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Empress Jingu

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  • Dates: c. 169-269
  • Japanese: 神功皇后 (Jinguu kougou)

Empress Jingû was traditionally considered the 15th ruler of Japan. Today, she is officially designated a legendary figure, and removed from the list of historical emperors.

According to her legend, after the death of her husband, Emperor Chûai, Jingû took the throne for herself in 201, and embarked on a mission to attack the Korean kingdom of Silla. According to Japanese natonalistic mythology, Japan is supposed to have thereafter been ruler over the three Korean kingdoms of Paekche, Koguryo, and Silla.

Arriving back in Japan from her conquest of Korea, she gave birth to Emperor Ôjin, who is closely associated with the war kami Hachiman, and who succeeded her in 269.

Her legend was revived in the Meiji period and early 20th century, in support of the ultra-nationalism of the time, and especially in conjunction with the colonization of Korea.

Empress Jingu invading Korea.

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