Prince Fushimi Sadamochi

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Fushimi Sadamochi
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Born(1760-04-09)April 9, 1760
Kyoto , Japan
DiedJuly 20, 1772(1772-07-20) (aged 12)
OccupationMember of the Imperial Family
  • the Emperor Momozono (father)
  • Tomiko Ichijō (mother)

Prince Fushimi Sadamochi (伏見宮貞行親王, Fushimi-no-miya Sadamochi-Shinnō, 9th April 1760 – 20th July 1772) was a member of the Imperial Family, the second son of the 116th Emperor Momozono, the 17th head of the Fushimi-no-miya (伏見宮家) line of shinnōke cadet branches of the Imperial Family of Japan on 30th July 1760. The honi (Court lank) was Nihon.


Prince Sadamochi was a son of Emperor Momozono and Tomiko Ichijō. His elder brother was the Emperor Go-Momozono. Childhood name was "Ni-no-miya (二宮)". Only about three months after birth, he was adopted by the late Prince Fushimi Kunitada, and inherited the Fushimi-no-miya on 30th July 1760.On 4th October 1763, he was given the title of Imperial Prince and named "Sadamochi". In 1765, he lost his eyesight due to an eye disease. On 17th June 1672, he fell into a critical condition. On the same day, he was given the honi of Nihon. He passed away three days later on the early morning of the 20th.

Burial place and Mausoleum

The burial place is Fushimi-no-miya Cemetery in the precincts of Shōkoku-ji Temple in Kyoto, and his posthumous name is "Shinjo Mayu-in (新浄明院)". In addition, his soul has been enshrined in the Koreiden (皇霊殿) of the Imperial Palace along with successive Emperors and other Imperial Families.

Background of his inheritance of Fushimi-no-miya

Imperial system in the Edo period

In the Edo period, there were four Seshū Shinnōke (四親王家), including Fushimi-no-miya. Seshū Shinnōke was the collective name for the four cadet branches of the Imperial Family, which was entitled to provide a successor to the Imperial throne if the main line failed to produce an heir. Unlike the modern Imperial system, the number of households was fixed at four, so Imperial families, other than the heir to the Imperial throne or the head of the shinnōke, had no choice but to be Buddhist monks or adopted children of peers. The heads of these shinnōke were adopted children of the reigning Emperor or the Emperor Emeritus, and given the title of Imperial Prince, regardless of their genealogical distance from the reigning Emperor, as the term seshū in their designation meant. Therefore, there was a problem that the blood relationship with the current Emperor became more and more estranged with the passage of time.

Passed away of the Prince Kunitada

On 2nd June 1759, the Prince Kunitada, the 16th head of Fushimi-no-miya passed away. He had no successor. Fushimi-no-miya had continued a direct inheritance since the Muromachi period, and was a venerable family that was allowed to call itself "Fushimi-dono" by the 102nd Emperor Go-Hanazono. Therefore, the officers of Fushimi-no-miya pleaded with the Imperial court to inherit Fushimi-no-miya to their actual relatives in the form of his will. At the imperial court, the following three proposals were discussed.

A, make the Emperor's son an heir as his adopted child. B, make the younger brother of the late Prince Kunitada the heir. C, make a member of the another Shinnōke the heir as his adopted child.

Of these, Plan C was immediately rejected because it was unprecedented. Some nobles expressed their support for Plan A, but at that time, the Emperor Momozono had only one son, Clown Prince Hidehito (later the Emperor Go-Momozono). On the other hand, the late Prince Kunitada had two younger brothers, the Prince Sonpo and the Prince Sonshin, both of whom became Buddhist monks. Monks are not allowed to inherit the Shinnōke, but there was no precedent for a former monk to inherit. Therefore, when the Imperial court consulted with the Edo Shogunate, the Shogunate responded that it would support Plan A. At that time, Tomiko Ichijō, who was the wife of the Emperor Momozono, was pregnant with the Emperor's second child. That foetation is the Prince Sasamochi. That was why Prince Sadamochi inherited Fushimi-no-miya after he was born soon. For the Emperor Momozono, it was a good result because the blood relationship with the branch family was approaching, but for the officers of Fushimi-no-miya who could not maintain the direct inheritance, the pride was greatly hurt.

Fushimi-no-miya inheritance problem after he passed away

In 1772, the Prince Sadamochi passed away, and the problem of succession resurfaced at Fushimi-no-miya. As before, the Imperial court announced that they would make the heir the Emperor's son as the adopted son of the late Prince Sasamochi. However, at that time, the Emperor Go-Momozono was only 14 years old and had no children. Furthermore, in 1770, the Prince Kinhito who was the ninth head of Katsura-no-miya (another shinnōke), passed away, but there was no heir of him. At this time, the Imperial court had already decided to make the Emperor's second son the heir of Katsura-no-miya. Therefore, the inheritance of Fushimi-no-miya had to wait until the birth of the third son of the Emperor Go-Momozono. Fushimi-no-miya officers vehemently opposed the Imperial court's decision. Then, they wanted to welcome the late Prince Kunitada's younger brother, the Prince Sonpo, who was a chief monk of Kajū-ji temple, as the heir of Fushimi-no-miya. Fortunately, Fushimi-no-miya had a close relationship with the Tokugawa family. Therefore, they made full use of their personal connections and urged the Shogunate to recommend the Prince Sonpo as the heir. The Shogunate broke the precedent, and insisted on the Imperial court that Prince Sonpo should be laicized and inherit Fushimi-no-miya because nobody knew when the third son of the Emperor would be born. In response, the Imperial court proposed that the members of Kan'in-no-miya, which is closest shinnōke to the Emperor, be the heirs, but the Shogunate rejected it. Thus, on 13th November 1774, the Prince Sonpo quit Buddhist monk and became the 18th head of Fushimi-no-miya, changing his name to "Kuniyori . In this way, the direct succession of Fushimi-no-miya had been revived, and it had been continued until the 26th head the Fushimi Hiroaki left the Imperial register on 14th October, 1947.


Yanagiwara Norimitsu, a noble, described that the Prince Sadamochi was intelligent and clever excellently. However, there is no record that the childhood the Prince Sadamochi made a special achievement, so the credibility is questionable.


His older brother, the Emperor Go-Momozono, developed eye disease in 1773 after suffering from smallpox.


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