Ohatsu

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Takatsugu's wife, Ohatsu.

Ohatsu (お初?) or Ohatsu-no-kata (お初の方?) (1570–September 30, 1633) was a prominently placed figure in the late Sengoku period. After her husband's death in 1609, Ohatsu remained active in the political intrigues of her day.

Ohatsu's close family ties to both the Toyotomi clan and the Tokugawa clan uniquely positioned her to serve as a conduit between the rivals. She acted as a liaison until 1615, when the Tokugawa eliminated the Toyotomi.[1]

When she married her cousin Kyōgoku Takatsugu in 1587, he was a daimyo in Omi province, holding Ōtsu castle for the Toyotomi. At this point, Takatsugu was a fudai (hereditary vassal) daimyo of the Toyotomi with a stipend of 60,000 koku annually. After 1600, Takatsugu's allegiances had been transferred to the Tokugawa; and he was rewarded with the fief of Obama in Wakasa Province and an enhanced income of 92,000 koku annually.[2]

Her husband's changing fortunes affected Ohatsu's life as well. Surviving record books from luxury goods merchants provide insight into patterns of patronage and taste.[3]

Genealogy[edit]

Ohatsu was the second of Azai Nagamasa's three daughters. Her mother Oichi was the younger sister of Oda Nobunaga.[4]

Ohatsu's elder sister was Yodo-dono, also called Cha-cha. She was a concubine and second wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and mother of Toyotomi Hideyori.[4]

Ohatsu's younger sister was Oeyo, also known as Ogō. She was the principal wife of Shogun Tokugawa Hidetada and the mother of his successor Iemitsu.[4]

In 1587 (Tensho 15), Ohatsu married Kyōgoku Takatsugu.[5] Their son Kyōgoku Tadataka became his father's heir.[2] After the death of her husband in 1609, she withdrew from the world at Nozen-zan Jōkō-ji (凌霄山常高寺), a Buddhist convent at Obama, taking the name Jōkō-in (常高院?). Her gravesite is at the temple. Although the Kyōgoku clan moved to Izumo-Matsue one year after Ohatsu's death, her grave remained undisturbed according to her wishes.[5]

See also[edit]

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