Imperial Princess Fuwa (不破内親王)

Imperial Princess Fuwa (around 723 - around 795) was a member of the imperial family in the Nara period. Her father was Emperor Shomu and her mother was fujin (consort of the emperor) Agata no inukai no hirotoji. She was also called Matsumushi-hime (Princess Matsumushi). Her older maternal half-sister was Imperial Princess Inoe and her younger maternal half-brother was Prince Asaka.


Around 739. she married Emperor Tenmu's grandson and Imperial Prince Niitabe's son Prince Shioyaki, and gave birth to two sons HIKANI no Shikeshimaro and HIKAMI no Kawatsugu (however, there is a theory that both are the same person). In 764 her husband was executed for joining in FUJIWARA no Nakamaro's War.

In 769 her name was changed to Kuriya no mahito kuriyame for cursing the Empress Koken in conspiracy with Agata no inukai no aneme, Oshisaka no himemiko, Ishida no himemiko and others and for trying to propel her son Shikeshimaro to the Imperial Throne. Moreover, she was banished from Heijo-kyo (the ancient capital of Japan in current Nara) and Shikeshimaro was deported to Tosa Province. In 771 it was discovered that she has been falsely charged and she returned to the capital.

In 782 Imperial Princess Fuwa was banished to Awaji Province in connection with her son Kawatsugu who had been banished to Izu Province for starting a rebellion (HIKAMI no Kawatsugu's War).

Due to the fact that there is no further mention of her in historical materials after being moved from Awaji to Izumi Province 13 years later in 795, it is believed she died around this time.

There is a legend that after her death, her remains were buried in Matsumushi-dera Temple in present Imba Village, Imba County, Chiba Prefecture. In addition, there is a legend regarding Matsumushi-dera Temple. When Imperial Princess Fuwa suffered from leprosy, she had a revelation from Yakushi Nyorai (the Healing Buddha) in her dream and went to Shimousa Province. It is said that Yakushi Nyorai who had appeared in her dream was in a temple in Imba region. The imperial princess received medical treatment there and she recovered. Pleased, Emperor Shomu rebuilt the temple where the Yakushi Nyorai was placed and named it Matsumushi-dera Temple.

[Original Japanese]