Imperial Prince Hozumi (穂積親王)

Imperial Prince Hozumi (year of birth unknown - August 30, 715) was a member of the Imperial family, who lived during the Nara Period.
He was the fifth Imperial Prince of Emperor Tenmu, and his mother was SOGA no Onunoiratsume
His sons were Sakaibe no okimi and Kamitsumichi no okimi


There are many unclear points in the first half of his life were not well, and except for the event in which he was given a stipend of 500 households' annual tribute in 691, his detailed life was unknown before the Emperor Jito's reign. According to Manyoshu (the oldest anthology of tanka), it can be inferred that he was once cast down because it was revealed that he had an extramarital affair with Imperial Princess Tajima no himemiko (FUJIWARA no Fuhito's niece) from the bloodline of Fujiwara clan, the emerging clan which were to supersede the Soga clan. He achieved successful career and at the death of Retired Emperor Jito in 702, he served as Samogari no guji (作殯宮司) (a chief of those who controlled the ancient farewell ritual with the deceased that was celebrated prior to the burial), and from 705, he held the position of Dajo daijin (Grand Minister of State) taking over his older half brother by different mothers, Imperial Prince Osakabe no miko, however, he died in 715 before his mother Onunoiratsume. He was presumably aged around 40.

On the stone monument, Tagohi, in Gunma Prefecture, his name is engraved as 'Dajokan (Grand Council of State) Nihon (the second court rank for Imperial Princes) Imperial Prince Hozumi' with the date April 5, 711. Also there is a theory that infers that he was the person buried in Takamatsuzuka Tumulus.


Father: Emperor Tenmu
Mother: SOGA no Onunoiratsume (her father: SOGA no Akae)
Younger maternal half-sister: Imperial Princess Ki no himemiko and Imperial Princess Takata no himemiko (husband: Mutobe no okimi)

Wife: OTOMO no Sakanoue no Iratsume
Son: Sakaibe no okimi
Son: Kamitsumichi no okimi


In the Manyoshu, his four poems are included. The poem presented below is one of the four, which was the poem sung morning the death of Imperial Princess Tajima no himemiko in 708.

Falling snow, don't fall with such a intensity in the hill of Ikai in Yonabari where my beloved lady dreams, as she must be very cold there.

The below was the poem sung recalling her in a feast several years after her death.

My memory of love, which I put in the chest at home and locked it firmly, has slipped out somehow and now grabbs at me.

[Original Japanese]