Takatsukasa Yasuko (鷹司祺子)
Yasuko TAKATSUKASA (March 19, 1811 - November 20, 1847), later the Empress Dowager Yasuko, was the nyogo (a court title of the emperor's consort) of the Emperor Ninko during the late Edo period. Her nyoingo (a title of respect given to close female relatives of the emperor or a woman of comparable standing) was Shinsakuheimonin.
She was the daughter of Kanpaku (chief adviser to the emperor) Masahiro TAKATSUKASA. Her real mother was Haishi TOYOOKA, who was her father's concubine and Gon Chunagon (a provisional vice-councilor of state) Naosuke TOYOOKA's daughter. She had many brothers and sisters, including Kanpaku Masamichi TAKATSUKASA (older paternal half-brother) and the Emperor Ninko's nyogo Tsunako TAKATSUKASA (older sister). She became an adopted daughter of her older brother Masamichi and his wife when she made judai (an imperial consort's bridal entry into court) because her father Masahiro had already been tonsured and retired.
Brief Personal History
In 1823, her older sister Tsunako, who was the Emperor Ninko's nyogo, died young at the age of 26 due to a difficult birth. Then, Yasuko had to enter into the court as the second consort of the emperor at the age of 15 in 1825, and received senge (imperial proclamation) for Nyogo.
In January 1830, Yasuko gave birth to a princess but she died young in 1831. After that, Yasuko was not blessed with a newborn and so, in 1835, she adopted the fourth Prince Hironomiya (the Imperial Prince Osahito, later the Emperor Komei), who was the birth child of Naishi no suke (a court lady of the first rank) Naoko OGIMACHI.
In 1846, the Emperor Ninko died and the Imperial Prince Osahito, Yasuko's adopted child, ascended the throne. In April 1847, Yasuko became an empress dowager because she was the biological mother of the new emperor, but on November 20, 1847 she entered priesthood and received senge for Nyoingo, and then died on that day. She died at the age of 37. She was buried at Nochi no Tsuki no Wa no Misasagi.