Fujiwara no Teishi

Fujiwara no Teishi
Empress consort of Japan
Tenure October 26, 990 – January 13, 1001
Born 977
Died January 13, 1001(1001-01-13) (aged 23–24)
Spouse Emperor Ichijō
  • Princess Shushi
  • Prince Atsuyasu
  • Princess Bishi
House Yamato
Father Fujiwara no Michitaka
Mother Takashina no Kishi

Fujiwara no Teishi (藤原 定子, 977 – January 13, 1001) was an empress consort of the Japanese Emperor Ichijō. She appears in the literary classic The Pillow Book written by her court lady Sei Shōnagon.

She was the first daughter of Fujiwara no Michitaka (藤原道隆).[1] She was arranged to marry the Emperor upon the ceremony of his age of majority. She was given the title of Empress, her father was formally appointed regent to the Emperor, and her sister was later married to the Emperor's cousin and Crown Prince.

Empress Teishi hosted a literary and cultural court, and Sei Shōnagon was appointed her lady-in-waiting. In 995, a series of events unfolded which deteriorated her position. Her father died and was succeeded as regent by his rival, her uncle Fujiwara no Michinaga, and her brothers were exiled from court. The regent her uncle made his daughter Fujiwara no Shōshi the second consort of the Emperor, and secured the title Empress for her as well: for the first time in Japan, the Emperor had two Empresses, Teishi with the title Kōgō and Shōshi with the title Chūgū. This created fierce rivalry between the two Empresses and her last four years was described as a period of humiliation for her.[2]

She became a Buddhist nun soon after Emperor Kazan ordained.

Fujiwara no Teishi died in childbirth.

  • Imperial Princess Shushi (脩子内親王) (997–1049)
  • Imperial Prince Atsuyasu (敦康親王) (999–1019)
  • Imperial Princess Bishi (媄子内親王) (1001–1008)