Nukadehime no himemiko (糠手姫皇女)

Nukadehime no himemiko (year of birth unknown - July, 664) was a member of the Imperial Family from the late Tumulus period to Asuka period. She is referred to by other names, such as the Princess Tamura in "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan), and Takara no miko or Nukade hime no miko in "Kojiki" (The Records of Ancient Matters). She was a wife of Oshisaka no Hikohito no Oenomiko. She was the mother of the Emperor Jomei. Her father was the thirtieth Emperor Bidatsu, and her mother was a daughter of Ise no Ooka no obito oguma. Futohime no miko was her sister-uterine.

Although the exact year is unknown, around 590, she married Oshisaka no Hikohito no Oenomiko, who was her older paternal half-brother. He was a legitimate son of the Emperor Bidatsu. However, he died young without being able to accede to the throne, probably because his mother was not descended from the Soga clan, which was exercising great power at the time. During the marriage, around 593, she bore the Prince Tamura, who was later to become the Emperor Jomei. Subsequently, she bore Nakatsu miko and Tara no miko.

According to the "Nihonshoki," the Prince Umayado (the Prince Shotoku), who was a cousin to her, supported the Empressr Suiko then in power as a crown prince and Sessho (regent). Therefore, it was considered that there was no possibility for her first son, the Prince Tamura to succeed to the throne. However, he married Hotei no irazume, a daughter of SOGA no Umako, by whom he had Furuhito no Oe no Miko, who seems to have been the first grandchild to the Emperor. Therefore, backed by the power of the Soga clan, he acceded to the throne in 629 although he had not been officially assigned by the okimi (great king), who outlived the Imperial Prince Umayado, who consequently died earlier than the okimi. As a result, she became the mother of okimi. However, Tamura Okimi met his demise in 641, leaving his mother. There were still many rivals after that, including the Prince Yamashiro no oe and the Emperor Tenchi, a younger paternal half-brother. Probably because of that, the Empress Kogyoku (a granddaughter of Oshisaka no Hikohito no Oenomiko), who was the wife of her son, Tamura Okimi, as well as her granddaughter in law and her grand niece, acceded to the throne.

In 645, however, the head family of the Soga clan of Soga no Emishi, the father and his son, SOGA no Iruka was destroyed in Isshi-no-hen (the Murder in the Year of Isshi). This incident entailed the murder of Furuhito no Oe no Miko, who had been pressed by the Soga clan, by Naka no Oe no Oji and FUJIWARA no Kamatari, who were the ringleaders of the coup. Therefore, she felt sorrow at seeing her grandsons kill each other. In 654, Karu no miko (the Emperor Kotoku), who was also a grandnephew to her, met his demise. In 658, the Prince Arima, who was a great-grandnephew to her, was executed, and Takeru no miko, who was a great-grandchild to her, died young. In 661, Takara no miko (the Empress Saimei) who had twice acceded the throne passed away. In this way, many of her close relatives died before her. In 664, immediately after the defeat in the Battle of Hakusukinoe, she passed away without being able to see the official enthronement of her grandson, Katsuragi no Miko (who was later to become the Emperor Tenchi). At that time, the great-great-grandsons, Oku no himemiko, the Prince Kusakabe and the Prince Otsu had already been born. Her age of death is unknown. She does not have numerous exploits to her credit but judging from the most convincing theory about the year of the birth of her son, the Prince Tamura, she seems to have lived a long life in those days going through various incidents, such as the diarchy system of the Soga clan and the Mononobe clan, which conflicted each other on the Buddha worship and the succession to the throne, the reign of the Empress Suiko, during which the Prince Umayado seemingly wielded great power, the despotism of the Soga clan which enforced after the demise of the Prince, the Taika Reforms, and the wars against other countries. As she was the grandmother of Katsuragi no Miko, who had already become actual okimi (great king), and she lived in Shimanomiya (detached palace) in Asuka, she was called Shima no sumemiya no mikoto.

Name of the emperor

As stated above, she had another name, Tamura no hime miko. The imperial name of the Emperor Jomei, her son, Tamura is what he succeeded her another name as it was. Akihito HIRABAYSHI (a teacher of Katashio Junior High School in Yamatotakada City) and others point out that it is highly likely that the Empress Kogyoku or the Saimei was called Takara no Himemiko for the same reason. The word Takara (zai or treasure) used as a name was not so uncommon in the ancient times as it was seen in the names of the imperial princesses of the Emperor Hanzei or the Emperor Ninken, and there was Zai no miko as a son of the Prince Umayado. This originated in the fact that the upbringing of the imperial princes and the princesses was left largely to their Tomonomiyatsuko (the chief of various departments at the Imperial Court).

[Original Japanese]