Soga no Kitashihime (蘇我堅塩媛)

SOGA no Kitashihime (year of birth and death unknown) was an Empress who lived during the Asuka Period. She was the Princess of Emperor Kinmei. She was the mother of Emperor Yomei and Empress Suiko. Her father was SOGA no Iname. She has SOGA no Oane no Kimi who also became the Princess of Emperor Kinmei as her sister, and SOGA no Umako as her younger brother.

It is unknown as to why her name is read as 'Kitashi' as opposed to 'Katashio' (Katashio: the name of an old region in Takada-shi, Yamato, where the Imperial House of Emperor Annei was, or as hardened salt).

After her death in February, 612, Princess Kitashihime was buried with Emperor Kinmei in Hinokuma no Omisasagi (Mausoleum of Emperor Tenmu and Emperor Jito), and a massive ceremony was held that honored the dead at the city of Karu. Kitashihime was given the honorific title of Kotaifujin (a title for the previously retired Emperor's wife) and under the leadership of Umako, the virtuous deeds of the Emperors were recited by ABE no Tori, the various princes, then by NAKATOMI no Omaro (representing the ministers) and lastly by SAKAIBE no Marise (the son of Iname) who recited the book of the clan titles. This was a ceremony that displayed the awesome authority of the Soga clan.

Furthermore, the bloodline of the Soga clan was retained through Prince Sakurai (Soga's son). The genealogy goes in the order of: SOGA no Iname-SOGA no Kitashihime-Prince Sakurai-Kibitsuhime Okimi-Empress Kogyoku-Emperor Tenchi-the present Emperor. Those who retained the bloodline of the Soga clan besides SOGA no Kitashihime was only SOGA no Shoshi who married FUJIWARA no Fuhito in later years, and gave birth to the three sons of FUJIWARA no Muchimaro, FUJIWARA no Fusasaki and FUJIWARA no Umakai.