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Empress Teimei (貞明皇后, Teimei-kōgō), born Sadako Kujō (九条節子, Kujō Sadako, 25 June 1884 – 17 May 1951), was the wife of Emperor Taishō and the mother of Emperor Shōwa of Japan. Her posthumous name, Teimei, means "enlightened constancy".
Formal portrait, 1912
|Empress consort of Japan|
|Tenure||30 July 1912 –|
25 December 1926
|Enthronement||10 November 1915|
|Born||Sadako Kujō (九条節子)|
25 June 1884
Nishikichō, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan
|Died||17 May 1951 (aged 66)|
Ōmiya Palace, Minato, Tokyo, Japan
|Burial||22 June 1951|
(m. 1900; died 1926)
|House||Imperial House of Japan (1900–1951)|
Fujiwara clan (1884–1900)
|Mother||Ikuko Noma (concubine)|
She married then-Crown Prince Yoshihito (the future Emperor Taishō) on 10 May 1900, at the age of 15. The couple lived in the newly constructed Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, outside of the main Tokyo Imperial Palace complex. When she gave birth to a son, Prince Hirohito (the future Emperor Shōwa) in 1901, she was the first official wife of a Crown Prince or Emperor to have given birth to the official heir to the throne since 1750.
She became Empress (Kōgō) when her husband ascended to the throne on 30 July 1912. Given her husband's weak physical and mental condition, she exerted a strong influence on imperial life, and was an active patron of Japanese Red Cross Society. The relations between the Emperor and Empress were very good, as evidenced by Emperor Taishō's lack of interest in taking concubines, thus breaking with hundreds of years of imperial tradition, and by her giving birth to four sons.
After the death of Emperor Taishō on 25 December 1926, her title became that of Dowager Empress (皇太后, Kōtaigō) (which means "widow of the former emperor"). She openly objected to Japan's involvement in World War II, which might have caused conflict with her son, Hirohito. From 1943, she also worked behind the scenes with her third son Prince Takamatsu to bring about the downfall of Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō.
|Hirohito, Emperor Shōwa||29 April 1901||7 January 1989||26 January 1924||Princess Nagako of Kuni||Shigeko, Princess Teru|
Sachiko, Princess Hisa
Kazuko, Princess Taka
Atsuko, Princess Yori
Akihito, Emperor Emeritus
Masahito, Prince Hitachi
Takako, Princess Suga
|Yasuhito, Prince Chichibu||25 June 1902||4 January 1953||28 September 1928||Setsuko Matsudaira|
|Nobuhito, Prince Takamatsu||3 January 1905||3 February 1987||4 February 1930||Kikuko Tokugawa|
|Takahito, Prince Mikasa||2 December 1915||27 October 2016||22 October 1941||Yuriko Takagi||Princess Yasuko of Mikasa|
Prince Tomohito of Mikasa
Yoshihito, Prince Katsura
Princess Masako of Mikasa
Norihito, Prince Takamado
|Ancestors of Empress Teimei|
- "Genealogy". Reichsarchiv (in Japanese). Retrieved 5 September 2017.
- Bix, Herbert P. (2000). Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-019314-0; OCLC 247018161
- Fujitani, Takashi. (1998). Splendid Monarchy: Power and Pageantry in Modern Japan.. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-20237-5; OCLC 246558189—Reprint edition, 1998. ISBN 0-520-21371-8
- Hoyt, Edwin P. (1992). Hirohito: The Emperor and the Man. New York: Praeger Publishers. ISBN 978-0-275-94069-0; OCLC 23766658
| Empress consort of Japan