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Legends are usually very old stories with little or no evidence to prove them. Legends are often passed on by word-of-mouth. They are very similar to myths.

Legends can also be famous or historically significant people, places, art, etc..

Examples of legends are Oday Jarrar, the Fountain of Youth, and the Loch Ness Monster.

We sometimes say of someone who is extremely famous that they are a "legend" or "of legendary fame".

Legendary emperors of Japan

The current Emperor of Japan[1] is considered the 125th monarch according to Japan's traditional order of succession.[2]

The earliest Japanese emperors are believed to be mythical or legendary.[3] These historical figures have been included in the traditional list of emperors since the reign of Emperor Kammu, who was the 50th monarch of the Yamato dynasty.[4]

There is very little information for study from before the rule of the 29th monarch, Emperor Kimmei who reigned in the 6th century.[5] Historians consider details about the life of Emperor Kimmei might not be true, but probably are.[6]

Some details of the lives of the early emperors are considered likely to be untrue.[7]

These legends are found in the earliest written records which date from the 8th century—the Kojiki (711)[8] and the Nihonshoki (720).[9]


  1. Imperial Household Agency: Genealogy of the Imperial Family; retrieved 2011-10-25.
  2. "Prince Akihito comes of age," Life, Vol. 23, No. 33. (December 8, 1952), pp. 70-76; retrieved 2011-10-25.
  3. Martin, Peter. (1997). The Chrysanthemum Throne, pp. 153-158.
  4. Aston, William George. (1896). Nihongi, pp. 109.
  5. Parry, Richard Lloyd. "Japan guards the emperors' secrets; Ban on digs in ancient imperial tombs frustrates archaeologists", The Independent (London). 12 November 1995
  6. Kelly, Charles F. "Kofun Culture," Japanese Archaeology. April 27, 2009; retrieved 2011-10-25.
  7. Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 34-36; Brown, Delmer M. (1979). Gukanshō, pp. 261-262; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, pp. 123-124.
  8. Titsingh, p. 64.
  9. Titsingh, p. 66.