Fujiwara no Kenshi (Sanjō)

Fujiwara no Kenshi (藤原 妍子, 994 – October 16, 1027), also known as Empress Dowager Biwadono (枇杷殿皇太后), was an empress consort of the Japanese Emperor Sanjō.

Fujiwara no Kenshi
藤原妍子
Empress consort of Japan
Born994
DiedOctober 16, 1027
SpouseEmperor Sanjō
IssuePrincess Teishi
HouseHouse of Yamato
FatherFujiwara no Michinaga
MotherMinamoto no Rinshi (源倫子)

She was the second daughter of regent Fujiwara no Michinaga and Minamoto no Rinshi/Michiko. In 1004, she joined to the court and first was a lady-in-waiting for her older sister, Empress Shoshi. She later become the princess consort of Crown Prince Okasada, who had an other consort at that time, Fujiwara no Seishi, who gave birth four sons and two daughters. She was arranged to marry the future Emperor, when Emperor Sanjo ascended the throne in 1012, Kenshi was made Imperial Consort (nyogo), and in 1013, she became Chugu (Empress Consort). During the prior Emperor, Kenshi's father had introduced the custom of Emperor having two Empresses, one with the title Chugu, and the other with the title Kogo. Fujiwara no Michinaga agreed for Fujiwara no Seishi to be given the title of Empress (Kogo) but he demonstrated that Seishi was to have lower rank than his daughter in practice, by making sure that no one attended the ceremony in which Seishi was made Empress.[1] When the courtiers where summoned to the elevation ceremony of the second Empress, they laughed at the messengers and gathered at the appartemens of the Empress Kenshi instead.[2]

While Empress Seishi was well liked by the Emperor, she was overshadowed in the role of Empress at court by Empress Keishi. Kenshi was reportedly the beautiful, spoiled favorite of her father, [3] and has been described as "willfully extravagant".[4]

Kenshi had no son, she only had a daughter, who was born in 1013, Imperial Princess Teishi. Teishi later become the Empress of Japan, just like her mother.

Emperor Sanjo retired in 1016 and died the following year. Kenshi became the Empress Dowager but she was childless so she was not powerful as her sister, Shoshi.

She ordained as a Buddhist nun on the same day that she died.[5]

Issue

NotesEdit

  1. ^ John Whitney Hall, Delmer Myers Brown, Donald H. Shively, William H. McCullough, Marius B. Jansen, Peter Duus, Kōzō Yamamura, The Cambridge History of Japan, Volym 2
  2. ^ Helen Craig McCullough, OKAGAMI, The Great Mirror: Fujiwara Michinaga (966-1027) and His Times
  3. ^ Helen Craig McCullough, OKAGAMI, The Great Mirror: Fujiwara Michinaga (966-1027) and His Times
  4. ^ John Whitney Hall, Delmer Myers Brown, Donald H. Shively, William H. McCullough, Marius B. Jansen, Peter Duus, Kōzō Yamamura, The Cambridge History of Japan, Volym 2
  5. ^ "藤原妍子". コトバンク (in Japanese). The Asahi Shimbun Company. Retrieved 2019-10-13.
Japanese royalty
Preceded by
Empress consort of Japan
1012–1018
Succeeded by