Japan’s First Emperor Who Appeared as a Descendant from a God… Emperor JINMU神の子孫として登場する日本の初代天皇。。。 神武天皇

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The 11th of February is the national foundation day of  Japan.

The definition of foundation differs by nation.

While most emerging countries set it as their day of independence, most Japanese don't know how the national foundation day of Japan came about.

How did this day become chosen?

Japan used to celebrate this day as "Kigensetsu" before World War 2.

After the war, it was abolished as it was considered to be against the spirit of the Constitution.

However it was revived in 1966 as "National Foundation Day."
1966年に「建国記念の日」として復活したので ある。

February 11 is based on the "Nihonshoki," a history book completed in 720 AD that described the enthroning of the first Emperor, JINMU on that day.

The Meiji Government that won the war against the Shogunate in 1868 was urged to establish an Emperor-orientated nation and admit that all legends described in the oldest history book "Kojiki" (712 AD) and in "Nihonshoki" were true stories and to utilize this in their policies.
府との戦いに勝利し(1868年)、天皇を中心とする国家を打ち立てる必要があった明治政府は、最も古い歴史書「古事記」(712年)および「日本書紀」 に書かれた伝説をすべて事実とみなして、政治に利用した。

Emperors starting from Jinmu up to the present Emperor, were said to be descendants in an unbroken line of a god called "Amaterasu-Ohmikami" and was thus deified by the people.
天皇は「天照大神」を祖先とする神武天皇から今日の天皇まで、万世一系として神格化されたのであ る。

The Emperor Jinmu did not exist!   

Strangely, "Nihonshoki" named two Emperors as "the first Emperor who governed the nation."

One of them was the Emperor Jinmu and the other was the 10th Emperor Sujin.

The book describes Emperor Jinmu in indirect form as "it is told that Jinmu was the first Emperor who governed the nation."
神武天皇に対しては、 伝聞形で「初めて天下を治められた天皇」と書いている。

Emperor Sujin is described as "creating the family register system of people and allocated duties.

Things were abundant and the country was peaceful.

So people admired the Emperor and called him 'the first Emperor who governed the nation.'"

What kind of figure was the Emperor Jinmu?

To our surprise, it is an established theory among academics that the Emperor Jinmu did not actually exist.

Not only Jinmu, but also the other Emperors up to the ninth were regarded as fictitious
as well.

The 10th Emperor Sujin is believed to be the first actual Emperor.

The famous story has it that when the Emperor Jinmu was based in Kyushu, he explored the Yamato (Kinki) region, which later became the center of Japan.

The Emperor Jinmu was viewed as a shadow of the Emperor Sujin and his successors who started the Yamato Court.
神武天皇は、崇神天皇およびそれ以後に 大和朝廷を作った後継者を投影した架空の天皇だという見方が有力なのだ。

It is said that Emperor Jinmu passed away at the age of 127.

Most of the Emperors of that time were estimated to have lived longer than 100 years.
この時代の天皇はほとんどが100歳以上 で没したことになっている。

As the year of Jinmu's enthronement was created in the lucky year based on the Chinese calendar, it seems as if the life spans of these fictitious Emperors were used for the adjustment.
これは、中国暦をもとに神武天皇が即位した年を縁起のよい年に設定したため、架空の天皇の存命期間でつじつまを合わせたものと 思われている。

Does the Nihonshoki represent the change of ruler?

Why did they do such a thing?

 In answer to this question, a very persuasive view is that the Emperor Sujin came from the Korean peninsular.

This view also maintains that the Emperor's family, who came to Japan gradually, put the influential powers of Yamato under their control and became the rulers as time went by and they needed to justify their status.
半島から日本にやってきた天皇家が、大和の有 力な勢力を次第に取り込み、時代とともに実権を握っていったが、それを正当化する必要に迫られていた。

Considering the Japanese characteristic that makes people repeat past practices, it was the most effective way to be a representative of the god as the Emperor's family's blood is connected to the god.
過去の事例に従いやすいという日本人の特性を踏ま え、天皇家の血筋は神と繋がっていて、天皇は神の命令を受けた執行者とすることが最も有効な手段だったというものだ。

In the above-mentioned two books, there are reliable sections that described the later era and the mythical period, which are now believed to have been fiction created by the ruler.
先の二つの書物には、信頼できる後年 の時代の記述部分と、神話の部分がある。神話の部分は、後の支配者の創作だとする学説が一般的だ。

There is also a myth that the sovereign was a descendant of a god in Korea.

After excavating the grave of high officials in Japan such as Takamatsu-zuka, it was gradually discovered that those buried were strongly related to people living on the Korean Peninsula.

If investigating the graves of the Emperor's ancestors was permitted, the ancient history
of Japan would become clearer.
天皇家の墳墓を調査でき れば、古代の日本の姿がはっきりするだろう。

However, this is not permitted as it would breach the privacy of the Emperor's family.

It is still taboo to publicly discuss the possibility that the ancestors of the Emperor's family may have come from the Korean Peninsula.

Even at present the Emperor family's is sacred and untouchable and the name of the Emperor Jinmu will contentiously remain as all Japan's first Emperor.

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