will issue order to the generals and from 100 roads go forth. Gathering like clouds and striking like lightning, collect at Sataku, and destroying the monsters, relieve this fallen district. The ministers will with proper rite dispatch them.” Etc etc. Sent were the Prince Pungjang and his wife and children, and his uncle Chungseung. As for when they were actually dispatched, it is seen in the seventh year. One book says, the Empress made Pungjang the king, and for their aid with all ceremony dispatched them.
12th month. On the 24th day, the Empress went to Naniwa Palace. The Empress, according to the request heard from Boksin, and thought to go to Tsukushi and dispatch a rescue force, and so first went here to prepare various army goods.
That year, the Empress wanted Baekje to attack Silla, and ordered the country of Suruga to make a ship. When they finished they went to Omino, and this ship at night had its fore and aft, for no reason at all, reversed. Then everyone knew the fight was already lost. In the country of Shinano it was said, “The flies are gathering and moving to the west, crossing over the great hill. Its size is 10 itadaki, and its height is so high as to touch the sky.” It was thought that this was a suspicion of the failure of the rescue army. One popular song went, blah blah blah.
Seventh year, spring, first month. On the sixth day, the ships to subjugate the west first set out to sea. On the eighth day, the ships arrived at the sea of Oku, and at that time Imperial Princess Ota gave birth to an imperial princess. She was called Imperial Princess Oku. On the 14th day, the ships stayed at Ikitatsu in the country of Iyo, at the temporary palace of Iwayu. Ikitatsu is read i-ki-ta-tsu, [人爾]枳柁豆.
Third month. On the 25th day, the ships went back to Nanoootsu. The Empress stayed in the temporary palace of Iwase. The Empress ordered this place called Nagatsu.
Summer, fourth month. Boksin of Baekje dispatched a messenger to report, and requested to pick up Prince Gyuhae. In the Nihon Seiki by the monk Dohyeon, it says that Boksin of Baekje dispatched a document requesting Lord Gyuhae [Pungjang] to the Eastern Court.” One book says, in the fourth month, the Empress moved to Asakura palace.

Death of the Empress


Fifth month. On the ninth day, the Empress moved to Asakura no Tachibana no Hironiwa Palace. At that time, they cut down a tree of Asakura shrine to build the palace, and therefore the god was angry and destroyed the hall. Also a fire imp was seen in the palace. Therefore many of the great servants and nearby retainers got sick and died. On the 23rd day, for the first time Jeju-do dispatched the Prince Awagi and made tribute.
Iyoshi no Muraji Hakatoku wrote, “Year of Ka no To no Tori, first month. On the 25th day, I returned to Yue Prefecture. Fourth month. On the first day, taking the road from Yue Prefecture, I went home to the east. On the seventh day, I arrived at Mt. Chengan. Eighth day, before dawn, a southwest wind arose, and carried the boat to the open sea. At sea I lost my way, and drifted in great distress. After nine days and eight nights, I arrived at the island of Jeju-do. There accordingly I summoned the prince of the islanders Awagi and nine others, and riding on separate ships sent them to the capital. [[/span]]
Fifth month. On the 23rd day, they attened at the court of Asakura. Jeju-do attended court for the first time. Also, the servants slandered by Yamato no Aya no Kaya no Atai were not covered with favorable orders, and in anger they made request to the gods of heaven, and Tarishima was hit by lightning and died. At that time all said, “Yamato is close to heaven’s retribution.”
Sixth month. Prince Ise died.
Autumn, seventh month. On the 24th day, the Empress died at Asakura Palace.
Eighth month. On the first day, the crown prince attended on the Empress’ funeral and then returned to Iwase Palace. That night, atop Asakura mountain there was a demon, and it appeared with a giant triangle hat and watched the funeral. Everyone said it was peculiar.
Winter, tenth month. On the seventh day, the Empress’ funeral proceeded by sea. In this the crown prince stayed in one place and mourned the Empress, singing, “blah blah blah.” On the 23rd day, the Empress’ funeral procession returned to Naniwa.
11th month. On the seventh day, the Empress’ temporary burial was held at Asuka Kawara. For nine days there was mourning.
The Nihon Seiki says, “11th month. Boksin with the captured Tang man Xu Shouyan and others arrived in Tsukushi.”
One book says, in the year of Ka no To no Tori, Sahe Boksin of Baekje presentd 160 Tang prisoners and they were set in the country of Omi, in Harita. The previous year, Boksin had already presented Tang prisoners. Therefore this note is explained.”

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