Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Kitsuno: Nobunaga's love

Kitsuno's grave in Kounan city.

Ohaiyo Gozaimasu!
Today I will write about one of many Nobunaga's famous concubines. Her name is Kitsuno (15?-66) and she gave birth to three children. Kitsuno was another Sengoku beauty. She was first married to Dota Yaheiji, but he was eventually killed in battle. She was not a widow for long. Soon after his death, Kitsuno met Nobunaga and the rest was history. Kitsuno's came from the Ikoma family. The Ikoma originally came from Nara Prefecture, Ikoma City. During or after the Onin War, the Ikoma migrated to Owari. The Ikoma family headquarters were located at Unkyuuyashiki in Owari. Her father was Ikoma Iemune. It was known Nobunaga was deeply in love with Kitsuno. Her children would become famous. Nobutada born in 1557 (at the Ikoma mansion), Nobukatsu 1558, and Nobunaga's first daughter Gotoku in 1559. Nobutada
was the first in line for the Oda family, but he was killed during the Honnoji Rebellion in 1582. Gotoku would marry Tokugawa Ieyasu's first son, Nobuyasu. He would later take his own life for mishaps along with his mother, Tsukiyama-dono. After Gotoku's birth, everything went wrong for Kitsuno. She was sick and never fully recovered. She was always bedridden and for Nobunaga, it was painful. She moved to Komaki Castle in the early 1560s. Komaki Castle was close to the Ikoma's Unkyuuyashiki mansion and it benefited. Her body was not strong enough and finally gave way May 13th, 1566 at the age of 29 (39?) at Komaki Castle, a year before Nobunaga took over Inoguchi (Gifu) in 1567. Kitsuno's parting gift to Nobunaga was her three children. It was known that Nobunaga was full of tears. He was heartbroken and some say, he was never the same again. This event is rarely written about. It should be. It proved Nobunaga was human after all. His love and care for Kitsuno was from the heart. Both almost lived as if they were husband and wife. She gave more love and support than Nobunaga's mother, Dota Gozen. A sweet and gentle lady when support was needed, she gave it to Nobunaga and her children. Kitsuno's grave can be found at Kyuushouji Temple, Kounan City, Aichi Prefecture. Kusudo Yoshiaki's book, Fuun ji Nobunaga to Hiun no Onnatachi, has some great information on Kitsuno (pp. 84-112). Her age of her death is murky. It was known that she died at the age of 39, but Yoshiaki posted her age at 29. To tell you the truth, I really do not know Kitsuno's age at the time of her death. As for now, I trust Yoshiaki's work. Until further evidence, 29 it is.

A photo of Nohime at Gifu Castle. Was she Barren? High possibility. Kitsuno had the children and Nohime never had any during her lifetime.

Tenka no tame

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