Fujiwara no Ishi (藤原威子)

FUJIWARA no Ishi, 1076 - March 12, 1103, was an Imperial consort during the late Heian period. FUJIWARA no Ishi was the Nyogo (Imperial Consort) of Emperor Horikawa, the seventy-third Emperor and was the biological mother of Emperor Toba, the seventy-forth Emperor. Her father was the Dainagon (Major Councillor) FUJIWARA no Sanesue and mother FUJIWARA no Mutsuko (daughter of FUJIWARA no Tsunehira). FUJIWARA no Kinzane was her uterine elder brother.

In 1098 Ishi was admitted to the court with the title of Nyogo (the third highest rank of Imperial consorts). In 1100 she was awarded the rank of Jushiinoge (Junior Forth Rank, Lower Grade).

In 1103 she died in childbirth, having given birth to the Premier Prince Munehito (later Emperor Toba). In the same year she was posthumously promoted to the rank of Junii (Junior Second Rank). In 1108, with the accession of Emperor Toba, she was posthumously designated as the Empress Dowager.

Ishi was Emperor Shirakawa's cousin (niece of his biological mother FUJIWARA no Moshi). The Emperor himself helped her enter the court. The Imperial Princess Consort Tokushi remained barren at an old age. Ishi was therefore expected to bear a son for the Emperor. She did bear Imperial Prince Munehito though she died at the tender age of 28, unable to recover from her confinement. Nevertheless, her brother Kinzane became a maternal relative of Emperor Toba and her niece FUJIWARA no Shoshi became Chugu (Imperial Consort) of the Emperor. She thus paved the way for the expansion of the Kanryuin clan.

[Original Japanese]