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Empress in Chinese / Japanese...

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Empress

China huáng hòu
Japan kou gou
Empress Vertical Wall Scroll

皇后 is the title of empress or emperess, the female form of emperor. 皇后 is used in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

While the emperor's reign was for life, if he died, his wife would hold his power. In this case, a woman was the ultimate ruler of the greater part of East Asia (what is now China) until her death and the succession of the emperor's first born son to lead the empire. Numerous times in various Chinese dynasties, an empress took power in this way.

The first character means emperor by itself.

The second character alone can mean "wife of an emperor or king" (the first character clarifies that we are talking about an empress, and not a queen). It can also mean sovereign or last offspring, depending on context.

Note: In some books, this word is translated as queen. While only incorrect if you get technical (because an empress is theoretically a higher level than a queen), the meaning is very similar.

皇后 is sometimes used for the title of queen but more technically, this is the wife of the emperor (a higher level than a queen).


See Also:  Emperor | King | Queen | Phoenix

Queen / Empress

Wife of the King
China wáng hòu
Japan ou kou
Queen / Empress Vertical Wall Scroll

王后 is another way to write queen in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

王后 is sometimes used for the title of empress.

The first character means "king" and the second means "wife," or a short form to say "wife of the king / emperor." So this is literally, "king's wife" or "emperor's wife." Some will translate this as "queen consort."


See Also:  Queen | Goddess | King | Emperor

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Characters

If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

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