Imperial Princess Senshi (Nobuko) (選子内親王)
Imperial Princess Senshi (Nobuko) (June 11, 964 - July 29, 1035) was the tenth Princess of the sixty-second Emperor Murakami. Her mother was the second consort of the emperor, FUJIWARA no Anshi (Yasuko), who was a daughter of FUJIWARA no Morosuke. Commonly known as Great Saiin (an unmarried princess who, in former times, was sent by the emperor to serve at Kamo Shrine). Her half brothers were Emperor Reizei, Emperor Enyu, and Imperial Prince Tamehira.
Her mother Anshi died only 5 days after giving birth. She received chakumo (dressing adult woman in kimono for the first time) at Seiryoden on January 1, 975. On August 10, 975, due to the Saiin Imperial Princess Sonshi's (Princess of Emperor Reizei) resignation, she was assigned as Kamo Saiin at the age of 12 by bokujo (bokutei) (to decide by fortunetelling).
Since then, she had held the Saiin post for 57 long years, 5 generations of Emperor Enyu, Emperor Kazan, Emperor Ichijo, Emperor Sanjo, and Emperor Goichijo, and was called 'the Great Saiin.'
After she was given the ippon (the first Imperial Princes' rank) in 1024, she resigned due to infirmities of old age on October 17, 1031 and became a priest on October 23. She died on August 4, 1035. She was seventy two years old.
As described in "Okagami" (The Great Mirror), 'As she was recognized by myojin (a gracious deity - god) at Kamo-jinja Shrine, she could stay firm to hold her position,' the life of Imperial Princess Senshi (Nobuko), who was respected as a long-term Saiin never seen before in past history, was pursued with the Kujo family clan eligible for regents on her mother's side. Without a doubt, emperors after Emperor Reizei were less fortunate to have imperial princesses, so there was a time when a princess could not be a possible candidate for Saiin, but there was no doubt that her strong blood relations with successive regents kept her life stable even though she lost her parents at a young age. The Imperial Princess took care to interact with a clan eligible to become regents, and while "Makura no soshi" (The Pillow Book) depicted seasonal interactions with the second consort of the emperor, FUJIWARA no Teishi, "Okagami," and "Eiga monogatari" (Tale of Flowering Fortunes) depicted her witty interactions with Michinaga. In addition, the latter stated that Teishi's brother who saw that state of things, swore 'an old fox was following her,' but this anecdote revealed that the Imperial Princess had a tactful and clever personality, and how even the Great Saiin, could not ignore the bond with the regent because she did not have a dominant successor.
Sei Shonagon wrote in "Makura no soshi," 'I could say there are the Imperial Palace, kisai no miya (empress court), and the ippon no miya (first rank imperial court) of the imperial princess as the Miyazukae dokoro (the places to serve the court). Giving 'Saiin, sinful but quaint,' it appeared that the imperial palace of Imperial Princess Senshi (Nobuko), Saiin and the princess of ippon (not at that time though), was as wonderful place as the imperial palace of the second consort of an emperor, Teishi. Murasaki Shikibu assaulted women who worked as Saiin in "The Murasaki Shikibu Diary," but she admitted the polite personality of the Imperial Princess and artistic and mysterious elegance of the imperial palace of Saiin, so from the evidence presented by these two top-level Heian female authors, there was no doubt that it was a cultural salon second to the imperial court during the period of the Imperial Princess.
Daisaiin saki no gyoshu'
Daisaiin no gyoshu'