Imperial Princess Sonshi (尊子内親王)

Imperial Princess Sonshi (966 - May 24, 985) was the second Princess of the sixty-third Emperor Reizei. Her mother was a high ranking lady in the court, FUJIWARA no Kaishi. Saiin, (an unmarried princess who, in former times, was sent by the emperor to serve Kamo Shrine) later became high ranking lady in the court of sixty-fourth Emperor Enyu. Her other name was Hinomiya (Princess Fire), Jokyoden no nyogo. Emperor Kazan was her half younger brother.


She received the title to become Imperial Princess when her father, Emperor Reizei succeeded to the throne in 967. It was decided for her to become Saiin by fortunetelling in July 968, she entered Shosaiin (a temporary place to purify oneself before going into Saiin) in December. In 970 she entered Murasakino saiin. In 975 she left her position of Saiin since her mother Kaishi died. In 978, she was appointed Shihon (the fourth rank for an Imperial Princess). In October, 980, She made an Imperial Consort's bridal entry into the court after her uncle, Emperor Enyu's recommendation. In November the following year, the Imperial Palace was burnt down. In the same year of 981, she was promoted to Nihon (the second rank for an Imperial Princess). After her uncle, FUJIWARA no Mitsuakira died in 982, she left the Imperial Palace and entered into the priesthood. She was given religious precepts in April 985 and died in May. She was 20 years old.

According to "Eiga monogatari" (A Tale of Flowering Fortunes) she was said to be a 'very beautiful Princess, as if she was shinning' and she had bright future having maternal relatives of the family eligible for regents, however after her maternal grandfather, FUJIWARA no Koremasa and her mother, Kaishi and her uncles as well, died unexpectedly one after another, she lost her powerful supervisor. After she became Nyogo of Emperor Enyu, there was a big fire after she made an Imperial Consort's bridal entry into the court, she was called 'Hinomiya' (Princess fire) her nickname was 'Hinomiya' (Imperial Princess), although she had a noble background, she had many misfortunes in her life. Imperial Princess Sonshi was much loved by Emperor Enyu as he adored her, but after her uncle, Mitsuakira died who she relied on the most, the Princess shaved her head and entered into the priesthood. After that a scholar of the Chinese classics, MINAMOTO no Tamenori wrote 'Sanpo e' and gave it to the Princess, when the Princess died, YOSHISHIGE no Yasunane wrote Ganmon (special document or letter to pray to god) for Shijukunichi (a memorial service held on the forty-ninth day after a person's death) and remembered the Imperial Princess as a modest person who entered into priesthood at a young age and then died.

[Original Japanese]