Shunkōin

春香院

Maeda Clan

Kaga Province

Lifespan:  5/7 of Tenshō 8 (1580) to 11/20 of Kanei 18 (1641)

Clan:  Maeda → Hosokawa → Murai

Father:  Maeda Toshiie

Mother:  Hōshunin

Siblings:  Toshinaga, Toshimasa, Tomoyoshi, Toshitsune, Toshitaka, Toshisada, Yuki (Shunkeiin, wife of Maeda Nagatane), Shō (wife of Nakagawa Mitsushige), Maahime (consort of Toyotomi Hideyoshi → consort of Madenokōji Atsufusa), Gōhime (wife of Ukita Hideie), Yome (fiancee of Asano Yukinaga), Chiyo (formal wife of Hosokawa Tadatoki → Murai Nagatsugu), Kiku, Hochi (fiancee of Takeda Nobuyoshi), Fuku, other

Adopted Sibling:  Fukujuin (formal wife of Mizuno Tadakiyo)

Husband:  Hosokawa Tadataka → Murai Nagatsugu

Children:  Toku, Kichi, Fuku, Man

Adopted Children:  Murai Nagamitsu

Shunkōin was a woman who lived during the Azuchi-Momoyama and early Edo periods.  She was the seventh daughter of Maeda Toshiie and Hōshunin.  She was variously known as Ochiyo, Maeda Chiyo, Chiyohime, or Nagahime.

In the second month of 1597, upon the direction of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, she became the formal wife of Hosokawa Tadataka, the eldest son and designated heir of Hosokawa Tadaoki, the first head of the Kokura domain in Buzen Province.  Prior to the Battle of Sekigahara, upon the urging of her older sister (Gōhime), Chiyo fled the residence in Ōsaka in a carriage to the Maeda residence, but this act harmed the image of the Hosokawa family, whereupon she was expelled and returned to the Maeda family.  Her husband, Tadataka, defended Chiyo so he was also expelled from the Hosokawa family and attempted to rely upon the Maeda family but the Maeda family did not offer protection to the couple so they separated.  Nevertheless, according to historical records, from 1605 to 1609, in Kyōto, Chiyo bore four daughters with Tadataka including Toku (later the wife of Saionji Saneharu), Kichi, Fuku (later the wife of Kuse Michinori, the first head of the Kuse family), and Man (who died early).

In 1605, she remarried Murai Nagatsugu, a leader of the Eight Families of Kaga and elder of the Murai family of the Kaga domain with a fief of 17,000 koku.

After her marriage, she did not bear a child with Nagatsugu but adopted Nagamitsu (later called Nagaie, the fourth son of Oda Nagataka).  In 1613, after the death of Nagatsugu, she underwent the rites of tonsure and adopted the name of Shunkōin.  She then engaged in the rebuilding of the Kumakabuto Shrine in Noto Province.

In 1641, Shunkōin died in Kanazawa at the age of sixty-two.  Her grave is on Mount Noda.

Shunkōin was the last child of Hōshunin and was the most cherished among her children.  Many letters remain that were written by Hōshunin to Shunkōin kept at the Tamagawa Municipal Library in Kanazawa and the Museum of the Maeda Tosa-no-kami Family.