Okiku (お菊)

Okiku (August 7, 1595 - July 1, 1615) was Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI's daughter.

Her mother was Kogo no tsubone, a daughter of Tessai Takashige TANNOWA. Kogo no tsubone, Okiku's mother were executed at the age of 31 together with 38 other wives of Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI at Sanjogawara, Kyoto, on September 5, 1595. Okiku was saved since she was only one month old then and she was a girl, before she was taken care of by Okiyoshi GOTO, a son of younger brother of Okiku's grandfather.

Okiku grew up and on May 17, 1615, she got married with Tomoyasu HEINAI KINO (兵内紀朝安), the oldest son of Kinai Yasuhiro YAMAGUCHI, a daikan (the regional officer) of Kii Province. In the same year, Osaka Natsu no Jin (Summer Siege of Osaka) happened, and Tannowa, Goto and Yamaguchi families supported the Toyotomi clan. Okiku's husband, Tomoyasu went to the Osaka-jo castle only five days after their marriage. In due course of time, the Yamaguchi family's castle was surrounded by their enemy, and under the order of Yasuhiro, her father-in-law, Okiku disguised herself as a peasant and escaped from the besieged castle with a secret letter to ask for reinforcement. She completed her mission: She went toward north along a ridge path from the Kazefuki-toge Pass, disguised herself as a man in the Mt. Shindachi, and then entered the Osaka-jo castle. However, on her way back, she was robbed of the answer letter by the enemy near the Kashii-gawa River.

The Osaka side were defeated in the battle, and Okiku's adopted father, Okiyoshi GOTO, and her uncle, Shigemasa TANNOWA and others were killed in the Battle of the Kashii-gawa River on May 26. Okiku's husband, Tomoyasu was also killed in the battle on June 3, and on June 4, the next day, the Osaka-jo Castle fell. Okiku escaped into the Goto family but was caught by the Asano family, their enemy and was executed at the riverside of Kiiminami (紀伊南) on July 1 of the same year. She was only 20 years old. It is said that her adopted mother, Shizu (静), pitied star-crossed Okiku, presented a wooden sculpture of Okiku to Hofuku-ji Temple (Hannan City), the family temple of the Goto, and prayed for the repose of her soul.