Imperial Prince Hirohira (広平親王)

Imperial Prince Hirohira (950 - October 6, 971) was a member of the Imperial Family and the first Prince of Emperor Murakami during the Heian period. His mother was FUJIWARA no Sukehime, who was koi (a court lady) and a daughter of FUJIWARA no Motokata, who held the title of Dainagon (a chief councilor of state). Imperial Princess Shushi was his younger maternal half-sister.

Soon after he was born, he competed for the position of the Imperial Prince with his younger brother (the second prince, who would later become Emperor Reizei) born the same year and having a different mother, Empress FUJIWARA no Anshi, who was the daughter of Udaijin (Minister of the Right), FUJIWARA no Morosuke. However, Imperial Prince Norihira was formally installed as the Crown Prince with the power of the maternal relative, and later became Emperor Reizei.

His maternal grandfather Motokata was so disappointed and he died of disease in 953. Imperial Prince Hirohira lost his support and was left out of the political world. In 963, he celebrated his attainment of manhood and was awarded the rank of Sanbon (the third rank of the Imperial Prince's ranks); he later held the posts of Hyobukyo (Minister of Hyobusho Ministry of Military) and so on, but died at age 22 in 971. It was said that the hatred of Motokata and Imperial Prince Hirohira later caused the eccentric behavior of Emperor Reizei and his son Emperor Kazan and the disease of Emperor Sanjo.

[Original Japanese]