Empress Danrin

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  • Born: 786
  • Died: 850
  • Other Names: 嘉智子 (Tachibana no Kachiko)
  • Japanese: 檀林皇后 (Danrin kougou)

Empress Danrin, also known as Tachibana no Kachiko, was the empress consort of Emperor Saga. According to some sources, she was involved in the conspiracy to accuse Crown Prince Tsunesada in 842 of attempting a coup, thus exiling him and making way for her own grandson Prince Michiyasu to take the throne as Emperor Montoku, in an event known as the Jôwa Incident.

Danrin is said to have been extremely beautiful, and to have been distressed by the extent to which her beauty distracted Buddhist monks and others from their work or studies. According to legend, she committed suicide and left orders that her body be left unburied at a particular street corner, so that people would see her decaying body and be forced to think about the impermanence of life, beauty, and material desires.[1]


  1. "Tongue in Cheek: Erotic Art in 19th-century Japan," Honolulu Museum of Art, Exhibition website. Accessed 30 November 2014.