1978 年 87 巻 11 号 p. 1578-1596,1675-
The aim of this paper is to elucidate the character and function of the Empress in the Han Empire with regard to Imperial succession. The Empress's political character and function was derived from her being the legitimate wife of the Emperor who was at the apex of the ruling structure. It was a Chinese ideal that succession to the throne should be from among those who held the Mandate of Heaven (徳), but were of a different family lineage. In reality, however, a great deal of effort was made to keep succession within the same family line. The descendants of the founder of the dynasty succeeded to the throne by carrying out a number of procedures which transferred the Mandate of Heaven to them. The Empress, though not of the same family line as the Emperor, had the function of transferring the Mandate of Heaven to the Imperial successor in lieu of the Emperor, if the latter died without appointing a successor. There were three instances of this in the Former Han Dynasty and eight in the Latter Han Dynasty. This type of succession arose because the Imperial couple were both regarded as serving the Emperor's Ancestral Shrine (宗廟) and ruling over his Dominions together. Since the Empress worshipped at the Emperor's Ancestral Shrine as his legitimate wife, she also had the role of appointing a successor from the Imperial lineage on behalf of the deceased Emperor. This role of the Emperor's legitimate wife was utilized in the Hsin Revolution (新革命) of the Former Han dynasty. Despite being a name change revolution (易姓革命), the Hsin Revolution was made to appear as if it were a succession within the same family line.