Bomon-hime (a wife of Yoshiyasu ICHIJO) (坊門姫 (一条能保室))
Bomon-hime (1154 or 1145 - May 25, 1190) was a woman in the era from around the end of the Heian period to the early Kamakura period. She is called Bomon-no-hime in "Heiji monogatari" (The tale of the Heiji). Her real name is unknown.
With MINAMOTO no Yoshitomo for her father and Yura gozen, his lawful wife, for her mother, she was a sister of MINAMOTO no Yoritomo who established the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun). She was a wife of Yoshiyasu ICHIJO. Takayoshi ICHIJO, a wife of Yoshitsune KUJO (born in 1167), a wife of Kintsune SAIONJI (Zenshi), Yasuko who was menoto (a woman providing breast-feed) to Emperor Gotoba and Dainagon (a chief councilor of state) at the rank of Sanmi (Third Rank) were her children.
After her father, Yoshitomo, was killed in the Heiji War and Yoritomo and MINAMOTO no Mareyoshi, her brothers, were exiled, Bomon-hime was entrusted to Sanemoto GOTO and was brought up in the capital secretly. ("Heiji monogatari")
Later, she became a wife of Yoshiyasu ICHIJO, a noble. This marital relationship provided an important contact, in the capital, with her brother, Yoritomo, who started fighting with arms and became the leader of the eastern region, and therefore, Yoshiyasu became an important function in the capital for the Kamakura government. In February of 1186, Yoritomo recommended Bomon-hime for menoto (a woman providing breast-feed) to Emperor Gotoba (in fact, her daughter, Yasuko, went to the palace for the service). Yoritomo provided several Jito posts (managing and controlling manors or public areas) for Jomon-hime herself.
On June 1, 1190, she died from a hard labor. Died at the age of 46 or 36. It was described in "Azuma Kagami" (a chronicle of the early history of the Kamakura Bakufu) that Yoritomo lamented over her death deeply. In addition, it is also described in "Azuma Kagami" that a memorial service for her death was performed at Shochoju-in Temple in Kamakura.
After her death, one of her daughters got married to Yoshitsune KUJO, giving birth to Michiie KUJO and Risshi KUJO, chugu (the second consort) of Emperor Juntoku, and another daughter of hers got married to Kintsune SAIONJI, giving birth to Saneuji SAIONJI and Rinshi. Michiie KUJO and Rinshi, both of whom were her grandchildren, married, and their children founded the Kujo family, Ichijo family and Nijo family, each of which became a sekke (a family entitled producing sessho (regent) or kanpaku (the top adviser to an emperor). FUJIWARA no Yoritsune was also a son between Michiie and Rinshi.
When, after Yoritomo died, no shogun became available from the Minamoto clan linage, her great-grandson FUJIWARA no Yoritsune, was brought into the fourth shogun post based on the reason that he was in the lineage of Bomon-hime, a sister of Yoritomo.
About her birth year
Based on various documents, it is most plausible that she was Yoritomo's younger sister. However, when calculating her birth year based on the description in the article for May 1, 1190, in "Azumakagami" that she was 46 years old when she died, makes her born in 1145, making her older than Yoritomo who was born in 1147. In "Heiji monogatari" (The tale of the Heiji), it is described that she was six years old at the time of the Heiji War (January 26, 1160). Concerning the birth year of Bomon-hime, there have been many arguments among scholars from a long time ago. For example, Bunei TSUNODA described as follows (in 'A younger sister of Yoritomo' "Ocho-no-meian" (The light and dark sides of dynasties) (published in 1975)): The description in "Azumakagami" that she died at the age of 46 was an error and should be 36 correctly because it is unnatural to die from hard labor at the age of 46, and he follows the age written in "Heiji monogatari." Tatsuto NUKI wrote (in 'Was the wife of Yoshiyasu ICHIJO Yoritomo's sister younger than he? This theory is considered again,' "Kamakura" 84, published in 1997) that he placed importance on the death year written in "Azumakagami" and followed it.