Prince Kusakabe

Prince Kusakabe (草壁皇子, Kusakabe no miko, 662 – May 10, 689) was a Japanese imperial crown prince from 681 until his death. He was the second son of Emperor Tenmu. His mother was the empress Unonosarara, today known as Empress Jitō.

Prince Kusakabe
DiedMay 10, 689 (aged 26–27)
SpouseEmpress Genmei
FatherEmperor Tenmu
MotherEmpress Jitō

He was the sole child of his mother. According to Nihon Shoki, in 681 he was appointed the crown prince. In the summer of 686 his father, Emperor Temmu, fell ill and gave the imperial authority to his wife Empress Jitō and the crown prince Kusakabe. After the death of his father, he surprisingly did not ascend to the Chrysanthemum Throne. He led the funeral ceremony and the construction of Emperor Temmu's tomb but before the coronation, he died in 689 at the age of 28. He was posthumously titled Emperor Okanomiyagyou (岡宮御宇天皇, Okanomiyagyou Tennō).

The location of his tomb is uncertain. Some suppose it to be in Takatori, Nara.

He married his paternal cousin and maternal aunt, Princess Abe, the daughter of Emperor Tenji. They had at least three children, Prince Karu, Princess Hidaka and Princess Kibi. After his death, his mother Empress Jitō ascended to the throne. Later, Karu and Hidaka reigned as Emperor Monmu and Empress Genshō. Asakura clan claimed to be from his lineage.



  1. ^ "Genealogy". Reichsarchiv (in Japanese). Retrieved 27 January 2018.