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.
When she married her cousin Kyōgoku Takatsugu in 1587, he was a daimyō in Ōmi Province, holding Ōtsu Castle for the Toyotomi. At this point, Takatsugu was a fudai daimyō (hereditary vassal) 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.
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.
In 1587 (Tensho 15), Ohatsu married Kyōgoku Takatsugu. Her adopted son, Kyōgoku Tadataka became his father's heir, (Tadataka was Takatsugu's son with his concubine). 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.
- Brinkley, Frank. (1915). A History of the Japanese People from the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era, p. 68.[permanent dead link]
- Papinot, Edmond. (2003). Nobiliare du Japon, pp. 27–28. Archived April 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
- Hickman, Money L. et al. (2002). Japan's Golden Age: Momoyama, p. 283.[dead link]
- "The silk coloured portrait of wife of Takatsugu Kyogoku," Archived May 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Digital Cultural Properties of Wakasa Obama; Ochinokata, Gifu prefecture website.
- Ito, Eishiro. Nozen-zan Joko-ji temple, Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. Atelier Atui website Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. (Iwate Prefectural University).
- Brinkley, Frank and Dairoku Kikuchi. (1915). A History of the Japanese People from the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica Co.OCLC 413099
- Hickman, Money L., John T. Carpenter and Bruce A. Coats. (2002). Japan's Golden Age: Momoyama. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-09407-7; OCLC 34564921
- Papinot, Edmond. (1906) Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie du japon. Tokyo: Librarie Sansaisha. Nobiliaire du japon (abridged version of 1906 text).
- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Nakamura Utaemon III as Ohatsu