Yamabe no Okimi (山部王)

Yamabe no Okimi (year of birth unknown - c. July 31, 672) was a person lived in the Asuka period.
In old Japanese syllabary characters, his name is read 'YAMABE no Ohokimi.'
He was a member of the Imperial Family, but his genealogy is unknown. He was the general of the army of the Prince Otomo (the Emperor Kobun) during the Jinshin war in 672, but he was killed by SOGA no Hatayasu and KOSE no Hito.

Murder of Yamabe no Okimi

During the Jinshin war, the Imperial Court based in Omi no miya palace in Otsu sent tens of thousands of soldiers to Mino Province where the headquarters of the Prince Oama (the Emperor Tenmu) was located. The commanders in the army taking the east coast of Lake Biwa were Yamabe no Okimi, SOGA no Hatayasu and KOSE no Hito. When they placed their camp by the Inukami-gawa River about 20 km to Fuwa, where the enemy's battlefront base was located, SOGA no Hatayasu and KOSE no Hito killed Yamabe no Okimi. Due to this chaos, the army stopped to advance and SOGA no Hatayasu came back by himself and committed suicide. The "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan) which describes above mentioned incident, does not say anything about the cause of the murder. As this incident was reported in the section of July 2 (old calender), this may have happened around in or on this date.

Prince Otsu's escape

Name of Yamabe no Okimi appears in a preceding different section in Nihonshoki (Chronicles of Japan). The Prince Otsu, the son of the Prince Oama, escaped with his followers from the capital after he found out that his father had taken up arms. The Prince Otsu reached Suzuka-no-seki Checkpoint at midnight of June 25 (old calender), and was stopped by the blockade the Prince Oama had setup. At that point, the Suzuka-no-seki Checkpoint officials misidentified the Prince Otsu as Yamabe no Okimi and Ishikawa no Okimi.

No reason is mentioned in Nihonshoki (Chronicles of Japan), but it is possible that the Prince Otsu's followers hid the Prince Otsu's identify because he was a minor, and a follower falsely called himself as Yamabe no Okimi since they could not identify friend or foe. If this assumption is correct, Yamanobe no Okimi and Ishikawa no Okimi had been considered as ones who did not make up their mind so that they were not targeted from both sides.