Hashihito no Himemiko (間人皇女)

Hashihito no Himemiko (year of birth unknown - March 16, 665) was an Imperial Family member during the Asuka period. She was also known as Taiza okisaki (the Taiza Empress). She was the empress of the Emperor Kotoku.
Her father was Emperor Jomei and her mother was Empress Kogyoku (Empress Saimei)
She was a younger sister of the Emperor Tenchi and an older sister of the Emperor Tenmu.

The Empress Kogyoku abdicated the throne in favor of the Prince Karu (the Emperor Kotoku) after the coup of the Murder in the Year of Ishhi (June 645). Following the enthronement of the Emperor Kotoku, Hashihito no Himemiko became the empress and Katsuragi no Miko (Naka no Oe no Oji, who later became the Emperor Tenchi) held the rank of crown prince and the new era name, Taika was established. At the end of 646, the Emperor Kotoku moved his residence from Itabuki no miya Imperial residence to Naniwa nagara toyosaki no miya Imperial residence. The Emperor Kotoku was on bad terms with Katsuragi no Miko, who was the de facto leader of the political reforms during the reign of Kotoku. In 653 ignoring the Emperor Kotoku's opposition, Katsuragi no Miko moved back to Asuka taking Kogyoku, Hashihito no Himemiko and many government officials with him. The Emperor Kotoku became very angry and thought about the abdication of the throne, however, he fell ill when his new palace in Yamazaki (present-day Oto-gun Kyoto Prefecture) was in the course of construction, and passed away at Naniwa Imperial residence on November 27, 654.

The "Nihon Shoki" (Chronicles of Japan) contains a poem the Emperor Kotoku wrote to his wife, Hashihito no Himemiko when she went away with Katsuragi no Miko.

Though I shackled my chess piece to me, it was impossible for me to take it with me, but seems like someone succeeded in seeing my piece.

繫於金木 吾飼駒當無出兮 吾之駒至今何以為所獲

It is unknown why Hashihito no Himemiko left her husband, the Emperor Kotoku, and followed Katsuragi no Miko to Asuka. Minoru YOSHINAGA who interprets the Emperor Kotoku's poem to mean that some man has stolen his wife, based on the assumption that 'a chess piece' is the metaphor of Hashihito and that in the ancient times 'to see someone' implies to love someone, says that Hashihito no Himemiko had an incestuous relationship with her brother, Naka no Oe no Oji.
YOSHINAGA's argument is supported by historians including Kojiro NAOKI, but it is questioned by Takeshi SOKURA and Hideki ARAI, who claims that YOSHINAGA is 'too inquisitive.'

Meanwhile, KADA no Azumamaro argued that Hashihito no Himemiko was identical to a person named 'Nakatsusumera Mikoto' appearing in "Manyoshu" (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves). His argument has been widely supported by many literati including Tsuchiya BUNMEI. Moreover, Yoshikane OSHIBE and Toshio KOBAYSHI argue that 'Nakatsusumera Miko' was the name given to Hashihito no Himemiko, who ascended the throne temporarily before the stage was set for the enthronement of Katsuragi no Miko after the demise of his mother, the Empress Saimei. However, it has been pointed out that the argument is lacking in sufficient evidence, and some researchers argue that there are notes in "Manyoshu" saying the poem was written by the Empress Saimei. Hisataka OMODA and many other literati view that the Empress Saimei and Nakatsusumera Mikoto were the same person. Recently Haruyuki TONO and Satoshi OHIRA have presented the new opinion that Naka no Oe no Oji was identical to Nakatsusumera Mikoto.

Hashihito no Himemiko passed away in March 16, 665 and was buried in the burial mound of the Empress Kogyoku, that is the Empress Saimei's tomb.

[Original Japanese]