Emperor Nintoku (仁徳天皇, Nintoku Tennō, Prince O-Sasagi) was the sixteenth emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.
No firm date can be assigned for this emperor's reign, but it appears that he ruled the country from the late fourth century to the early fifth century.
According to the Kojiki and the Nihon shoki, his reign was prosperous and he exempted the people from drudgery for three years.
Legend of Emperor Nintoku
According to the Nihon shoki, he was the fourth son of Emperor Ōjin as well as the father of Emperor Richū, Emperor Hanzei and Emperor Ingyō.
The book also states that Nintoku ruled from 313 to 399, but modern research suggests that these dates are probably inaccurate, as is his birth date, placed by tradition in 290.
According to the Nihon ōdai ichiran, Nintoku was nicknamed "the Holy One" (聖人, Seijin) by the people because of his virtue, his frugality (in his clothing, palace ornaments, and food), the efforts he made day and night to bring his subjects back to prosperity, and, of course, the low tax burden imposed on his subjects.
Scholars identify him with King San of Japan or King Chin in the Chinese book of history (the book of Song). According to the Book of Song, San sent messengers to the Song Dynasty in China at least twice in the years 421 and 425, and he died before 438, probably in 430.
Chin was San's younger brother and sent messengers in 438 to reassure the Song Dynasty that his position as king of Japan had been accepted.
Emperor Nintoku's Tomb
The Kofun Daisenryō in Sakai (Osaka Prefecture), which is considered to be his tomb by most scholars, is one of the largest tombs in the world.
This "keyhole" shaped kofun is 486 meters long; it is surrounded by a triple row of ditches and covers an area of 32 hectares. It has never been excavated but hundreds of haniwa have been found on its surface.
Part of the central mound collapsed in 1872, and iron and bronze armor and weapons, a glass vase from Persia, and a stone sarcophagus were found.