Prince Asaka (安積親王)

Prince Asaka (728 - March 7, 744) was the second Prince of Emperor Shomu. His mother was Agata no inukai no hirotoji.

He was born in 728 as the second Prince of Emperor Shomu. On October 24 in the same year, Crown Prince Motoio died.
While he was the only Prince of Emperor Shomu and was to be the most promising candidate for Crown Prince, the Imperial Princess Abe (later to become Empress Koken) whose mother was Empress Komyo was formally installed as Crown Princess on February 10, 738,

According to the Dai Nihon Komonjo (Old Documents of Japan), he performed copying of a sutra in June 736 for his elder sister, Imperial Princess Inoe who had already become Saigu (Imperial Princess appointed to serve the deities of the Ise-jingu Shrine). He held a party at the residence of FUJIWARA no Yatsuka in the ancient capital of Kuni-kyo in 743. In this party, OTOMO no Yakamochi who was at that time Udoneri (Central Secretariat officer) participated and composed a poem which remains in Manyoshu (the oldest anthology of Japanese poetry).

On his way to Naniwanomiya Palace for a Gyoko (imperial visit), he developed beriberi at Sakurai tongu (a temporary palace) on March 3, 744, and came back to Kuni-kyo, but two days later on March 5 he died at the age of 17. Some say that he was killed with poison by FUJIWARA no Nakamaro.

[Original Japanese]