Tarishihiko (多利思比孤)

Tarishihiko was a king of Wa (Japan) mentioned in the the article of East Barbarian in Wa, section 46 of the 81st volume in "Suishu" (the Book of the Sui Dynasty). In "Suishu", a Chinese character '俀' is used instead of '倭,' which is used in other Chinese history books.


It is said that he sent Japanese envoys to Sui Dynasty China in 600 and 607.


As the book says, 'a king of wa (Japan) whose family name was Ame and his adult nickname was Tarishihoko and he called himself as a king', his last name was Ame, his azana (nickname) was Tarashihiko, and his go (pseudonym) was Okimi.

Wife and children

As books says, 'the name of the king's wife is Keimi, there are 600 to 700 women in a imperial palace, and the name of king's son (a prince) is Rikamitahori,' his wife was Keimi and he had about 600 to 700 women at his harem, and he had a crown prince named Rikamitahori.


As the book says, 'The barbarians are unaware of the unit of ri and they count the distance by days; its national boarders are five month from east to west and three months from south to north by a ship, surrounded by the sea; also the east is higher and west is lower in altitudes; the capital of Yamatai Kingdom is in Yamadai Kingdom according to Gishi-wajin-den (the first written record of Japan's commerce),' Wa people did not know about the unit ri (one ri is approximately 3.927 kilometers) used for distance measurement and instead they used the number of days they needed to move from one place to another. It took five months to travel from the eastern end of the territory to the western end while three months from the southern end to the northern end. The territory bordered with the sea on all ends. Their capital city was called Yamato, and this country was considered as Yamadai Kingdom, which appeared in the "Worenchuan" (account of the Wa people) section of "The Records of Wei."

As the books says, since Mt. Aso sometimes emitted fire toward the heaven without any reason, exercises of devotion was held by people.

Regarding the travel routes of Seisei HAI, who was an envoy from the Sui, the book describes that he reached the coast of the territory after Tsushima (a country surrounded by the sea), Ikikoku (a country to the east of the territory), Chikushi, Shinokoku (a kingdom of Chinese people, located in the east of the territory) and other 10 or more countries. It was said all areas to the east of Tsukushi were Wa.


As the books says, he regarded the heaven as his elder brother and the sun as his younger brother. He got up before daybreak to attend to government affairs sitting with his legs crossed on the floor, and then he stopped his work when the sun rose and left the rest of his work to his younger brother. Yang Jian of the Sui told him to stop this style because he thought it lacked justice.

Also, as the book says, '内官有十二等 一曰大德 次小德 次大仁 次小仁 次大義 次小義 次大禮 次小禮 次大智 次小智 次大信 次小信 員無定數,' his country had the Kan I Junikai (twelve grades of cap rank) system.

Hiizurutokoro no Tenshi (the title of the king of Wa)

The sovereign's message of 607 brought to Emperor Yang by an envoy sent from Wa to Sui to learn Buddhism included this famous phrase, "From the sovereign of the land of the rising sun to the sovereign of the land of the setting sun. I hope you are doing well," which made Emperor Yang, who had already become a Dharani by Bodhisattva Precepts in 591, angry. (The terms 'the Land of the Rising Sun' and 'the Land of the Setting Sun' appeared in Buddhist scriptures of those days [such as "Daichidoron" (Commentary on the Great Wisdom Sutra), the annotation of "The Great Treatise on Perfection of Wisdom"]; for example, "the term 'Land of the Rising Sun' refers to the east, and the term 'Land of the Setting Sun' refers to the west."
(These terms represents the directions of east and west.)


"Suishu" describes the king as a man having a wife while neither "Nihonshoki" (The Chronicles of Japan) nor "Kojiki" (The Records of Ancient Matters) mentions any male kings. The section 149 part I of Retsuden (Biographies) as the 199th volume of "Kutojo" (The Old Tang History) describes about Toi (Eastern Barbarians) including a chapter titled Wakoku, in which the last name of Wa king is described as Ame. The section 145 of Retsuden (Biographies) as the 200th volume of "Shintojo" (The New Book of Tang) describes about Toi including a chapter about Japan in which Tarishihiko is written not as 多利思北孤 but as 多利思比孤 and identified as Emperor Yomei.

In Japan, Kojiro NAOKI's theory that the kanji letter 北 was erroneously used for 比 in 多利思比孤 is most accepted view. In addition, some people think Tarashihiko was Empress Suiko or Prince Umayado (also known as Prince Shotoku). Moreover, some people think this king was the king of a kingdom in the Kyushu region. However, no treatises in refereed academic journals have positive opinions about the kingdom in the Kyushu region, and this theory is not regarded as scientific studies.

Some opinions have it that the Chinese character of 利 of his name should be 和 in fact.