Imamairi no tsubone (今参局)

Imamairi no tsubone (unknown - March 3, 1459) was a woman of the Muromachi period and a wet nurse to eighth Shogun Yoshimasa ASHIKAGA and a concubine. She was the daughter of Manto ODATE, a dependent of the Nitta clan. She was also known as Oima. As a cunning servant who ran wild at Yoshimasa's side, she was known as one of the 'Sanma' (literally, Three Demons, meaning Japanese character 'ma' are in their name; Oi-ma, Karasu-ma, Ari-ma), the other two being Suketo KARASUMA and Mochiie ARIMA.

As the Odate clan were dependents of the Nitta Clan, Ujiaki ODATE was active as the chief vassal of Yoshisada NITTA. Her child Yoshifuyu ODATE was descended from the Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), and later the Odate clan served the shogun through several generations as vassals.

She wielded political influence in the shogunate as Yoshimasa's wet nurse. After becoming the eighth shogun in 1449, in 1451 Yoshimasa intervened in the personnel administration of the Shugodai (deputy of Shugo, provincial constable) of Owari Province, Yoshitake SHIBA, aiding in the dismissal of Toshihiro ODA and attempting to install Satohiro ODA as Shugodai. Imamairi was opposed by kanrei (shogunal deputy) Katsumoto HOSOKAWA and Mochikuni HATAKEYAMA and when Shigeko HINO, a legal wife of sixth Shogun Yoshinori ASHIKAGA, ran away, Imamairi no tsubone was thought to have had a hand in these affairs. In 1455, Imamairi gave birth to a baby girl. In 1459, Yoshimasa's legal wife Tomiko HINO gave birth to a child, although it died soon after, giving rise to a rumor that it had been cursed by Imamairi no tsubone.

Distressed by the conflict between Tomiko and Imamairi no tsubone, Yoshimasa ordered her banishment to Okinoshima Island on Lake Biwa. Imamairi committed suicide in Gamo County, Omi Province while in the midst of her banishment; one party of the Shogunate was also exiled. It was said that Tomiko had sent a assassin to kill Imamairi.

In accordance with the reevaluation of Tomiko HINO as a feminist, it is also thought that she was unjustly judged for opposing Tomiko (See the article 'Akusai'). It is said that there are also the condition that Japanese feminists considerwet nurses a symbol of male chauvinism.