Takatsukasa Nobuko (鷹司信子)

Nobuko TAKATSUKASA (1651-March 17, 1709) was the lawful wife of Tsunayoshi TOKUGAWA, the fifth seii taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians") of Edo bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun). She was a daughter of Norihira TAKATSUKASA who was Sadaijin (minister of the left) Juichii (Junior First Rank). Her elder brother was Fusasuke TAKATSUKASA, a chief adviser to the Emperor, and her younger sister was Fusako TAKATSUKASA, chugu (the second consort of an emperor) of Emperor Reigen (Shinjosaimonin). In addition, she was a second cousin of Hiroko KONOE who was Midaidokoro (shogun or minister's wife) of the sixth Shogun, Ienobu TOKUGAWA.

At a time in the past, there was an incident (the Incident of Oyotsu-Goryonin) that when Tsunayoshi's grandfather Hidetada TOKUGAWA made his daughter, Masako TOKUGAWA, chugu of Emperor Gomizuo, he banished Princess Umenomiya and her mother Yotsuko YOTSUTSUJI (Oyotsu-Goryonin) from the Imperial Court because they were obstacles for Masako and exiled some Kugyo (the top court officials) including her relatives. Therefore, there was a deep relationship between Nobuko and the Tokugawa clan.

In 1664 she married Tunayoshi TOKUGAWA who was the lord of Tatebayashi Domain in Ueno Province at that time. In accordance with Tsunayoshi's assumption of Shogun in 1680, she entered O-oku (the inner halls of Edo Castle where the wife of the Shogun and her servants reside).

She is regarded to have had outs with Tsunayoshi's real mother Keishoin and Tsunayoshi because they did not have any child, but the detail is unclear (However, it should be paid attention that few successive Tokugawa bakufu Shogun had a child between their lawful wives). In addition, she did not feel good about Zuishunin, a concubine of Tsunayoshi, who had power as the mother of his successor Tokumatsu. For this reason, in order to change Tsunayoshi's feeling of love for Oden no kata, she invited Uemon no suke no tsubone, that is, Naishi no suke (a court lady of the first rank) who was said to shine academically best in the Imperial Court, as Joro (high rank woman servant in the Imperial Court) Otoshiyori (a lady who controls the servants in O-oku) under Midaidokoro through Shinjosaimonin. In addition, it is said that Uemon no suke, who changed her name from Tokiwai and was ordered to control all maids of O-oku, called Daitenshi and Seishinin as concubines from Kyoto and fought with Oden no kata as Kuge (court noble) group.

In 1709 Nobuko died within a month after her husband Tsunayoshi had died. She was 59 years old. Her grave is located in Kanei-ji Temple at Taito Ward, Tokyo Prefecture. Her sudden death caused a popular belief that Tsunayoshi was actually killed by Nobuko and Izu no tsubone who was Otoshiyori under Midaidokoro and then Nobuko committed a suicide later ("Nikkokantanmakura"), but this is unreliable.