Japanese empresses

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Japanese empresses or Empress of Japan means a female imperial ruler (女性天皇 josei tennō?). The term also mean an empress consort (皇后 kōgō?).

The wife of Emperor Akihito is Empress Michiko. She became the current Empress of Japan when her husband accepted his role as emperor[1]

Empresses regnant[change | change source]

There were eight female monarchs. In other words, there were six female emperors including two who reigned twice.[2]

Empresses consort[change | change source]

The wife of an Japanese emperor is called empress in English, but her title in Japanese is a little different.

Kōgō is the title of a non-reigning empress consort. The title, still in use, is generally conferred on an emperor's wife who had given birth to the heir to the throne.[3] The title was first awarded posthumously in 806 to the late mother of Emperor Heizei.[4]

Chūgū was a term which evolved during the Heian period; and it came to be understood as the title of the empress. For a time, chūgū replaced kōgō; and then the titles became interchangeable.[5]

The numbers of kōgō varied, but there was only one Chūgū at a time.[6]

The title kōtaigō was given to the wife of an ex-emperor; and the title tai-kōtaigō came to be used by a dowager empress.[5]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Nussbaum, "Michiko" at p. 627. Compare Imperial Household Agency (Kunaichō), Ceremony of Accession (Sokui-no-Rei); retrieved 2013-3-5.
  2. "Life in the Cloudy Imperial Fishbowl," Japan Times. March 27, 2007.
  3. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Kōgō" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 543.
  4. Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial Family, p. 318.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Nussbaum, "Chūgū" at p. 127.
  6. Ponsonby-Fane, pp. 300–302.