Tadano Mazuku was the daughter of physician Kudô Heisuke. She is known for her memoirs and other writings, which tell of her family, and of conditions and circumstances in Sendai in the early 19th century.
Born in 1763 to the physician and prominent intellectual Kudô Heisuke and his wife, Mazuku received a good education and enjoyed a vibrant childhood in Edo. By the 1780s, however, her family had fallen upon hard times, from which they never recovered. Mazuku served as an attendant for the Ii clan of Hikone han and for another daimyô household over the next ten years. She married and divorced while still in her 20s, and then married again, this time to a widowed retainer of Sendai domain named Tadano Tsurayoshi. He forced her to move to Sendai, and to become step-mother to his three sons. After Tsurayoshi's death, and after her stepsons reached adulthood, Mazuku turned to writing, producing a memoir of her father's family in 1812 entitled Mukashi banashi, and an account about the city of Sendai in 1818 called Ôshû banashi ("Tales of Mutsu province").
Due to some combination of death and lack of capability, Mazuku's brothers failed to carry on the family line, and so the household of Kudô Heisuke died out in that generation.
- Marcia Yonemoto, The Problem of Women in Early Modern Japan, UC Press (2016), 214-215.
- Rebecca Corbett, Cultivating Femininity: Women and Tea Culture in Edo and Meiji Japan, University of Hawaii Press (2018), 125.