Nakayama Yoshiko

Nakayama Yoshiko (中山慶子, 16 January 1836 – 5 October 1907) was a Japanese lady-in-waiting in the court of the Imperial House of Japan. She was a favourite concubine[2] of Emperor Kōmei[3] and the mother of Emperor Meiji.[4]

Nakayama Yoshiko.jpg
Born(1836-01-16)16 January 1836
Died5 October 1907(1907-10-05) (aged 71)
Toshimagaoka Imperial cemetery, Bunkyo, Tokyo
SpouseEmperor Kōmei
IssueEmperor Meiji[1]
Yoshiko (慶子)
FatherNakayama Tadayasu
MotherMatsura Aiko


Lady Yoshiko


Nakayama Yoshiko was the daughter of Lord Nakayama Tadayasu, Minister of the Left (Sadaijin) and a member of the Fujiwara clan. Her mother was Matsura Aiko (1818–1906), the 11th daughter of the daimyō of the Hirado domain, Matsura Seizan.

At the courtEdit

She was born in Kyoto and entered service of the court at the age of 16. She became a concubine of Kōmei, who was also her third cousin once removed,[5] and on 3 November 1852, gave birth to her only offspring Mutsuhito, later known as Emperor Meiji, at her father’s residence outside of the Kyoto Imperial Palace. She returned with her son to the Palace five years later. Her son was the eldest of six born to Emperor Kōmei.

After the Meiji Restoration, she relocated to the new capital to Tokyo City in 1870 at the behest of her son the Emperor. She is buried in Toshimagaoka cemetery in Bunkyō, Tokyo.


Order of precedenceEdit

  • Third rank (Fourth day, eighth month of Keio (1868))
  • Second rank (Seventh day, ninth month of Keio (1868))
  • Senior second rank (1889)
  • First rank (15 January 1900)




  1. ^ The Emperors of Modern Japan by Ben-Ami Shillony
  2. ^ Japan's imperial conspiracy, Volume 2 by David Bergamini
  3. ^ Births and rebirths in Japanese art: essays celebrating the inauguration of the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures
  4. ^ Keene 2002, p. 10.
  5. ^ a b "中山家(羽林家) (Nakayama genealogy)". Reichsarchiv (in Japanese). Retrieved 24 October 2017.