Fujiwara no Kishi (藤原嬉子)

FUJIWARA no Kishi (Yoshiko) (February 1, 1007 - September 5, 1025) was the sixth daughter of Sessho (Regent) FUJIWARA no Michinaga. Her mother was MINAMOTO no Rinshi. She was Naishi no tsukasa (female palace attendants) of the 69th Emperor Gosuzaku and the real mother of the 70th Emperor Goreizei. Her maternal half-siblings included FUJIWARA no Yorimichi, FUJIWARA no Norimichi, FUJIWARA no Shoshi, FUJIWARA no Kenshi and FUJIWARA no Ishi.


She was appointed to Naishi no Kami (Principal Handmaid) in 1018. In 1019, the ceremony of Chakumo (a girl's ceremony to put on "Mo" (a kind of skirt) for the first time) was held for her and she was conferred the court rank of Jusanmi (Junior third Grade). In 1021, she entered into the palace to marry Imperial Prince Atsunaga, a younger brother of the Emperor who was the heir apparent (Emperor Gosuzaku), as an adopted daughter of her elder brother FUJIWARA no Yorimichi. She delivered Prince Chikahito (the Emperor Goreizei) on September 3, 1025, but she died of akamogasa (a kind of measles) only two days later. The age at the time of her death was 19. On the same day, she was posthumously conferred the court rank of Shoichii (Senior First Grade). She was conferred the title of Empress Dowager in 1045 when the Emperor Goreizei ascended the throne.

Being the youngest daughter of the couple of Michinaga and Rinshi, Kishi's future should have been promising, along with her elder sisters who ultimately became Sango (Grand Empress dowager, Empress Dowager and Empress), as the Crown Princess and soon or later as the Empress. However, she died first among her sisters before her husband, the Crown Prince, ascended to the throne. In hindsight, the Emperor Goreizei who was born by Kishi was the last prince born by the daughters of Michinaga's clan who entered into the palace as the consorts of the Emperors. As Emperor Goreizei had no heirs after all, we might say that her death was the beginning of the decline of Sekkan-ke (the families which produced the Regent and the Chief Adviser to the Emperor).

[Original Japanese]