Sono Mitsuko (園光子)

Mitsuiko SONO (1602 - March 6, 1656) was one of the consorts of the Emperor Gomizunoo. She was the real mother of the Emperor Gokomyo. Her Ingo (title of respect given to close female relatives of the emperor) was Mibuin. Her father was Dainagon (Major Councilor) Mototo SONO (who was given the posthumous court rank of Sadaijin, or Minister of the Left). Her name is sometimes written as FUJIWARA no Mitsuko, as the original name of the Sono family was the Fujiwara clan. Her original name was Kuniko or Tsuguko.

She was chosen to be one of the Naishi no suke (court ladies of the first rank) of the Emperor Gomizunoo and entered the kokyu (inner palace). She was called Kyogokuin or Kyogoku-no-tsubone in the imperial court. She gave birth to the Emperor Gokomyo in 1633. After giving birth to the Emperor Gokomyo, she gave birth to the Cloistered Imperial Prince Shucho, the Princess Gansho, the Princess Socho and Katsuranomiya. She was conferred the title of Jugo (an honarary rank next to the empresses) on September 28, 1654 during the reign of the Emperor Gokomyo, but the emperor passed away within the same year. Following this, she was tonsured on December 4 to enter nunhood. She was given the Ingo of Mibuin by the Emperor Gosai, who succeeded to the throne. After her death she was entombed at Senryu-ji Temple in Kyoto. Her tomb is located in Tsuki no Wa no Misasagi in Senzan.

As she became the imperial mother, the status of her home, the SONO family rose significantly, and Mototo, Mitsuko's father, was posthumously conferred the court rank of Sadaijin in 1645. Kuniko SONO, a daughter of Mitsuko's brother Motonari SONO, also entered the kokyu of the Emperor Gomizunoo and gave birth to the Emperor Reigen. Having produced the two imperial mothers from the family, the SONO family continued to prosper afterwards.

[Original Japanese]