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Kazu-no-Miya

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  • Japanese: 和宮 Kazu-no-Miya (Princess Kazu)
  • Personal name: 親子 Chikako
  • Buddhist name: 静寛院宮 Seikan-in-no-miya
  • Born: 1846
  • Died: 1877
  • Distinction: Sister of Emperor Kômei, wife of Shogun Tokugawa Iemochi
Kazu-no-Miya

Kazu-no-Miya was the daughter of Emperor Ninkô (1800-1846). She was engaged to Prince Arisugawa-no-Miya Naruhito, but later her marriage with the young shogun Iemochi was decided upon as part of the "Kôbu Gattai ("Union of Emperor and Shogunate") policy. In 1861 she went to Edo via the Nakasendô in a huge procession[1] and married Iemochi the next year. This was perhaps the largest procession to ever march down the Nakasendô, and it included some 20,000 samurai, kuge, and others. All along the route, commoners watching from the sides of the road were obliged to prostrate themselves when the princess' palanquin passed; men sitting on the earthen floor (doma) outside of their homes, and women and children from atop the floor within their homes, or from viewing boxes set up for the occasion.[2]

However, Iemochi died in 1866, and Kazu-no-Miya became a nun, taking the name Seikan-in. At the end of the Boshin War she, the aunt of Emperor Meiji, appealed to the victors for the continuance of the Tokugawa family.

She died of beriberi in 1877 and was given a splendid state funeral procession.[3]

Contents

Historical materials

Kazu-no-Miya in Fiction

Television

  • Kazunomiya sama Ontome (和宮様御留) CX 1981
  • Kazunomiya sama Ontome (和宮様御留) ANB 1991

Books

  • Kazunomiya sama Ontome (和宮様御留) Ariyoshi Sawako
  • Kôjo Kazu-no Miya (皇女和の宮) Kawaguchi Matsutaro

References

  • Nihon-shi Jiten 日本史辞典 (Dictionary of Japanese History), Obunsha, 2000.
  1. For the logistical problems involved, see "The Story of Princess Kazunomiya" http://hkuhist2.hku.hk/nakasendo/kazunomy.htm
  2. Gallery labels, "Edo-zu-byôbu to gyôretsu" exhibition, National Museum of Japanese History, Sept 2014.[1]
  3. Described in detail in Clara A. N. Whitney, Clara's Diary: An American Girl in Meiji Japan, Kodansha, 1979.
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