Tsuchimikado Fujiko (土御門藤子)

Fujiko TSUCHIMIKADO (1842? – July 13, 1875) was a court lady and a high-rank housekeeper of O-oku (the inner palace of Edo-jo Castle) from a noble family, and active in the period since the late Edo period until the end of the Edo period. She was the menoto (wet nurse) of Imperial Princess Kazunomiya Chikako. She was the fourth daughter of Haruchika TSUCHIMIKADO. At O-oku, she served as Joro Otoshiyori (high rank female servant) and she was called Fuji. In private, she was called Kuniko or Sumi-hime too. Officially, she called herself Momonoi.

Initially Fujiko came in Kyoto Gosho (Imperial Palace) as a court lady and served Tsuneko HASHIMOTO (Kangyoin) who was Naishi no suke (handmaid) for Emperor Ninko.

After Tsuneko bore Kazunomiya, Fujiko was appointed to the menoto of Kazunomiya.

In 1860, when the imperial court and the Tokugawa shogunate decided the marriage of Emperor Komei's sister Kazunomiya to Shogun Iemochi TOKUGAWA, Fujiko was ordered to attend Kazunomiya to go to Edo (the hub of the shogunate).

At O-oku (the inner palace of Edo-jo Castle), she called herself Momonoi and served Kazunomiya very well as a close adviser as well as Kangyoin, Tsuguko NIWATA and Katsuko ICHO; following Kangyoin's death in 1865, she cooperated with Tsuguko and even devoted herself to the difficult role to protect Kazunomiya who suffered from the bitter complaints by elder influential women such as Tenshoin. After Tsuguko NIWATA died, Fujiko became the top aide.

In 1868, the new government army (the imperial court) decided to march to Edo, then, Fujiko was appointed to the envoy and went to Kyoto bearing Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA's petition and Kazunomiya's letter to Saneakira HASHIMOTO and to his son Saneyana HASHIMOTO. She met Saneyana HASHIMOTO at Kotoku-ji Temple of Kuwana Domain and went to the capital Kyoto. She brought Kazunomiya's letter and met higher officials and councilors to plea the continuance of the Tokugawa family, however, they stopped her from handing in the letter to Emperor. She made every effort and asked related nobles and court ladies, then, after twelve days stay in Kyoto, she finally got the permission of the continuance of the Tokugawa family directly from the court with the condition that Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA should obey the court orders. Within the same year, by the order of Kazunomiya, Fujiko negotiated again with Saneyana about the delay of the military advance to Edo.

In 1869, as Kazunomiya came back to Kyoto, Fujiko attended her and came home too.