Himiko, the Warrior Queen

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Katari-be’s Notes

The Great Empress Jingū/Himiko reigned for sixty-eight years. Upon her death at the age of one hundred, her son Hondawake became the next ruler and was crowned Emperor Ōjin at the age of seventy. Hence, she was hardly a “place holder”, but a proper sovereign.

Even today, she continues to appeal to the imagination of the wider Japanese public, and for school children she became the most recognised name in history. Due to her legendary shamanic skills, her image features in Tarot cards and in video games. Her legendary beauty made her name the title of beauty pageants and erotic characters. Most recently, she became a household name in the West, due to her appearance in the Lara Croft’s adventures of the Hollywood blockbuster, Tomb Raider. However, first and foremost, she became a symbol of female rulership. In 1881, Empress Jingū/Himiko became the first woman to be featured on a Japanese banknote. Her portrait was also placed on the 1908/14, 1924/37 and 1939 postage stamps.

Her Prime Minister, Takenouchi no Sukune’s granddaughter became the Empress-Consort of the 16th Emperor Nintoku, the son of Emperor Ōjin, who reigned from 313 to 339 CE. However, Sukune’s role in the Empress Himiko’s reign established a precedent and was adopted by subsequent sovereigns, whereby noble clans governed a large part of the sovereign territory and became very influential in the political arena.

Emperor Ōjin is today most associated with a kami called Hachiman – the God of War. Many shrines across the country have been erected in his homage or associated with him, and he has been worshipped and revered by warriors from antiquity, medieval time and modern society. But the irony is that he has never embarked upon any military expedition during his lifetime. His presence, as war is concerned, is only significant inside his mother’s womb; hence, he also earned the moniker Hara-no-naka-no Sumera Mikoto – the Emperor from the time when he was unborn.

Dear Reader, I hope you enjoyed my Queen Himiko katari, or narratives. The download of this short story will not be available for sale anywhere. They are free for you as my way of saying thank you for becoming one of my readers.

The full story of the Creation of Japan and the epic journey of its rulers, narrated by unsung heroines is told in my main first book – “The Goddesses of Japan”, of the series “The Goddesses of the World”, which can be acquired at Amazon.

I greatly appreciate your reading. A katari-be would be nothing without an audience like you. If you have any comments, please contact me directly on kazuko_nishimura@outlook.com or leave it on my website: https://www.kazukonishimura.com/

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Warmest regards,

The Katari-be

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