Japanese Wooden Barrel Cooper Craftsman, Kurita Minoru Kurita Minoru was born in Nagoya on July 4, 1…More
- Chris Glenn
A long time Japanophile, Chris Glenn first came to Japan in 1985 as a Rotary Exchange Student. On his return to Australia in 1986, he commenced working as a radio DJ. In 1992 he returned to Japan, where he remained working in radio, TV and as a newspaper columnist and writer.
- WEBサイト： Chris Glenn Website
Assassination of Soga no Iruka
The main branch of the Soga clan became extinct 1,370 years ago today, when Soga no Iruka was
assassinated, July 10, 645.
Soga no Iruka was the son of the powerful statesman and Minister of State, Soga no Emishi, who had
orchestrated the installation of the puppet Emperor Jomei on the Imperial Throne, despite Prince
Yamashiro, son of Prince Shotoku, being the favored heir to the late Empress Suiko. To maintain his
father’s influence, and influence that would one day become his, Soga no Iruka attacked Prince’s
Yamashiro’s estate in 643, l eading to the death of the Prince and his family.
To remove the Soga clan from power, and restore the rightful lineage to the Imperial Throne, Statesman
Fujiwara no Kamatari and Prince Naka no Oe, (later Emperor Tenji) planned a coup d’etat. A spear was
smuggled into a hall within the Imperial household. Gates surrounding the palace were closed, a number
of guards bribed, and four warriors were instructed to destroy Soga no Iruka.
The planned assassination of Iruka took place during a court ceremony attended by Empress Kogyoku.
At the allotted time, the four men tasked with the assassination failed to move, and so Prince Naka no
Oe himself grabbed the spear and severely wounded Iruka. Protesting his innocence, the bleeding Iruka
begged the Empress to hold an investigation, while Prince Naka no Oe explained his case before the
Empress.When the Empress retired from the hall to consider the matter, the four guards finally made
their move, and killed Iruka. That the attempted killing happened in the presence of the Empress was
in itself a disgusting act, deemed polluting to the purity of the Imperial Throne both spiritually and
personally. For that reason, the Empress’ decision was just as shocking. She abdicated.
The following day, Iruka’s father, Soga no Emishi committed suicide by burning his residence and in doing so
destroying a number of Imperial treasures, including the Imperial Diaries, the Tennoki, and other important
Empress Kogyoku passed the throne to her brother, Emperor Kotoku, and on his death, returned to the
throne herself as Empress Saimei, before Prince Naka no Oe became Emperor Tenji in 661.
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