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Okaji no Kata

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Okaji no Kata (お梶の方) (December 7, 1578 – September 17, 1642) or Lady Okaji, was a concubine of Tokugawa Ieyasu. She came from a relatively unknown origin. She was maybe Ōta Yasusuke's adopted daughter. Her other names are Ohachi no Kata (お八の方) and Okatsu no Kata(お勝の方).

Concubine and warrior[edit]

Many people believe that Ieyasu met Okaji around the time he first settled in Edo. Due to her status as his concubine, her age when they met is not recorded but some historians postulate that she could have been in her early teens. The two met due to her older brother reaching a higher status. Ieyasu was pleased with her charming wit and fell in love with her quickly. She was going to marry Matsudaira Masatsuna but the arrangement was cancelled after she became pregnant. She bore Ieyasu's last child and daughter, Ichihime, who died on 1610 after took some wild berries that poisoned. Ieyasu ordered that 8 years old Tsuruchiyomaru (鶴千代丸) who was Kageyama-dono (Oman no Kata)'s child being adopted by Okaji.

Ieyasu is believed to have truly loved Okaji. She accompanied Ieyasu in the Battle of Sekigahara and in the Siege of Osaka, dressed as a man she fought alongside other warriors. After Ieyasu's death in 1616, Okaji became a nun with the Buddhist name Eishō-in (英勝院). She was the founder of Eishō-ji temple in Kamakura, who was the Ōta Dōkan's residence. She died at the age of 65 years.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Guillain, Charlotte (2010). Samurai. Raintree. ISBN 9781410937650. OCLC 428436874.