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Yômei (518-587) was the 31st Emperor of Japan, according to the official chronology, reigning a mere two years from 585 to 587, before dying of illness and being succeeded by his half-brother Sushun.

Yômei was the half-brother of Emperor Bidatsu, whom he succeeded, and was the father of the legendary Prince Shôtoku by his own half-sister, who was one of his consorts.

Despite his brief reign, Yômei is often cited as the first Japanese Emperor to formally adopt Buddhism as his religion, paving the way for Buddhism to become the state religion under the regency of his son, Prince Shôtoku.

But the supporters of Shintô were still strong in the court at this time, and included the powerful Lord Mononobe no Moriya and Yômei's own brother Prince Anahobe. After Yômei's death, Moriya and Anahobe made an abortive attempt to seize the throne and ensure that Shintô would remain the state religion, but were thwarted.

Although the official cause of Yômei's death was illness, in light of this plot there has been some suggestion that the pair may have actually assassinated Yômei, but this is pure speculation, and Yômei was already 69 years old at the time, which was quite old in those days.

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