Fujiwara no Moshi (藤原茂子)

FUJIWARA no Moshi (Shigeko) (the birth year is unknown - August 5, 1062) was the Empress of the 71st Emperor Gosanjo while he was Crown Prince, and 72nd Emperor Shirakawa's birth mother. She was a daughter of Chunagon (vice-councilor of state), FUJIWARA no Kinnari and was adopted by Dainagon (chief councilor of state), FUJIWARA no Yoshinobu. Her mother was FUJIWARA no Tomomitsu's daughter. She was also called Shigenoi Miyasudokoro (consort of the emperor).

Since her father, Kinnari's sister, FUJIWARA no Yoshiko was Yoshinobu's wife, Moshi was adopted by Yoshinobu and his wife. In 1046, she entered into court to marry Crown Prince Takahito (Emperor Gosanjo) as Soibushi (a lady who acts as a companion of a high-ranking person when he celebrates his coming-of-age ceremony). On this occasion, under the circumstances of Imperial Prince Takahito's older paternal half-brother, Emperor Goreizei being still young, and the conflict between Imperial Prince and his mother, Imperial Princess Teishi and Kanpaku (chief adviser to the Emperor), FUJIWARA no Yorimichi, there were no other court nobles who would wish to send their daughters to the palace. Due to the above background, Yoshinobu sent his wife's niece, and also his adopted daughter, Moshi to the Imperial Palace to become Empress; however, some people criticized that Moshi was not suitable as the Crown Prince's Empress since her real father's official rank was mere Chunagon (also it was only Yorimichi, who had the most political power at that time, to send an adopted daughter to become Empress, thus it is said that some people considered it was not appropriate for Yoshinobu to do that because his official rank was not high enough).

However, after Moshi entered into court, on the contrary to Emperor Goreizei who did not have any children, she had one son and four daughters such as Prince Sadahito (Emperor Shirakawa), Imperial Princess Tokushi (Emperor Horikawa's Chugu (the second consort of an emperor)). Since Emperor's Empress, Imperial Princess Keishi (Kaoruko) had no children, soon Moshi was going to become the next Crown Prince's birth mother, or kokumo (mother of Emperor) after Imperial Prince Takahito's succession to the throne, however she died in 1062 before the Prince's succession to the throne. In 1071, she was raised to the Junii (Junior Second Rank) when Emperor Gosanjo succeeded to the throne in 1071, and was given the rank of Empress Dowager after Emperor Shirakawa's succession to the throne in 1073.

Although Moshi died young, there were Empresses or birth mothers of successive Emperors came from her family, Kanin line one after another, and it made big influence to the history of the politics during cloister government.

Her mausoleum is in Uji no misasagi (the Uji Mausoleum) (Kohata, Uji City, Kyoto Prefecture).

[Original Japanese]