Imperial Prince Saneyasu (人康親王)

Imperial Prince Saneyasu (831 - June 14, 872) was an Imperial family member in Heian period. He was Emperor Ninmyo's fourth Prince, and his mother was Empress Dowager, posthumously conferred, FUJIWARA no Takushi (Sawako) (the Grand Minister, posthumously conferred, Shoichii (Senior First Rank), FUJIWARA no Fusatsugu's daughter). His half older brother was Emperor Koko. He became Danjo no kami (the Minister of the Judicial office) as well as the Governor of Hitachi Province, however he entered into priesthood due to his illness, and went into a secluded life. He was also called Imperial Prince Yamashinanomiya Saneyasu.

His Princes, Prince Okimoto made demotion from nobility to subject in 880, Prince Okinori and Prince Okisuke did the same after receiving surnames of the Minamoto clan Asomi in 882. When Prince Okimoto was demoted from nobility to subject, his Prince, Prince Tadasuke, Prince Toshisuke and Princess Gishi (Yoshiko) (Emperor Seiwa's Nyogo (a high-ranking lady in the court)) also were demoted from nobility to subject.

In 859, he went into secluded life in the current Shinomiya, Yamashina Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, at the top of the Mt. Moroha, after he got an eye disease (there was a common theory that the name of Shinomiya meant Emperor Ninmyo's fourth Prince).

The Imperial Prince was said to be a professional biwa (four-stringed Japanese) lute player, he was known as an originator of zato (a blind musician) of a blind biwa player (who traveled about performing and reciting the sutras) during the Edo period. During this time, blind biwa players, who were in Kengyo (the highest rank of blind court musicians) came to this place every year to pray for the Imperial Prince's spirit. The Imperial Prince was also said to be 'Imperial Prince Zenji' (Reverend) who was in "Ise monogatari" (The Tales of Ise).

There is a (stone) monument where the Imperial Prince's mountain villa used to be, in the precincts of Moroha Shrine in Yanagiyama-cho Town, Shinomiya, Yamashina Ward, there is also a Shinomiya Jizo (the Guardian Deity of Travelers and Children) in Sensui-cho Town, Shinomiya and a (stone) monument written as, 'Imperial Prince Saneyasu Semimaru (the name as famous poet) Kuyoto (a tower erected for the repose of a dead person's spirit).'

[Original Japanese]