Imperial Prince Tomohira (具平親王)

Imperial Prince Tomohira (August 4, 964 - August 21, 1009) was the seventh prince of the sixty-second Emperor Murakami. His mother was Reikeiden nyogo (a court title given to a consort of the Emperor), Princess Shoshi, who was a daughter of Imperial Prince Yoshiakira's (Prince of Emperor Daigo) daughter. Commonly known as Nochi no Chusho o, or Chigusa dono and Rokujo no miya. His half brothers were Emperor Reizei and Emperor Enyu.

Brief Personal History

In 965, he received the title of Imperial Prince by the emperor. In June and July 968, his father, Emperor Murakami, died and his mother, Princess Soshi became a priest in August. On October 1, 977, the Emperor had a coming-of-age ceremony and was given the title of sanbon (the third rank for an Imperial Prince). After experiencing Hyobu kyo (chief of ministry of military) and Nakatsukasa kyo (Minister of the Ministry of Central Affairs), he was given the title of nihon (the second rank for an Imperial Prince) in April and May 1007. In August and September 1008, his mother, Princess Soshi, died, and Imperial Prince Tomohira died next year as if he followed his mother. He was forty six years old.

Personal Profile

As Eiga monogatari (Tale of Flowering Fortunes) described, 'as the seventh prince of Reikeiden, I have at least my mental preparation,' he excelled at bunga (composing poems and enjoyed learning) from the time he was a little boy and was familiar with poetry and also wind and string instruments, calligraphy, onyo do (the Way of Yin and Yang), and medical technique. While his uncle, Imperial Prince Kaneakira (Prince of Emperor Daigo), was known as 'Saki no Chusho o', Imperial Prince Tomohira was known as 'Nochi no Chusho o'.

He studied with TACHIBANA no Masamichi and YOSHISHIGE no Yasutane (later Yasutane built chitei (an arbor by a lake) near the residence of Imperial Prince, Chigusa dono), and closely interacted with OE no Masahira, FUJIWARA no Tameyori, and FUJIWARA no Tametoki brothers (uncle and father of Murasaki shikibu). He debated with FUJIWARA no Kinto about the poetry of KAKINOMOTO no Hitomaro and KI no Tsurayuki, and later this was his motivation to make thirty-six major poets (of the Heian period). Poetry written by Imperial Prince was compiled in "Shui waka shu" (Collection of Gleanings), many other collections of poets (tanka) compiled by Imperial Order, "Honcho Reiso," "Wakan Roeishu" (Japanese and Chinese Poems to Sing), and "Honcho Monzui" (The Literary Essence of Our County).

Among children of the Imperial Prince, his eldest daughter, MINAMOTO no Takahime (a legal wife of the chancellor, FUJIWARA no Yorimichi), and his third daughter, Princess Senshi (a legal wife of the chancellor, FUJIWARA no Norimichi), were less fortunate not to have any children, and for his second daughter, Princess of Imperial Prince Atsuyasu, her only daughter, FUJIWARA no Genshi (Yorimichi's step daughter, later Emperor Gosuzaku), left two imperial princesses, but the offspring of his eldest son, MINAMOTO no Morofusa, extended his influence as Murakami-Genji (Minamoto clan) during the period of the cloistered government. In addition, "Eiga monogatari" describes when Emperor Sanjo approached Yorimichi with a marriage plan for the imperial princess with a vassal, a ghost of Imperial Prince Tomohira appeared because he was worried about the future of Takahime.

Literary work

"The collected poems of Imperial Prince Tomohira"


"Shoshazan Shoku shonin den"

[Original Japanese]