Sunday, August 12, 2012

Empress Consort Jingu, the Dragon Queen

Queen Jingu (170 - 269) was the first Queen appears in Japanese original history books. "Nihon Shoki" and "Kojiki" are 2 oldest Japanese history records. Both carry articles on Queen Jingu. According to the records, Yamato (later became unified Nippon) government was in the civil war, in the process of unifying Japan in the second and third centuries. Emperor Chuai, Jigu's husband, was leading Yamato troops fighting against a tribe in Kyushu Island. The Empress Consort Jingu was pregnant but accompanied her husband as one of generals of Yamato army. When her husband died in the middle of the war, the empress consort Jingu decided to take over her husband vision and continue to fight.

Her army won the civil war in Kyushu Island and she led her army to Korea against all the objections from her subjects. This was first Japanese aggression to Korea in the world history. It was the first time Japan appeared in the history of Far East Asia as an aggressor. It was unfortunate that this war was purely aggression of Japan. However, it helped to redefine Japan as one of the powers in Far East Region opened Japanese cultural exchange and trading with the Eurasia Continent. The tie with Continental Culture helped Japan to modernize its culture, society, and politics from prehistoric characteristics.

Still Jingu was not the empress. She gave birth to a boy baby, who later became Emperor Ojin. In her way back to her palace from the war with her newborn baby, she found that her nephews' rebellion army stopped her to come back in attempting to become the next emperor. In accordance with her legend, she stopped her soldiers who wanted to fight against traitors. She invited her nephews and generals of rebellion army, telling them that she had no intention of fighting. Instead, she wanted to surrender if it helped the peaceful solution. When her nephews came for peace talk, Jingu killed them and declared that she would not kill rebellion army's generals and soldiers if they agreed to surrender.

She appears to be a cruel woman who attacked Korea and killed her own nephews to be an empress. She obviously had an international sense opening up the door to the continental culture for bringing up her country to the next level. It was also not uncommon that the royal family's brothers and sisters killed each other, for getting to the highest position in a history of any country. Nobody should blame Empress Jingu just because she was a woman and killed her family members for her government stability.

Instead, it is noteworthy that this determined and powerful queen drove her own country one step closer to the unified Japan and opened the door to the next level culture and society. There is no record that she officially became an empress. Thus, Japanese history calls her Empress Consort Jingu, not Empress Jingu. Japanese history remembers her and respects her as the Dragon Queen.

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