Women of Royalty
The Ten Japanese Empresses
Empress Suiko
Born in 554 A.D. to Emperor Kimmei (509 571), Suiko became the empress-consort of her brother, Emperor Bidatsu, when she was 18 in 572 A.D. Bidatsu reigned until 585 A.D., during which he led two notable militaristic campaigns, one to gain the territory of Mimana and also to preserve the tensions between two opposing Japanese groups over Buddhism in Japan. Upon Bidatsu's death in 585 A.D., his brother, Yomei, ascended the throne. Emperor Yomei's reign only lasted until 587 A.D. Upon Yomei's death, Sushun ascended the Japanese throne as Emperor Sushun. He too led a short reign, from 587 592 A.D, the year he was murdered. At the age of 38, Suiko was convinced by the Japanese hierarchy to take the Japanese throne, which she did with the son of a Japanese chieftain acting as a regent who administered the government, Prince Shotoku. For thirty years Suiko reigned as Empress of Japan in her own right. During her reign, Empress Suiko vastly promoted Buddhism, beginning two years into her reign in 594. Many temples and monasteries were sponsored and erected, all supported by Suiko. Also, Japanese and Chinese diplomatic ties strengthened and Chinese influences slowly leaked into the Japanese kingdom. From the west came China but from the south came Korea. Buddhism, which thrived in the Korean kingdom of Silla, had initially come from Korea into Japan. Not only did Japan allow Korean religion to affect them but also Korean art and literature found its way beyond Japanese borders. Empress Suiko died in 628 A.D. leaving a legacy as the first recorded Japanese empress and also with a legacy of a powerful reign on Japan.
Empress Kogyoku
Empress Saimei
Empress Jito
Empress Gemmei
Empress Gensho
Empress Koken / Empress Shotoku
Empress Meisho
Empress Go-Sakuramachi

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