☆Prince Ohtsu-no Miko’s poem
Waga futari neshi
I’d known from before,
Tsumori The Sorcerer
Would divine on us,
And divulge our love affair –
So we dared to sleep together!
Now, the story here is a bit complex, but is mind-boggling, for that matter. Make a note about the family tree for a clear understanding.
The writer of this poem is Prince Ohtsu, one of the two Imperial heirs to Emperor Tenmu. Prince Ohtsu was born between Emperor Tenmu and Princess Ohta, and said to be both a good warrior and good scholar, and handsome lad, very popular in society.
The other heir to the Emperor was Prince Kusakabe, a son born between the Emperor and his other wife, and sister of Ohta, Princess Uno-no Sarara. Prince Kusakabe’s girlfriend then, by the name of Princess Ishikawa, was somehow attracted to Prince Ohtsu, and these two young ones, Prince Ohtsu and Princess Ishikawa, started to see each other secretly. A famous sorcerer at the time, Tsumori-no Tohru, divined on the couple and informed Emperor and Empress (Princess Sasara). As a matter of fact, these two Princes were rivals in love as well as heirs to the Emperor. When Emperor Tenmu passed away, Sasara succeeded his post to become Empress Jitoh, and she laid a groundless blame of treason on Prince Ohtsu, and got him ousted from his status. By so doing, Prince Kusakabe was made the only legitimate heir, and was eventually nominated Emperor after his mother. (based on Mr.Tada’s book)
This song written by Prince Ohtsu may indicate that Prince was aware that he was somehow the target of the plot, but confident that he could ride over it on the strength of the popularity he enjoyed. But, alas, he had to step down, and was eventually slain by the plot.
The original poem has a reference to “big ships” in the first line, but it has an effect of “stock epithet” or “pillow word”, as it is followed by “Tsumori”, which literally means “Port Master”, though it happens to be the name of the sorcerer.
「春日原生林より大仏殿を望む」― Overlooking Great Buddha Hall, Nara City, with range of mountains and clouds above, from Mt. Kasuga Primeval Forest (World Heritage), shot by HM 9/2019● BILOG“MAN-YOH-SHUH”topに戻る