Emperor Kōan, said to have reigned from 392-291 BC, was the sixth Emperor of Japan, according to the official chronology.
Pretty much nothing is known of Kōan's life or even if he actually ever existed, as the two earliest Japanese chronicles, the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki, list only his name, life dates, and reign dates. And even these dates seem rather uninformative, as he is held to have lived 137 years and reigned for 102 of them.
As the fifth of eight Japanese emperors with literally no legends or stories at all about them, Kōan has been categorized by Japanese scholars as one of the Kesshi Hachidai (欠史八代), or "Eight Undocumented Sovereigns."
Jien, a 12th-century historian, did provide some additional information about Kōan, writing that he was the second son of Emperor Kōshō and that he ruled from the palace of Akitsushima-no-miya at Muro in Yamato province, but it is unknown where Jien, writing hundreds of years after the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, could have gotten this information other than by simply making it up.
Another suspicious aspect of Emperor Kōan is his name, which is incontrovertably a Chinese reign name with Buddhist overtones, despite the fact that he is supposed to have lived about 800 years before either Chinese writing or Buddhism arrived in Japan.
Not surprisingly, serious scholars of Japanese history don't take Kōan or any of the other early emperors very seriously.
<< Kōshō - Emperors of Japan - Kōrei >>