Prince Anahobe (Anahobe no Miko) (穴穂部皇子)

Prince Anahobe (year of birth unknown - July 19, 587) was one of the Imperial family members of the Asuka period. He was the prince of Emperor Kinmei, and his mother was Oanenokimi, the daughter of SOGA no Iname. He was the younger brother of Emperor Bidatsu. He conspired with MONONOBE no Moriya to attain the Imperial Throne, but he was killed by SOGA no Umako.


In September, 585, when Emperor Bidatsu passed away with his funeral ceremony held in Hinkyu (funeral parlor), Prince Anahobe was eager to reign the whole country and said resentfully: 'I don't understand why you obey the dead king and not the living one.'

In October 585, instead of Prince Anahobe, Prince Oe (Emperor Yomei's son, his mother was SOGA no Katashihime, the daughter of SOGA no Iname) ascended the throne with the support of the Minister SOGA no Umako. He conspired with Muraji MONONOBE no Moriya in order to oppose the enthronement of Prince Oe.

In May 586, Prince Anahobe tried to break into Hinkyu to rape Empress Suiko (the wife of Emperor Bidatsu whose beauty was expressed as: 'fair of face and figure; well-mannered and polite.'
MIWA no Sakau, a favorite retainer of the former Emperor, refused to let him in closing the gate. Although Prince Anahobe called seven times at the gate, he still couldn't enter Hinkyu.

Prince Anahobe talked to SOGA no Umako and MONONOBE no Moriya about MIWA no Sakau being irreverent and they agreed with him. MONONOBE no Moriya commanded his army and tried to surround MIWA no Sakau at Iware-ike Pond. MIWA no Sakau escaped and hid in the inner palace of Princess Kashiyaki-hime (Empress Suiko). Prince Anahobe ordered Moriya to kill Miwa no Sakau and his children after he knew the address of Miwa no Sakau by anonymous information. Moriya headed for the place where Miwa no Sakau was with his army. When Umako heard this, he went to see Prince Anahobe, and they met in front of the gate. Prince Anahobe was about to go to see Moriya. Although Umako remonstrated with him that the King should not become intimate with a criminal, he did not listen. Umako followed him reluctantly, and he remonstrated with him again when they reached Iware. Prince Anahobe followed Umako's admonition this time, and he waited for Moriya sitting on a kosho (stool). Before long, Moriya returned and reported that he had killed MIWA no Sakau by the sword.
Umako sadly said, 'The war in the world will come soon.'
Moriya answered, 'An unimportant retainer like you will never know that.'

On May 16, 587, when Emperor Yomei fell ill, he asked the crowd of his retainers whether he would be allowed to pursue his desire to practice Buddhism or not. Moriya, who was an anti-Buddhist opposed to it, whereas Umako, who was a pro-Buddhist, thought that he should respect the Imperial edict and help the Emperor. Then, he had Prince Anahobe bring a Buddhist preacher named Toyokuni to the Emperor. Moriya was mad at Prince Anahobe and glared at him because Prince Anahobe, who was supported by Moriya, took a Buddhist preacher to the Emperor. Later, Moriya retired to villa Ato (Kawachi Province) after hearing from his retainers that somebody was trying to kill him.

On May 23, 587, Emperor Yomei passed away. The Imperial Throne became vacant temporarily since his successor was still undecided.

In June 587, Moriya tried to make Prince Anahobe an emperor, so he sent a secret agent to Prince Anahobe and asked him to come to Awaji, pretending to go out for hunting.

On July 19, 587, SOGA no Umako decided to follow Kashiyaki-hime and ordered SAEKI no Muraji Nifute, HAJI no Muraji Iwamura, and IKUHA no Omi Makuhi to kill Prince Anahobe and Prince Yakabe as soon as possible. That midnight, SAEKI no Muraji Nifute and other soldiers surrounded the palace of Prince Anahobe. Eji (a guard) climbed the tower and cut Prince Anahobe on the shoulder. Prince Anahobe fell down from the tower and ran into the next house. Eji looked for him with lights and killed him. The next day, Prince Yakabe, who was close to Prince Anahobe, was also killed.

In August 587, Umako sent large forces composed of Princes and clans and killed Moriya.

[Original Japanese]