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Himiko facts for kids

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Model of Queen Himiko at Osaka Prefectural Museum of Yayoi Culture
Queen of Yamataikoku
  • c. 180 AD–c. 247 AD
  • (c. 67 years)
Successor Iyo
Born c. 170 AD
Yamatai, Japan
Died c. 248 AD (aged c. 78)
Hashihaka Kofun burial mound (箸墓古墳) near Nara (Japan)

Himiko (卑弥呼, c. 170–248 AD), also known as Shingi Waō (親魏倭王, "Ruler of Wa, Friend of Wei"), was a shamaness-queen of Yamatai-koku in Wakoku (倭国). Early Chinese dynastic histories chronicle tributary relations between Queen Himiko and the Cao Wei Kingdom (220–265) and record that the Yayoi period people chose her as ruler following decades of warfare among the kings of Wa. Early Japanese histories do not mention Himiko, but historians associate her with legendary figures such as Empress Consort Jingū, who is said to have served as regent from 201 to 269.

Scholarly debates over the identity of Himiko and the location of her domain, Yamatai, have raged since the late Edo period, with opinions divided between northern Kyūshū or traditional Yamato Province in present-day Kinki. The "Yamatai controversy", writes Keiji Imamura, is "the greatest debate over the ancient history of Japan." A prevailing view among scholars is that she may be buried at Hashihaka Kofun in Nara Prefecture.


The proper name Himiko has been diversely applied, not only in Japanese society but also in other realms such as astronomy. Himiko (卑弥呼) is a train on the Amagi Railway Amagi Line and a water bus of Tokyo Cruise Ship designed by Leiji Matsumoto.

The name Himiko was given to a Lyman-alpha blob (a massive concentration of hydrogen gas believed to be a protogalaxy) that was discovered in 2009. Massing close to 40 billion suns and located 12.9 billion light years from Earth in the constellation Cetus, as of 2014 it is the largest and most distant known example of its kind.

The one million dollar filly of 2015 American Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and Untouched Talent (mother of 2012 Kentucky Derby second Bodemeister) was named Himiko.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Himiko para niños

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