Empress Dowager Shoken

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  • Born: 1849
  • Died: 1914/4/9
  • Other Names: 一条 美子 (Ichijô Haruko)
  • Japanese: 昭憲皇后 (Shôken kôgô), 昭憲皇太后 (Shôken kôtaigô)

Empress Shôken, later Empress Dowager Shôken, was the chief consort to the Meiji Emperor.

A daughter of court noble Ichijô Tadaka, and named Haruko, she was married to the Meiji Emperor in 1867, the first year of his rule.

During the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese Wars, she became known for her close association with the Japanese Red Cross, and her frequent visits to military hospitals, a symbol of the Imperial institution as caring about the people.


  • Sven Saaler, "Public Statuary and Nationalism in Modern and Contemporary Japan," Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus 15:20:3 (Oct 15, 2017), 6.