Soga language resources
Soga is spoken on a daily basis in: Uganda
Additional background on
"Soga" redirects here. For other uses, see Soga (disambiguation).
The Soga ?? clan was one of the most powerful clans in Yamato Japan. For many generations, in the 6th and 7th centuries, the Soga monopolized the position of Great Royal Chieftain (O-omi) and was the first of many families to dominate the Imperial House, influencing the order of succession, and policy both domestic and foreign.
Soga no Iname served as Great Minister from 536 until his death in 570, and was the first of the Soga to carry to extreme lengths the domination of the Throne by the nobility. One of the chief ways he exerted his influence was through marital connections with the Imperial family; Iname married one of his daughters to Emperor Kimmei. In an ironic way, the Soga unified and strengthened the country by expanding the power of the Emperor as a symbol and spiritual leader, even as they, a line of non-imperial nobles, took control of secular matters.
When Buddhism was first introduced, many opposed it, disliking foreign ideas and resisting its spread. The Soga family, however, supported the introduction of Buddhism, placing a holy image of the Buddha in a major Shinto shrine; Soga no Iname claimed that Buddhism brought with it a new form of government that would subvert the independence of the clans, unifying the Japanese people under the Emperor. After fifty years of ideological war, Buddhism, defended and protected by the Soga, began to take hold in Japan.
However, by 644, the heads of the Soga clan were no longer satisfied to act behind the scenes. Soga no Emishi and his son Iruka began to build more and more elaborate palaces and tombs for themselves, styling themselves sovereigns. There seems little doubt that they intended to do away with the reigning dynasty, making themselves the new imperial line. But the leader of the Nakatomi clan, Nakatomi no Kamatari, conspired with Soga no Kurayamada no Ishikawa no Maro and Prince Naka no Oe, and arranged for Iruka's assassination. Emishi's followers dispersed, and many were subsequently killed. The Soga clan's hold over the imperial family was broken once and for all. Two years later, Emperor Kotoku enacted the Taika Reforms, further unifying Japan, and returning power to the Throne, especially power over the nobility.
Some Important Members of the Soga Clan:
Soga no Iname - head of the Clan, served as Great Minister from 536 until his death in 570. Soga no Umako - succeeded to post of Great Minister in 570. Soga no Emishi - attempted to overthrow Imperial family in 640s Soga no Iruka - son of Emishi Soga no Kurayamada no Ishikawa no Maro - conspirator against Emishi and Iruka; became Minister of the Right in 645.
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All data is derived from UNESCO.