Imperial Prince Tokiwainomiya Tsuneaki (常盤井宮恒明親王)

Imperial Prince Tokiwainomiya Tsuneaki, also pronounced Tsuneakira (June 24, 1303 - September 26, 1351) was a member of the Imperial Family belonging to the Daikakuji Imperial line of the period of the Northern and Southern Courts and the youngest child of Emperor Kameyama. His mother was Sanekane SAIONJI's daughter, Eishi SAIONJI. He was the originator of the Tokiwainomiya family.

When he was small, he was brought up with much love from his father, the Cloistered Emperor Kameyama, together with his older nephew, Imperial Prince Takaharu (later Emperor Godaigo). After his father, the Cloistered Emperor Kameyama died when he was three years old, he inherited most of his father's assets due to his father's will, he ordered his grandchild, Emperor Gonijo to let Imperial Prince Tsuneaki succeed to the throne for next Emperor from the Daikakuji Imperial line, instead of Emperor's eldest Prince, Imperial Prince Kuniyoshi, also pronounced Kuninaga. Shokunmonin's real older brother, and Kanto Moshitsugi (the position at the Imperial palace, in charge of communicating to Samurai forces during the Kamakura period), Kinhira SAIONJI immediately passed this information to the Kamakura bakufu, and asked for the support of Emperor Fushimi of the Jimyoin Imperial line, who was the husband to another younger sister, Shoshi SAIONJI. Since the Retired Emperor Fushimi told the bakufu that he would support them, as he was frustrated with Emperor Gouda (the Cloistered Emperor Kameyama's son, and Emperor Gonijo and Imperial Prince Takaharu's father, he was ruling the cloistered government at that time) who forced his son, Emperor Gofushimi to abdicate from the throne. However the bakufu did not agree to his plan to let Imperial Prince Kuniyoshi become Crown Prince since it might cause a division of the Daikakuji Imperial line.

After Emperor Gonijo suddenly died in 1308, the bakufu approved the Imperial Prince to become Emperor from the Daikakuji Imperial line temporarily until Imperial Prince Kuniyoshi was old enough to succeed to the throne, it was Emperor Godaigo who was appointed by the Retired Emperor Gouda while he was ruling his cloistered government, not Kuniyoshi, this made it clear that there was no possibility for Imperial Prince Tsuneaki to succeed to the throne.

Due to above, Kinhira SAIONJI who fell into the opposed position against the Retired Emperor Gouda, was ordered not to come and work in the Imperial Palace by the retired Emperor. At the same time, his political position was questioned by the Daikakuji Imperial line, the Saionji family, who had the position of 'Kanto Moshitsugi' and had strong political power in the Imperial Palace, ended up dramatically losing their unifying political force.

After that, the Imperial Prince successively held the position of Nakatsukasa sho (department) and Shikibu sho (an official position in charge of personnel under the government based on the ritsuryo legal codes) as Emperor Godaigo's (former Imperial Prince Takaharu) close aides during the Kenmu restoration, he also had a close relationship with the Imperial Family of the Jimyoin Imperial line. After Emperor Godaigo moved to Yoshino, the Imperial Prince was persuaded by the Jimyoin Imperial line and stayed in Kyoto until he passed away.

Under the emperor-centered historiography based on state Shinto before the War, there was criticism towards the Kamakura bakufu's disloyalty since they ignored the Cloistered Emperor Kameyama's will to allow Imperial Prince Tsuneaki succeed to the throne, but the bakufu only obeyed the Retired Emperor Gouda's intention, who was the eldest son of the Cloistered Emperor Kameyama and the Chiten no kimi (person in power) at that time.

[Original Japanese]