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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

Who had the support of the o muraji


Buddhism recovered its footing, but the enmity between the o-muraji and the o-omi grew more implacable than ever. They insulted each other, even at the obsequies of the sovereign, and an occasion alone was needed to convert their anger into an appeal to arms.


When the Emperor Bidatsu died (A.D. 585) no nomination of a Prince Imperial had taken place, and the feud known to exist between the o-omi and the o-muraji increased the danger of the situation. The following genealogical table will serve to elucidate the relation in which the Soga-uji stood to the Imperial Family, as well as the relation between the members of the latter:

| Prince Shotoku****** / Emperor Yomei** > (married to a daughter / | (originally Prince Oe)| of Soga no Umako) |Princess Kitashi| | / |(consort of >< Empress Suiko***** |Emperor Kimmei* | | (originally consort | / | of Emperor Bidatsu*** Soga | no < Iname | / |Oane-kimi | | Prince Anahobe******* |(consort of >< |Emperor Kimmei) | | Emperor Sushun**** | / | |Omako-Emishi-Iruka

*The Emperor Kimmei was the elder brother-in-law of Soga no Umako. **The Emperor Yomei was the nephew of Soga no Umako. ***The Emperor Bidatsu was a nephew of Umako. ****The Emperor Sushun was a nephew of Umako. *****The Empress Suiko was a niece of Umako. ******Prince Shotoku was son-in-law of Umako. *******Prince Anahobe was a nephew of Umako.

It is thus seen that the great uji of Soga was closely related to all the Imperial personages who figured prominently on the stage at this period of Japanese history.


The Emperor Yomei was the fourth son of the Emperor Kimmei and a nephew of the o-omi, Umako. The Chronicles say that he "believed in the law of Buddha and reverenced Shinto" which term now makes its first appearance on the page of Japanese history, the Kami alone having been spoken of hitherto. Yomei's accession was opposed by his younger brother, Prince Anahobe (vide above genealogical table), who had the support of the o-muraji, Moriya; but the Soga influence was exerted in Yomei's behalf. Anahobe did not suffer his discomfiture patiently. He attempted to procure admission to the mourning chamber of the deceased Emperor for some unexplained purpose, and being resisted by Miwa Sako, who commanded the palace guards, he laid a formal complaint before the o-omi and the o-muraji. In the sequel Sako was killed by the troops of the o-muraji, though he merited rather the latter's protection as a brave soldier who had merely done his duty, who opposed Buddhism, and who enjoyed the confidence of the Empress Dowager. To Umako, predicting that this deed of undeserved violence would prove the beginning of serious trouble, Moriya insultingly retorted that small-minded men did not understand such matters. Moriya's mind was of the rough military type. He did not fathom the subtle unscrupulous intellect of an adversary like Umako, and was destined to learn the truth by a bitter process.


Umayado, eldest son of the Emperor Yomei, is one of the most distinguished figures in the annals of Japan. He has been well called "the Constantine of Buddhism." In proof of his extraordinary sagacity, the Chronicles relate that in a lawsuit he could hear the evidence of ten men without confusing them. From his earliest youth he evinced a remarkable disposition for study. A learned man was invited from China to teach him the classics, and priests were brought from Koma to expound the doctrine of Buddhism, in which faith he ultimately became a profound believer. In fact, to his influence, more than to any other single factor, may be ascribed the final adoption of the Indian creed by Japan. He never actually ascended the throne, but as regent under the Empress Suiko he wielded Imperial authority. In history he is known as Shotoku Taishi (Prince Shotoku).

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