Numata Jakō

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Portrait of Numata Jakō

Numata Jakō (沼田麝香, 1544 – September 4, 1618) also known as Hosokawa Maria (細川 マリア) was a Japanese woman of the Sengoku period. She was the wife of Hosokawa Fujitaka and mother of Hosokawa Tadaoki.[1]


She married Fujitaka around 1562 and gave birth to Tadaoki in 1563. Influenced by her son's wife, Hosokawa Gracia, Jakō was converted to Christianity. In 1600, when Ishida Mitsunari the leader of the Western Army in Battle of Sekigahara attempted to take Gracia as a hostage, the Ogasawara Shōsai family retainer killed her, he and the rest of the house then committed seppuku and burned the mansion. After the incident Jakō was emotionally affected, days later when the western army reached the gates of the Tanabe Castle, she fought bravely alongside to her family in the Siege of Tanabe.[2]

Siege of Tanabe[edit]

Tanabe Castle

There were only 500 troops to defend the castle against the 15,000 of the Western Army. Numata Jakō was an important role troughout the siege. At night she would don her armor an make the rounds of the men on watch to buoy their spirits. She also made a diagram of the banners of those enemy units that either fired high so as not to hit anyone or fired using only powder and no musket balls. if the hosokawa survived the siege, it would in part be because of sympathizers among the enemy force, and she wanted them spared from any post-battle retribuition, resisted without truce. After the victory of the Eastern army in Sekigahara, Jako and her family was rewarded and praised by Tokugawa Ieyasu.[3] Her son, Hosokawa Tadaoki was awarded a fief in Buzen (Kokura, 370,000 koku) and went on to serve Tokugawa at the Siege of Osaka.

Popular culture[edit]

She appears as playable character in the series of games Samurai Warriors 4 Empires.


  1. ^ Fr?d?ric, Louis; Louis-Frédéric (2005). Japan Encyclopedia. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674017535.
  2. ^ Turnbull, Stephen (2012-01-20). Samurai Women 1184–1877. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 9781846039522.
  3. ^ Rowley, G. G. (2013). An Imperial Concubine's Tale: Scandal, Shipwreck, and Salvation in Seventeenth-century Japan. Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231158541.