Concept

Saiin (priestess)

Summary
were female relatives of the Japanese emperor (termed saiō) who served as High Priestesses in Kamo Shrine. Saiin princesses were usually elected from royalty (内親王, naishinnō) or princess (女王, joō). In principle, Saiin remained unmarried, but there were exceptions. Some Saiin became consorts of the Emperor, called Nyōgo in Japanese. The Saiin order of priestesses existed throughout the Heian and Kamakura periods. Saiin is also the name given to the palace where the Saiin Priestesses lived and served the Shinto deities. Saiin in Literature In The Tale of Genji, a famous work of Japanese literature, there is a story about a man named Hikaru Genji who yearned for a Saiin Princess named Asagao, but Asagao maintained a platonic relationship with Genji. The 11th century story Sagoromo Monogatari tells the story of an unrequited love between the protagonist and Genji no Miya, who later becomes the Kamo Saiin. Historical Saiin Princess Shikishi (式子内親王) Pr
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