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Misasagi, Graveyard of Tragic Empress

In Kyoto, there are many graveyards of emperors and empresses. Those graveyards are called Goryo (御陵) or Misasagi (陵). At a quiet place in the Higashiyama (東山) mountain, the graveyard of the Empress Fujiwara no Teishi (藤原定子), the wife of the Emperor Ichijo (一条天皇), is located.

My readers might have heard a name, Seishonagon (清少納言), the author of Makura no Soshi (枕草子), a very famous literature from the Heian (平安) period. She was an imperial court lady who served the empress. In Makura no Soshi, the empress is described as a very brilliant and intelligent individual. However, after Fujiwara no Michitaka (藤原道隆, Teishi’s father and the chief adviser to the emperor) passed away, she had a series of misfortunes and died young.

Since the Heian period, the Toribeno (鳥辺野) district was known for aerial sepulture. Now the tragic empress is forever sleeping in peace in this land, yet her humanity is still vividly living in the great immortal literary work called Makura no Soshi.

Akane Kibune,
Kyoto Expert Certification 1 st Grade

15 mins. on foot from Nyusenjimichi, Kyoto City bus



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