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Saimei, Empress

(594-661) Also known as Empress Kōgyaku. The 35th and 37th sovereign in the traditional count (which includes several legendary emperors.) Official consort of Emperor Jomei and mother of emperors Tenji and Temmu. She reigned as Kōgyaku from 642 to 645, and as Saimei from 655 to 661. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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