Yamatohime no Okimi (倭姫王)

Yamatohime no Okimi (year of birth and death unknown) was a member of the imperial family who lived in the Asuka period. Her grandfather was the Emperor Jomei, and her father was Furuhito no Oe no Miko. She was the empress of the Emperor Tenchi, but she did not have any children. In March, 668, she became the empress dowager.

It is said that when the Emperor Tenchi fell ill, the Emperor Tenmu advised that Yamatohime no Okimi to ascend the throne, and the Emperor Kobun to become Daijo-daijin (Grand Minister) to serve as sessho (emperor's chief advisor). One theory has it that Yamatohime no Okimi in fact ascended the throne or undertook shosei (ruling without official accession to the Chrysanthemum Throne) after the Emperor Tenchi died.

Four of her poems composed while the Emperor Tenchi was in critical condition, and on his death were selected in Manyoshu (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves).

[Original Japanese]