Ano Yasuko (阿野廉子)

Yasuko ANO (The kanji can also be read Kadoko or Renshi; the actual reading is unknown) (1301 - May 26, 1359) was a woman who lived from the end of Kamakura period through the period of the Northern and Southern Courts(Japan). She was a mistress to Emperor Godaigo. She was the mother of Emperor Murakami of the Southern Court (Imperial Prince Norinaga), Imperial Prince Tsuneyoshi, Imperial Prince Nariyoshi, Imperial Princess Shoshi, and Imperial Princess 準子, and she was a Nyoin (ingo, a title of respect given to close female relatives of comparable standing). Her ingo (a title of respect given to close female relatives of comparable standing) was Taikenmon-in, and she was also called Sanmi no tsubone.

The Ano clan, the family she was born into, was a sect of the Kanin school of the Fujiwara clan, and originated from Sanenao ANO, who was the son of a woman fathered by Zenjo ANO. Yasuko was the daughter of Kinkado ANO, and became the adopted daughter to Kinkata TOIN (who later became daijodaijin (grand minister of state), of the same Kanin school).

In 1319, when Kishi SAIONJI became the wife of Emperor Godaigo, Yasuko accompanied her as joro (high ranking woman servant in the Imperial Court), and later became the Emperor's favorite mistress, surpassing Kishi. In 1332, when Godaigo failed with his plan to overthrow the bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) and the Genko Rebellion broke out, she accompanied Godaigo during his exile to Oki Island. After the fall of the Kamakura bakufu, under the Kenmu no Shinsei (New political administration in Kenmu) that was initiated by Godaigo, she was awarded the title of Jusango (title given to nobles and Imperial families). It is thought that she had the power to influence politics, and together with Takauji ASHIKAGA, she was involved in the ousting and murder of Imperial Prince Moriyoshi, who had been opposing Godaigo. She also accompanied Godaigo during the relocation of the capital to Yoshino after Takauji had defected from the new government. She died in 1359 at the age of 59. The Japanese classic "Taiheiki" notes that Yasuko received affection from Emperor Godaigo and was treated the same as the Empress.

One of the reasons for the collapse of the new government is said to be the political dispute between Yasuko and Imperial Prince Moriyoshi, and there is a statement quoted from the Chinese Proverb "When a female bird cries at sunrise, a family falls."