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Tenmu, Emperor

(r. 673-686). The 40th emperor in the traditional account (which includes several non-historical emperors). When his elder brother, Emperor Tenji, designated Prince Ōtomo (Tenji's son) as successor to the throne, Tenmu rebelled and established his own capital at Asuka kiyomihara no miya, where he was enthroned the following year, 673. Emperor Tenmu was the first sovereign to systematically attempt to make Chinese culture and administrative structures a reality in Japan. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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