Imperial Prince Yasuakira (保明親王)

Imperial Prince Yasuakira (December 16, 903 - April 14, 923) was a member of the Imperial Family during the Heian period. He was a second prince of the Emperor Daigo and his mother is FUJIWARA no Onshi (a daughter of FUJIWARA no Mototsune and younger sister of FUJIWARA no Tokihira). His first name is Takakata. Though he became Crown Prince, he died at the age of only 21. A rumor spread that the demise of the prince was the direct influence of the evil spirit of SUGAWARA no Michizane. His okurina (posthumous name) is Bunkengen-taishi. He is an elder brother of the Emperor Suzaku and the Emperor Murakami who are brothers-uterine.

He was formally installed as Crown Prince when he was 2-years old in 904. Behind the scene was the speculation of his uncle, FUJIWARA no Tokihira that while his daughter was already sent to court to marry Emperor Uda and became a nyogo (a court lady next to the Chugu or the second consort), a prince had not been born yet, then prince Yasuakira was born and Tokihira wanted him to become Crown Prince and control the administration through him. However, Tokihira died without seeing the ceremony of official investiture of the Crown Prince in 909. The prince changed his name to Yasuakira on December 28, 911. Yasuakira made a favorite of taihu, a child of the wet nurse and a waka poet, however, the prince died before he acceded to the throne. He died at the age of 21.

After the death of prince Yasuakira, the first prince, Prince Yoriyoshi became the Crown Prince, however, he also died two years later at the age of just five, and then the younger brother of Yasuakira, Imperial Prince Yutaakira (the Emperor Suzaku) succeeded the Crown Prince. As Prince Yasuakira's mother was a sister of FUJIWARA no Tokihira and his wife was a daughter of Tokihira, he had a strong connection with Tokihira, thus the rumor spread that the death of Yasuakira and his son were under the direct influence of the evil spirit of SUGAWARA no Michizane who was expelled by Tokihira. The Emperor Daigo regarded this as a serious threat and he issued an Imperial Edict that Michizane be returned to the post of Udaijin (Minister of the Right), Shonii (Senior Second Rank), and rescinded the previous Edict to expel Michizane, however, disasters such as; typhoons, floods and epidemics did not cease, and further a lightning struck the Seiryoden of the Dairi (Imperial Palace) and multiple casualties were caused in July and August 930. The Emperor became ill in bed watching this series of events, three months later abdicated the throne to the prince Yutaakira and died seven days later.

[Original Japanese]