Furuichi Taneko


Furuichi Clan

Court Lady


Furuichi Taneko served as a court lady during the early Edo period.  Taneko originated from the Kiyohara clan.  Her childhood name was Ochiyachiya.  She held the title of Junior Third Rank.

Taneko was born the daughter of Furuichi Tanehide, a bushō and lord of Komazaki Castle in Yamato Province who also carried the title of Governor of Harima.  This Tanehide is different from another individual with the same name who was older brother of Furuichi Sumitane.  Her mother was Keikōin, the daughter of Konoe Sakihisa, a high-ranking noble who served in the role of the kanpaku, or Chief Advisor to the Emperor.  Initially, Taneko wed Ashikaga Gijin (also known as Takayama), the son of Ashikaga Yoshiaki (the fifteenth and last shōgun of the Muromachi bakufu), and bore two children.  Ashikaga Yoshitaka (1601 to 1661) who served as the noble-abbot at the Jissō Temple in Kyōto, and Ashikaga Jōson (1604 to 1671) who served as the noble-abbot at the Enman Temple in Ōmi Province.

Following the demise of Gijin in 1605, Taneko entered into service at the Imperial Court through a relative of Taneko’s mother named Konoe Sakiko, an attendant of Emperor Goyōzei (the 107th emperor).  As a court lady, she was called Chacha-no-tsubone or Sanmi-no-tsubone.  Thereafter, she became a slave of Emperor Goyōzei and bore three children.  Two of these children died prematurely.  The other was Dōkō Hosshinnō (1612 to 1679).  He served as the noble-abbot of the Shōgo Temple in Kyōto.

Taneko served alongside Goyōzei into his latter years.  When Goyōzei was on the verge of death, Taneko facilitated a visit by Emperor Gomizuno (the 108th emperor), which was her last meeting with Goyōzei.

From 1638, Taneko began a secluded life in Iwakura near the Jissō Temple, leaving the Imperial Court.  Thereafter, she maintained friendly relations with members of the Imperial Court and, on 5/7 of Shōhō 2 (1645) accompanied Bunchi Joō (a nun and member of the Imperial family) along with the high priestess Enkōinden Zuiun Buneini who built the Entsū Temple in Iwakura, to visit a monk of the Rinzai sect named Isshi Bunshu of the Eigen Temple in Ōmi Province.  The following year, she founded the Shōkō Temple of the Nichiren sect in Iwakura.  She died at the age of seventy-six.