Karasumaru Mitsuhiro (烏丸光広)

Mitsuhiro KARASUMARU (1579 - August 22, 1638) was a court noble and poet of the early Edo period. His lineage and hireditary title was FUJIWARA no Ason. He was the house master of the Karasumaru family, one of the court noble families, and his family rank was that of Meika (noble). His official rank was Junii (Junior Second Rank) Gon Dainagon (Provisional Chief Councilor of State). His father was Mitsunobu KARASUMARU. His official wife was Tsuruhime, the daughter of Shigemichi Edo, adopted daughter of Harutomo YUKI and widow of Hideyasu YUKI.

He learned Confucianism from the Kiyohara clan, and Waka (31 syllable poems) from Yusai HOSOKAWA. He received the Kokin denju (the secret transmissions of the "Kokinshu", Anthology of Old and New Japanese Poems) in 1603.

He received an imperial disinheritance for 'guilt-by-association' at the Inokuma Incident (a court lady adultery incident by the chamberlain Noritoshi INOKUMA) which occurred in July 1609. He was discharged from office, and was ordered to be in home confinement. He was pardoned in 1611, and later reached the rank of Shonii (Senior Second Rank) Gon Dainagon.

He also worked for Iemitsu TOKUGAWA, the third Shogun of the Edo Bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), as an instructor of Kado (Waka versification). He had the trust of the Retired Emperor Gomizunoo, and even participated in the Zen mediation of Takuan Soho/Isshi Monju. His literary works include the poetry book 'Koyo Wakashu,' the books 'Jiteiki' (Deep in the Ear) and 'Azuma no Michinoki' (Travel account to Kanto), and his Kana zoshi (a story book written in Kana characters) 'Mezamashi-gusa' (Common reed). He also wrote the inscription on a painting 'Tsuta no Hosomichi zu Byobu' (Narrow Road of Ivy Folding Screens) by Sotatsu TAWARAYA.

His child is Mitsutaka KARASUMARU, the Chunagon (Middle Counselor) who was married to Man, the daughter of Tadakoshi HOSOGAWA. Additionally, Mitsutaka's daughter Yaya, a grandchild of Mitsuhiro, married her cousin Mitsunao HOSOKAWA, the feudal lord of Kumamoto domain. This created a close relationship between the Karasumaru family and the Hosokawa clan.

In Eiji YOSHIKAWA's "Miyamoto Musashi," Mitsumaru was written of as a chivalrous character, and often appeared in related historical plays. He was also known as the model for the character, KARASUMARU Shosho Ayamaro, which appeared in "The Shogun's Samurai: Yagyu Clan Conspiracy" directed by Kinji FUKASAKU.