Ichijo Tomiko (一条富子)

Tomiko ICHIJO (February 27, 1743-January 9, 1796) was the Empress Dowager during the middle of the Edo period. She was a Nyogo (a consort) of the Emperor Momozono and the biological mother of the Emperor Gomomozono and Fushimi no Miya Prince Sadamochi. Her nyoingo (a title of respect given to close female relatives of the emperor or a woman of comparable standing) was Kyoraimonin. Her father was Kaneka ICHIJO who served as Kanpaku (a chief adviser to the emperor). Her mother was a nyobo (lady-im-waiting) of the Ichijo family. Her junbo (a woman who was given the status equivalent to the emperor's birth mother) was a daughter of Masatoyo ASUKAI, a Gon Dainagon (a provisional major counselor). Her name is sometimes written as FUJIWARA no Tomiko since the Ichijo family's original family name was the Fujiwara clan.

She was conferred Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) in November 1755, and became Nyogo with the imperial proclamation as entering the Emperor Momozono's court in December. She was given the title of Jusangu (honorary rank next to the three Empresses: Great Empress Dowager, Empress Dowager, and Empress) as an imperial proclamation in March 1759. As the Imperial Prince Hidehito, the first prince between her and the Emperor Momozono was too young when the Emperor Momozono passed away on January 24, 1760, his enthronement was halted by trusted vassals due premature age, thus the imperial throne was handed over to his older sister, the Empress Gosakuramachi. In 1770 when the Imperial Prince Hidehito grew up, he ascended the throne as the Emperor Gomomozono, succeeding the Empress Gosakuramachi. She attained much higher status as an imperial mother, and was given the title of empress dowager on June 21, 1771. She was given the Ingo (a title of respect given to close female relatives of the emperor or a woman of comparable standing) on the same day, and was called Kyoraimonin thereafter. She was tonsured and named herself 新女院. She passed away in 1795. Her age at death was 53 years old.

[Original Japanese]