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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".

Teimei
Empress Sadako.jpg
Formal portrait, 1912
Empress consort of Japan
Tenure30 July 1912 –
25 December 1926
Enthronement10 November 1915
BornSadako Kujō (九条節子)
(1884-06-25)25 June 1884
Nishikichō, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan
Died17 May 1951(1951-05-17) (aged 66)
Ōmiya Palace, Minato, Tokyo, Japan
Burial22 June 1951
Spouse
Yoshihito, Emperor Taishō
(m. 1900; died 1926)
Issue
HouseImperial House of Japan (1900–1951)
Fujiwara clan (1884–1900)
FatherMichitaka Kujō
MotherIkuko Noma (concubine)

Contents

BiographyEdit

Sadako Kujō was born on 25 June 1884 in Tokyo, as the fourth daughter of Duke Michitaka Kujō, head of Kujō branch of the Fujiwara clan. Her mother was Ikuko Noma.[1]

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.

She was a Buddhist adherent who had the faith of the Lotus Sutra and prayed with the Shinto ritual ceremonies of the Tokyo Imperial Palace.

She died on 17 May 1951 at Omiya Palace in Tokyo, aged 66, and was buried near her husband, Emperor Taishō, in the Tama no higashi no misasagi (多摩東陵) at the Musashi Imperial Graveyard in Tokyo.[2]

Titles and stylesEdit

  • 25 June 1884 – 25 May 1900: Lady Sadako Kujō
  • 25 May 1900 – 30 July 1912: Her Imperial Highness The Crown Princess
  • 30 July 1912 – 25 December 1926: Her Imperial Majesty The Empress
  • 25 December 1926 – 17 May 1951: Her Imperial Majesty The Empress Dowager
  • Posthumous title: Her Imperial Majesty Empress Teimei

HonoursEdit

National honoursEdit

Foreign honoursEdit

IssueEdit

AncestryEdit

[3]

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ http://oldphoto.lb.nagasaki-u.ac.jp/en/target.php?id=4861
  2. ^ http://madmonarchist.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/consort-profile-empress-teimei-of-japan.html
  3. ^ "Genealogy". Reichsarchiv. Retrieved 5 September 2017. (in Japanese)

ReferencesEdit

Japanese royalty
Preceded by
Shōken
Empress consort of Japan
1912–1926
Succeeded by
Kōjun