Imperial Prince Shigehito (重仁親王)

Imperial Prince Shigehito (1140 - 1162) was one of the Imperial family members during the late Heian period. He was the first prince of the Emperor Sutoku. His wet nurse was Ike no zenni.

A year earlier before the Imperial Prince was born, his father, the Emperor Sutoku was forced by the Retired Emperor Toba who was executing Insei (rule by the retired emperor) to accept his half brother, Imperial Prince Narihito (future Emperor Konoe) as a younger brother of the Emperor who was heir apparent. As soon as the Imperial Prince was born, he was adopted by FUJIWARA no Tokushi (Nariko) (Bifukumonin) who gave birth to the younger brother of the Emperor who was heir apparent. The following year, 1141, when Emperor Konoe succeeded Emperor Sutoku, he was conferred the title of Imperial Prince. He celebrated genpuku (celebrate one's coming of age) in 1150. Bifukumonin loved Imperial Prince Shigehito very much like her real child, and the Imperial Prince was partly believed to stay in a position closest to the next prince.

However, after Emperor Konoe died in 1155, his father, the Retired Emperor Sutoku wished the enthronement of Imperial Prince Shigehito. Since there were rumors in the Imperial Court that the Retired Emperor Sutoku put a curse on Emperor Konoe to kill him in collaboration with FUJIWARA no Yorinaga, the Cloistered Emperor Toba got so angry that he had Imperial Prince Masahito take the throne, a younger brother of the Retired Emperor Sutoku (Emperor Goshirakawa), rather than Imperial Prince Shigehito. The Retired Emperor Sutoku the Hogen War carried a strong grudge about that, which caused the Hogen War to arise.

After the end of the Hogen War, the Retired Emperor Sutoku was exiled to Sanuki Province and Emperor Prince Shigehito became a monk in Ninna-ji Temple. He studied Buddhism with Kangyo Daisojo (the head priest of a Buddhist sect) and died of a foot disease in 1162. He was 23 years old.

[Original Japanese]