Tokuhime

徳姫

Matsudaira Clan

Mikawa Province

Lifespan:  11/11 of Eiroku 2 (1559) to 2/16 of Kanei 13 (1636)

Other Names:  Ogotoku

Clan:  Oda → Matsudaira

Father:  Oda Nobunaga

Mother:  Ikoma Kitsuno

Siblings:  Nobutada (?), Nobukatsu, Nobutaka (mother from Saka clan), Tokuhime, others 

Husband:  Matsudaira Nobuyasu

Children:  Tokuhime (wife of Ogasawara Hidemasa), Kumahime (wife of Honda Tadamasa)

Tokuhime was a lady who lived in Japan from the Sengoku to early Edo periods.

On 10/12 of Eiroku 2 (1559), Tokuhime was born as the eldest daughter of Oda Nobunaga, the sengoku daimyō of Owari Province.  Her mother is regarded to have been a consort named Ikoma Kitsuno (having the Buddhist name of Kyūan-Keishō) but according to another account, she was the older sister of Oda Nobutada.  Thus, there are records that are contrary to the theory that she was Tokuhime’s mother.

In the third month of 1563, Nobunaga promised to Tokugawa Ieyasu to have Tokuhime wed his son.

On 5/27 of Eiroku 10 (1567), Tokuhime wed Ieyasu’s lineal heir, Matsudaira Nobuyasu, the only son of Tsukiyama-dono.  Subsequently, she bore Tokuhime (written with different characters than her name) in 1576 and Kumahime in 1577.  Tokuhime, however, could not bear a son, causing worry for Tsukiyama-dono.  Tsukiyama-dono then invited as resident consorts for Nobuyasu the daughter of Asahara Masatoki (a former retainer of the Takeda family who later became a retainer of the Tokugawa) and the daughter of Hinata Tokimasa.  From around this time, Tokuhime had a falling out in her relationship with her mother-in-law.

Furthermore, the relationship between Tokuhime and her husband, Nobuyasu, also faltered.  In an effort to mediate their differences, Ieyasu came to Okazaki.  There is also a theory that Nobuyasu had differences with a retainer of the Tokugawa named Matsudaira Yasutada.  In any event, around this time, Nobunaga also came to Okazaki so it is surmised that he shared the concerns of Ieyasu in regard to their relationship, as well as with Tsukiyama-dono.  Even if a temporary event, tensions mounted between Tokuhime and Nobuyasu.

In 1579, Tokuhime sent to Nobunaga a letter setting forth twelve claims against Tsukiyama-dono, including, among others, that Tsukiyama-dono: (i) had slandered her to Nobuyasu, (ii) was engaged in an affair with a Chinese physician named Genkyō, and (iii) was colluding with the Takeda family.  Upon this basis, Nobunaga ordered Ieyasu to execute Nobuyasu.  This order was communicated via Sakai Tadatsugu, a messenger of Ieyasu staying at Azuchi Castle at the time.

Ieyasu then ordered the execution of his wife.  On 8/29, she was pressured by Okamoto Tokinaka and Nonaka Shigemasa (who feared for the future of the Tokugawa family) to take her own life near Lake Sanaru in the village of Koyabu in the Fuchi District of Tōtōmi.  When she resisted, they decapitated her instead.  Following an examination by Ishikawa Yoshifusa, her head was sent to Nobunaga at Azuchi Castle.  Approximately two weeks later, on 9/15, Nobuyasu committed seppuku at Futamata Castle.  There is no evidence in authenticated sources that Tsukiyama-dono was, for example, colluding with the Takeda clan, having an affair with Genkyō, or making Nobuyasu an accomplice in crime, suggesting the claims made by Tokuhime against her were false accusations.  Instead, tensions between Ieyasu and Nobuyasu may have been a cause.

Thereafter, on 2/20 of Tenshō 8 (1580), Tokuhime was sent off by Ieyasu, departing Oakazaki Castle and returning to Azuchi while her two daughters remained behind with Ieyasu.  She resided in the environs of Yawata in Ōmi Province.  Land was set aside as a dowry at the Chōmei Temple in Ōmi.  In 1582, after Nobunaga and his eldest son died in a coup d’ètat in the capital known as the Honnō Temple Incident, Tokuhime was protected by the next eldest son, Oda Nobukatsu.  After the Battle of Komaki-Nagakute, based on a settlement between Nobukatsu and Hashiba Hideyoshi (later known as Toyotomi Hideyoshi), Tokuhime resided in Kyōto as a hostage of the Hashiba clan.  In 1590, after Nobukatsu was removed from his position by Hideyoshi, the Ikoma clan moved to Koori in Owari Province.  Based on a license with a red seal from Hideyoshi, this was a measure sanctioned by Hideyoshi.  Soon thereafter, she resided in the capital again indicating that the treatment of Tokuhime was under the command of Hideyoshi.

After the Battle of Sekigahara, Tokuhime was granted landholdings of 1,761 koku by Matsudaira Tadayoshi, the fourth son of Ieyasu serving as the lord of Kiyosu Castle in Owari Province.  Thereafter, she lived in seclusion in Kyōto.  In 1630, when Senmatsumaru (Hachisuka Mitsutaka) was born as the lineal heir to Hachisuka Tadahide and his formal wife, Shigehime, Tokuhime was consulted in regard to the selection of a wet nurse.  Shigehime was the great-granddaughter of Tokuhime.

Tokuhime died on 1/10 of Kanei 13 (1636).