Keijuin (慶寿院)

Keijuin (1514 - June 27, 1565) was the lawful wife of Yoshiharu ASHIKAGA, who was the 12th Seii Taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians") of the Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun). She was a daughter of Hisamichi KONOE, who held the title of Kanpaku (chief adviser to the Emperor). Her real mother and her real name are unknown. She was the biological mother of Yoshiteru ASHIKAGA who was the 13th Shogun, and Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA who was the 15th Shogun.

On July 28, 1534, her wedding ceremony with Yoshiharu ASHIKAGA was held. It is said that the ceremony was held amid heavy rain and thunder ("Oyudono no ue no Nikki" (The Diary written by ladies-in-waiting at the court)). The lawful wives of the Ashikaga clan had been selected from the Hino family since the marriage of Yoshimitsu ASHIKAGA, and Keijuin was the first lawful wife from Sekke (line of regents and advisers). On April 10, 1536, she gave birth to Yoshiteru, who was the oldest son and heir, at Nanzen-ji Temple. On January 21, 1547, Yoshiharu abdicated his shogunate to Yoshiteru. Shortly after Yoshiharu died of 'edema' in Omi Province, which was his fugitive destination, on May 30, 1550 ("Tokitsugu Kyoki" (The Dairy of Tokitsugu YAMASHINA)), she entered the priesthood and called herself Keijuin ("Shokuoninkoki" (Chronicle of the Onin War), an article dated June 4, 1550).

Later, Keijuin entered politics as the guardian of young Yoshiteru. Keijuin and her older brother Taneie's concern in politics had already started during the reign of Shogun Yoshiharu, which was recorded in "Hirojikiroku" (literally, records of announcements) and "Odachi Joko Nikki" (The Diary of Joko ODACHI). It is believed that she also asked Naidanshu (Assistants for Council) to arrange Kanto (the appointment to an office) for Okishige SUGI, who was a vassal of the Ouchi clan. Tokitsugu YAMASHINA, the shoryo (territory) of whom was seized by Yoshiteru, also resorted to Keijuin and Taneie; the articles dated May 25 through 30 in the seventeenth year of the Tenbun era in "Tokitsugu Kyoki" (The Dairy of Tokitsugu YAMASHINA) state that Tokitsugu visited Omi Province to thank them and gave medicine to Taneie, his wife and Keijuin. Some argue that togoku geko (leaving the capital to east province) of Sakihisa KONOE, who was her nephew, may have been arranged by Keijuin, who expected Kenshin UESUGI to go to the capital (Kyoto) and restore the Shogun family and the Imperial Court.

In 1565, however, when Hisahide MATSUNAGA and miyoshi sanninshu (three chief retainers of the Miyoshi clan) attacked Yoshiteru ASHIKAGA at Nijo-gosho Palace, Yoshiteru committed jijin (suicide with one's sword) and Keijuin burned herself to death (Eiroku Incident).