Imperial Prince Niitabe (新田部親王)

Imperial Prince Niitabe (year of birth unknown - October 24, 735) was the tenth son of the Emperor Tenmu. His mother was OHARA no Otoji (a daughter of FUJIWARA no Kamatari). He was the father of the Prince Shioyaki and the Prince Funado. His official court rank was Ippon (First Order of an Imperial Prince) great general. He was also called Niitabe no Miko.

As he was assigned to support the Crown Prince Shomu (later the Emperor Shomu) with the Imperial Prince Toneri at the imperial funeral of the Emperor Monmu in 707, the number of Central Secretariat officers, Royal attendants and guards of both the imperial princes were increased. This is because of making the public aware that there were only the Imperial Prince Toneri and the Imperial Niitabe as the princes of the Emperor Tenmu, therefore they were in the important position. He was appointed to 知五衛 and the Inner Palace Guard after the death of the minister of the right, FUJIWARA no Fuhito in 720, and controlled the imperial army.
In 724, the Prince Obito ascended the throne, and was conferred Ippon (First Order of an Imperial Prince) (Different theory exists.)
In 729, when he was the commander in chief, he was sent to the residence of the Prince Nagaya together with the Deputy Prime Minister, FUJIWARA no Muchimaro to deliberate on the prince's accusation. Later, he attained the military position with power over the provinces of the Kinai (the five capital provinces surrounding the ancient capitals of Nara and Kyoto) and died in 735 in Heijo-kyo (the ancient capital of Japan in current Nara). His age at that point is unknown, but it is assumed that he was in his 50's when he died.

Although his son, the Prince Funado became the Crown Prince by the Emperor Shomu's will when the Emperor died, he was demoted from the Crown Prince due to his bad behavior in 757, then he was tortured and died in prison on the accusation of the involvement in the revolt of TACHIBANA no Naramaro in July of the same year. In the same year, the Prince Shioyaki was granted Hikami no Mahito (the highest of the eight hereditary titles) and demoted from nobility to subject, but he was also executed for the Rebellion of FUJIWARA no Nakamaro. In addition, the Imperial Prince Niitabe's residence was granted to Jianzhen and it turned into Toshodai-ji Temple.

[Original Japanese]