Imperial Princess Kenshi (娟子内親王)

Imperial Princess Kenshi (October 25, 1032 - April 27, 1103) was the second princess of the sixty seventh Emperor Gosuzaku. Her mother was Empress, Imperial Princess Teishi. She became Saiin (Imperial Princess appointed to serve the deities of the Kamo-jinja Shrines) and later became MINAMOTO no Toshifusa's wife. Her older maternal half-sister was Imperial Princess Ryoshi (Nagako) (Saigu (Imperial Princess appointed to serve the deities of the Ise-jingu Shrine)), and her younger maternal half-brother was the 69th Emperor Gosanjo.

She was appointed to Saiin by fortunetelling at the same time when her father, Emperor Gosuzaku succeeded to the throne, and entered into Shosaiin (Hall of Initial Abstinence) on May 7, 1037. It was often stated that it was FUJIWARA no Yorimichi's tactic to let Imperial Princess Teishi's daughter go to the further place in order to remove her political power, since Yorimichi did not have a good relationship with his niece, Empress, Imperial Princess Teishi. However, there was an incident whereby Imperial Prince Tomohira's third daughter, Princess Senshi, who was Ise Saigu (vestal virgin princess serving at Ise-jingu Shrine) at that time, had too much to drink on one occasion and she criticized 'it was Emperor's mistake when he treated Saigu coldly.' as in her oracle in 1031. Due to above, in recent years there was a strong theory that Emperor's daughter was appointed to Saigu and Saiin to prove that the Imperial Family did not neglect their religious service at Ise-jingu Shrine and Kamo-jinja Shrines.

In the New Year of 1045, she resigned from Saiin due to her father's abdication from the throne. After that she lived with her mother, Imperial Princess Teishi, but she had an affair with MINAMOTO no Toshifusa who was three years younger than her, and finally she eloped to Toshifusa's house. Since Toshifusa's aunt, Princess Takahime was FUJIWARA no Yorimichi's wife and his mother was Yorimichi's half younger sister, FUJIWARA no Takako (Sonshi), and Toshifusa was a person who was on 'Sekkan-ke (the families which produced regents) side', so his younger brother, Crown Prince Takahito (later Emperor Gosanjo) was furious after knowing about the above incident, but Imperial Princess Kenshi did not receive any practical punishment to lose her official position since Toshifusa was the relative of Sekkan-ke. However Imperial Princess Kenshi, who acted without much consideration of her position as Princess, was called Kyosaiin (mad Saiin).

Although Princess Kenshi did not have any children with Toshifusa, she was treated warmly as Toshifusa's wife. However after his nephew, Emperor Shirakawa succeeded to the throne, there was conflict starting to build up between husband, Toshifusa, who took advantage of 'Emperor Gosanjo's will' and strongly recommend Emperor Shirakawa's half younger brother, Imperial Prince Sanehito (Heian period) and Imperial Prince Sukehito to become Crown Prince, and Emperor Shirakawa who wish to let his grandchild to succeed to the throne.

In 1103, Emperor Shirakawa's son, Emperor Horikawa had a baby that was going to be Prince (later called Emperor Toba). This son was appointed as Crown Prince soon after he was born, after that Toshifusa lost his position and had lived in despair since then. Imperial Princess Kenshi died this year, as if she was waiting for Emperor Toba to be born, she had no time left to see her husband being reduced to poverty.

[Original Japanese]