Imperial Princess Tokushi (as known as Atsuko) (篤子内親王)

Imperial Princess Tokushi (1060 - October 30, 1114) was the fourth princess of the seventy-first Emperor Gosanjo. Her mother was FUJIWARA no Moshi, Princess of Crown Prince and an adopted daughter of FUJIWARA no Yoshinobu. An elder brother from the same mother was Emperor Shirakawa. Became Saiin (Imperial Princess appointed to serve the deities of the Kamo-jinja Shrines), and then the second consort of Emperor Horikawa.

She lost her mother, Moshi, at the age of three in 1062, and was nurtured by her grandmother, Imperial Princess Teishi. She was given the title of Imperial Princess by the enthronement of her father Emperor Sanjo in 1068. Appointed to Sanbon (the third rank for an Imperial Princess) in June 1069. She was decided to be the Saiin by fortunetelling in March 1073, but her father passed away in May of the same year, and she retired after incumbency of two months, which is the shortest of all Saiins in the history. Appointed to Jusangu (honorary rank next to the three Empresses: Great Empress Dowager, Empress Dowager, and Empress) in 1079. Entered into court as a bride of her nephew, Emperor Horikawa, and received Imperial letter of appointment as Nyogo (a high-ranking lady in the court (a consort of an emperor)) in October 1091. Formally decided that she should become the second consort in February 1093. Her husband, Emperor Horikawa, passed away in July 1107, and she became a Buddhist nun in September of the same year. She passed away in 1114. She was 55 years old at death.

It is said that Imperial Princess Tokushi, who lived in obscurity after retirement from Saiin, was bashful about the offer of marriage at the age nearly 30, and especially about the match being her nephew 19 years younger than herself. It is also said that the marriage was intention of her brother, the Retired Emperor Shirakawa, and her guardian, Yomeimonin. However, "Imakagami" (The Mirror of the Present) describes 'Having thought she was a wonderful woman since childhood, he seemed to want the fourth imperial princess (Imperial Princess Tokushi) as his empress by all means,' purporting that her entry into court was strongly desired by Emperor Horikawa. Being an empress as a mother rather than a wife, she seemed to lead a happy marriage life with the emperor as both were clever and loved art, and she was also highly esteemed by the Retired Emperor Shirakawa. Because of this, she deeply grieved when Emperor Horikawa passed away young, and spent the rest of her life praying to Buddha for the happiness of her dead husband at Horilkawain where the emperor demised, after becoming a Buddhist nun. Her body was taken to Urin-in Temple after she died, and buried under the earth by her will.

[Original Japanese]