Imperial Princess Takako (孝子内親王)

Imperial Princess Takako (November 4, 1650 - August 4, 1725) was a member of the Imperial family during the Edo period. She was the first princess of the Emperor Gokomyo. Her real mother was Naishi no suke (a court lady of the first rank) Hideko NIWATA, a daughter of Shigehide NIWATA of Konoefu (the Headquarters of the Inner Palace Guards).

In 1650, she was born as the first princess of the Emperor Gokomyo. She was called Onna Ichinomiya. There are different dates as her birthday: November 3, 4 and 8.

In 1654, her father the Emperor Gokomyo died young at the age of 22. The Imperial Princess Takako was the Emperor's only child and there was no crown prince, and so his younger paternal half-brother Ade no Miya (the Imperial Prince Satohito, later the Emperor Reigen) hastily became the crown prince while another younger paternal half-brother Hanamachi no Miya (the Imperial Prince Nagahito) ascended the throne as the Emperor Gosai, a relay successor for the time being until Ade no Miya matured.

However, the Imperial Princess Takako was respected as the Emperor Gokomyo's only one bereaved child and the imperial princess of the direct descendant; she received senge (imperial proclamation) for the imperial princess in January 1684, and then conferred Ippon Shinno (the first-ranked imperial princess) in 1708. Also, she did not enter priesthood and remained single all her life.

After her death in 1725, the senge for Jugo (honorary rank next to the three empresses: great empress dowager, empress dowager, and empress), and later Nyoingo (a title of respect given to close female relatives of the emperor or a woman of comparable standing) were made, and she was named Reiseimonin. It was the first time in about 320 years that someone other than emperors' consorts or real mothers received senge for Nyoingo after Yasuko HINO (Kitayamain), who was the lawful wife of Yoshimitsu ASHIKAGA, the third Shogun of the Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), the Imperial Princess Takako has been the last case up to today.

She lived long to be 76. Her graveyard is located at Hanshuin no Misasagi in Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City.

[Original Japanese]