Suzuka no Okimi (鈴鹿王)

Suzuka no Okimi (year of birth unknown - October 17, 745) was an Imperial Family member during the Nara period.

His father was the Prince Takechi, a son of the Emperor Tenmu and Nagayao (the Prince Nagaya) was his older brother. Even after the Nagayao no Hen (Conspiracy of Nagayao) in 729, he was continuously promoted and was appointed Sangi (counselor of Daijokan [Council of State]) on September 20, 731. Following the deaths of the four Fujiwara brothers (FUJIWARA no Muchimaro, FUJIWARA no Fusasaki, FUJIWARA no Umakai and FUJIWARA no Maro), he was appointed to Chidaijokanji (a deputy to the Dajo Daijin) in 737, and came to be in charge of political affairs together with TACHIBANA no Moroe, the then Dainagon (Major Counselor of the Daijokan). While there is a theory that such speedy promotion of Suzuka no Okimi was the results of the Imperial Court's influence, who intended to appease the spirit of Nagayao, who died feeling mortified, another theory says that as a plague in 737 killed most members of the Imperial Family and nobles working in the Giseikan (Legislature), leaving very few princes and nobles meeting the requirements to fill ministerial positions, there was a desperate need to quickly fill in the position of Chidaijoikanji whose only requirement was being a member of the Imperial Family and in a position equivalent to the ministers.

In 744 he was appointed to Kuninomiya Rusukan (an officer to guard Kuninomiya [currently Kizugawa City, Kyoto Prefecture] while master is away) together with FUJIWARA no Nakama ro, but died in the following year.

According to "Shoku Nihongi" (Chronicle of Japan Continued), in 770 the Misasagi (the Imperial mausoleum) of the Empress Koken (later the Empress Shotoku) was build on the premises of Suzuka no Okimi's residence located in Saki. Some researchers identified Saki Takamatsuzuka Tumulus as the Emperor Shotoku's Misasagi but many oppose this theory.

After the death of Suzuka no Okimi, his sons, Isumoo (the Prince Izumo) and Enchio (the Prince Enchi) were both granted the family name of Toyono Mahito and demoted to the status of subject.

[Original Japanese]