Imperial Prince Koreaki (惟明親王)

Imperial Prince Koreaki (1179 - May 25, 1221) was the third prince of Emperor Takakura. Emperor Antoku and Gotakakurain were his older paternal half-brothers, and Emperor Gotoba was his younger paternal half-brother. His mother was Hanshi (also known as Shosho no Tsubone), a daughter of TAIRA no Yoshinori. He was also called Oimikado no Miya.

After Emperor Antoku was taken away to the western area of Japan by the Taira family, Imperial Prince Koreaki became one of the strong candidates for the next emperor, but his younger brother Imperial Prince Takahira (later Emperor Gotoba) eventually succeeded to the throne because Koreaki's mother was not nobly born and his maternal grandfather was already dead, and moreover, their grandfather Cloistered Emperor Goshirakawa liked Imperial Prince Takahira better. He was officially announced as Imperial Prince at the age of 11 by the Emperor, and four years later, he had a ceremony of attaining manhood and became Sanbon Shinno (the third-ranked Imperial Prince). He was disappointed at his unfortunate life and became a Buddhist priest at the age of 33, and then he announced himself as Priestly Imperial Prince Shoen. He was excellent at making waka (a traditional Japanese poem of thirty-one syllables), and he also had friendly relations with the greatest poets of those days such as Imperial Princess Shikishi and FUJIWARA no Sadaie. His works of waka were contained in anthlogies of Japanese poetry compiled by Imperial command such as the Shinkokin Wakashu (the New Collection of Ancient and Modern Japanese Poetry).

[Original Japanese]