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Jimmu was the legendary first emperor of Japan. Jimmu was supposedly the great-great grandson of the sun-goddess Amaterasu, and thus his descendants, the ensuing emperors of Japan, were considered living gods who were divinely ordained to rule. According to the Nihon Shoki, Jimmu reigned from 660-585 BC.

"Jimmu" means "divine warrior." According to the Nihon Shoki, Jimmu's personal name was Hikohohodemi, and he was born in 711 BC, the fourth son of Hikonagisataugayafukiahezu, a living god and great-grandson of Amaterasu. Jimmu's mother was Tamayori, a daughter of the sea god. At the age of fifteen Jimmu was made heir to the throne of a small kingdom in western Japan. A few years later, he married Ahiratsu, a princess from the the district of Ata in province of Hiuga, and made her his queen and consort.

One day, when he was 45 years of age, Jimmu gathered his brothers and sons and declared that he had been divinely ordained to conquer a fertile land to the east. His brothers and children agreed, so Jimmu mounted a great Eastern Expedition and successfully conquered the realm of Yamato (the region encompassing modern day Kyoto, Nara, and Osaka), and declared himself the first Emperor of Yamato on February 11, 660 BC. After many years of just and peaceful rule, he died in 585 BC, at the age of 126.


Emperors of Japan - Suizei >>

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