Today, on March 6, 1903 (Japan):
Koujun (香淳), which means “Fragrant Purity”, was born as Princess Nagako (良子女王) and became the empress consort of Emperor Shouwa (昭和). She was the last empress to live through the aristocracy of Japan.
Her mother was from a line of daimyou (大名), while her father was disconnected from the Imperial line. Another interesting note from her childhood, is that she attended the same school as Princess RI Masako (李方子) , who the Koreans now call Princess YI Bangja (이 방자). When she was sixteen, she was engaged to her cousin, Crown Prince Hirohito (裕仁) and was married when she was twenty-one years old. Hirohito only gave up his concubines after he became Emperor in 1926.
Unfortunately, main deeds are culminated as being one who attended ceremonies and birthing the current emperor, Akihito (明仁). She was also known as the smiling Empress, she was first Imperial Consort to travel abroad; as well as the longest-living dowager empress–dying after holding the title “Empress” for 74 years. While in what seemed like captivity within the palace, she upheld the traditional Japanese arts like koto, tending to silkworms, and calligraphy. Lastly, she attempted to honor the families of the fallen by writing letters of condolences when they died in battle–until keeping up with the notifications became insurmountable.
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