Tokuhime (督姫)

Tokuhime (November 11, 1559 - February 16, 1636) was the eldest daughter of Nobunaga ODA. It is believed that her real mother was Kitsuno IKOMA, but some historical materials show an implication of misidentification as it is said in "Odake Zatsuroku" (Oda Family's Miscellaneous Records) that she was an older sister of Nobutada. She was a lawful wife of Nobuyasu MATSUDAIRA. Her real name was Gotoku, and she was also called "Owari goshinzo sama" (the lady of Owari) or "Okazaki dono" (Miss or Mrs. Okazaki). Her posthumous Buddhist name was "Kensei-in kogan keiju daishi."


She married Nobuyasu TOKUGAWA, a legitimate son of Ieyasu TOKUGAWA, in 1567. She gave birth to Tokuhime (Princess Toku) in 1576 and Kumahime (Princess Kuma) in 1577. It is said that since Tukiyama-dono, Tokuhime's mother-in-law, was worried that Tokuhime did not give birth to a legitimate child for a long time after marriage, she made Nobuyasu marry a female servant who was a daughter of an ex-vassal of the Takeda clan Masatoki ASAHARA, which led to discord between Tukiyama-dono and Tokuhime. Considering that Tukiyama-dono and Tokuhime stayed in different castles and it was the time when having concubines was broadly accepted, it is hard to believe that it became a cause of discord between a mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law.

However, "Ietada Nikki" (the Diary of a vassal Ietada MATSUDAIRAl), which is served as a historical material proving discord between Tokuhime and Nobuyasu, says that Ieyasu came to Okazaki to mediate between Tokuhime and Nobuyasu. The diary also says that Nobunaga, too, came to Okazaki at that time, which brings a speculation that Nobunaga might have been worrying the relationship between his daughter and his son-in-law. One can say that the discord between Tokuhime and Nobuyasu was a historical fact even if it was temporary.

In 1579, Tokuhime sent her father, Nobunaga, a petition of twelve clauses that accused Tukiyama-dono and Nobuyasu of their guilty acts including a sneaky liaison with Takeda. After reading this petition, Nobunaga gave the order to kill Nobuyasu via Tadatsugu SAKAI, Ieyasu's envoy who was staying in the Azuchi castle. Tsukiyama-dono was killed at Koyabu Village on September 19, and Nobuyasu committed seppuku at the Futamata-jo Castle on October 5. This 'Twelve Clauses of Nobunaga' is said to hold a possibility of being revised and edited later. This Nobuyasu's incident has many unclear points including Tokuhime, who is believed to be the source of accusation, begging Ieyasu for a permission to go to see Nobunaga in the Azuchi Castle for the sake of Nobuyasu's defense (Ieyasu TOKUGAWA theory by Sohachi YAMAOKA), and in recent years there is a theory which suggests the discord between Ieyasu and Nobuyasu to be the cause.

After that, Tokuhime departed from the Okazaki Castle on February 20, 1580 (lunar calendar), with Ieyasu's send-off, and returned to Mino Province. She left her two daughters to Ieyasu. However, she did not head for her father, Nobunaga, but she lived under the roof of her older brother, Nobutada ODA. Since she lost her father and oldest brother in the Honnoji Incident in 1582, she lived under the protection of her second eldest brother, Nobukatsu ODA.
Facing the reconciliation between Nobukatsu and Hideyoshi after the Battle of Komaki, she had to move to Kyoto as a hostage

In 1590, Nobukatsu was deprived of his post by Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI, so she transferred to Koori in Owari Province dominated by the Ikoma clan, and this was evidently instructed by Hideyushi judging from the Shuinjo (a shogunal license for foreign trade) of Hideyoshi existing in "Haibara-ke Monjo" (Haibara Family's Written Material) as well as the fact that soon she lived back in Kyoto, and it seems that Gotoku's treatment was under the control of Hideyoshi. After the Battle of Sekigahara, she was given 1,761 koku of territory from the fourth son of Ieyasu, Tadayoshi MATSUDAIRA who became the head of Kishu Castle in Owari Province. Later on, she lived in seclusion in Kyoto. In 1630, when Senmatsumaru (also known as Mitsutaka HACHISUKA), a legitimate child between Tadateru HACHISUKA and his lawful wife, Shigehime (a great-grandchild of Tokuhime and also a daughter of Tadanaga OGASAWARA) was born, she was consulted on the choice of wet nurses. She died in 1636. Tokuhime, her eldest daughter, became a wife of Hidemasa OGASAWARA, and Kumahime, her second daughter, became a wife of Tadamasa HONDA.

[Original Japanese]