Prince Osakabe

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Prince Osakabe (刑部(忍壁)親王, Osakabe Shinnō) (died 705) was a Japanese imperial prince who helped write the Taihō Code(681 A.D.),[1] alongside Fujiwara no Fuhito. The Code was essentially an administrative reorganization, which would serve as the basis for Japan's governmental structure for centuries afterwards.

Written Contributions

The Nihon Shoki or The Chronicles of Japan, are a historiographical collection of writing composed into thirteen books covering the Japanese history from its beginning until Empress Jitō was forced to relinquish her throne in 697. Prince Osakabe was a contributor to the project since its inception in the 680's.[2] Osakabe, like many other courtiers of the time, was also a poet, and one of his poems is included in the Man'yōshū.


Prince Osakabe was born to Emperor Tenmu and Kajihime no Iratsume in approximately 663 A.D.[3]

According to the Nihon Shoki in the fifth month, on the fifth day of 679 A.D. Prince Osakabe, Prince Kusakabe, Prince Otsu, Prince Takechi, Prince Kawashima, and Prince Shiki, all swore to Emperor Tenmu that they wouldn't engage in future succession disputes. This occurred after Emperor Tenmu ascended the throne after the Jinshin War.[4]

In the first months of 704 A.D. he, Prince Naga, Prince Toneri, and Prince Hozumi were collectively awarded two hundred households by Emperor Monmu and Empress Genmei.[5]


  1. ^ Sakamoto, Taro (2011). The Six National Histories of Japan. UBC Press. p. 34. ISBN 0774842962.
  2. ^ Brown, Delmer M (1993). Asuka and Nara Culture: Literacy, literature, and music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 468. ISBN 9780521223522.
  3. ^ Singer, Kurt (2002). The Life of Ancient Japan : Selected Contemporary Texts Illustrating Social Life and Ideals before the Era of Seclusion. Taylor and Francis. p. 66. ISBN 9781903350010.
  4. ^ Torquil., Duthie, (2014). Man'yo{u00AF}shu{u00AF} and the Imperial Imagination in Early Japan. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 900426454X. OCLC 872642540.
  5. ^ Sakamoto, TarÅ (1991). The Six National Histories of Japan. UBC Press. p. 35. ISBN 0774842962.
  • Frederic, Louis (2002). "Japan Encyclopedia." Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
  • Brown, Delmer M (1993). "Asuka and Nara Culture: Literacy, literature, and music." Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.