Lifespan: Eiroku 8 (1565) or 11/11 of Tenshō 3 (1575) to 2/4 of Keichō 20 (1615)
Other Names: Fū, Tomiko, Harima-Gozen, Ryōsei-in
Clan: Tokugawa → Hōjō → Ikeda
Father: Tokugawa Ieyasu
Mother: Nishikōri-no-tsubone (consort)
Siblings: Matsudaira Nobuyasu, Kamehime, Tokuhime, Yūki Hideyasu, Tokugawa Hidetada, Matsudaira Tadayoshi, Furihime, Takeda Nobuyoshi, Matsudaira Tadateru, Tokugawa Yoshinao, Tokugawa Yorinobu, Tokugawa Yorifusa, others
Husband: [First] Hōjō Ujinao; [Second] Ikeda Terumasa
Children: [With Ujinao] Manishūin, Manhime; [With Terumasa] Senhime, Tadatsugu, Tadakatsu, Teruzumi, Masatsuna, Furihime, Teruoki
Tokuhime was a lady who lived in Japan during the Azuchi-Momoyama and early Edo periods. She was the second daughter of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Her mother was a consort named Nishinokōri-no-tsubone (the daughter of Udono Nagamochi). Her real name was Fū. She was also known as Tomiko, Harima-Gozen, and Ryōsei-in.
Tokuhime was born in Mikawa Province. Her brothers of a different mother included Matsudaira Nobuyasu, Yūki Hideyasu, Tokugawa Hidetada, Matsudaira Tadayoshi, and Matsudaira Tadateru. Her sisters of a different mother included Kamehime and Furihime (Shōsei-in).
On 6/2 of Tenshō 10 (1582), Oda Nobunaga died in a coup d’état known as the Honnō Temple Incident. At the time, he was an important ally of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Owing to the demise of Nobunaga, the Oda clan could not longer maintain control of Kai and Shinano provinces. This led to fighting between Ieyasu and Hōjō Ujinao for control of these provinces, in an event known as the Tenshō Jingo Conflict. Comparing the Tokugawa and Hōjō clans at the time, the Hōjō had superior resources and could mobilize more troops, but, at the Battle of Kurokoma in Kai, the addition of members from gōzoku, or wealthy families, from Shinano gave the Tokugawa an advantage. It was understood that if this led to a clash, each side would incur serious losses, so the clans entered into a settlement by which the Tokugawa gained control of the former territory of the Oda in Kai and Shinano while the Hōjō would govern Kōzuke Province. As one of the conditions of this settlement, on 8/15 of Tenshō 11 (1583), Tokuhime became the formal wife of Hōjō Ujinao. Together with Ujinao, Tokuhime bore two daughters.
In 1590, during the Conquest of Odawara by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the Hōjō were decimated and lost their status as a sengoku daimyō family. At this time, upon the urgent pleas of Ujinao to Ieyasu (his father-in-law) for support, he was aided by Hideyoshi and sent to Mount Kōya near the capital of Kyōto. Later, Tokuhime headed toward Ujinao after he was pardoned, but, in 1591, Ujinao died so she returned to her father. Regarding her two daughters, one died early in 1593 while the other, Manhime, died on 11/20 of Keichō 7 (1602).
On 3/1 of Keichō 8 (1603), to mark one-hundred days after Manhime’s death, rice for purposes of receiving worship was sent to the Honzen Temple. Residents of the village of Nakasuji in the Kawabe District of Settsu Province struggled with the burden of annual rice levies. To receive a portion of the rice donated to the Honzen Temple, some of them converted to the Nichiren sect and constructed the Myōgen Temple associated with the Buddhist name of Manhime. On 12/27 of Bunroku 3 (1594), through the offices of Hideyoshi, she remarried to Ikeda Terumasa. At this time, she brought along a picture scroll painted by Kanō Motonobu (kept at the Suntory Musuem of Art) and a painting of a famous battle from the late Heian period (an important cultural asset kept at the Tōkyō National Museum) that were handed down over generations in the Hōjō family.
Tokuhime got along well with Terumasa and she bore five boys and two girls. On 4/2 of Keichō 14 (1609), she took along her sons, Ikeda Tadatsugu, Ikeda Tadakatsu, and Ikeda Teruzumi to meet Ieyasu in Sunpu. This was a major procession with over 5,000 people. At this time, her three sons joined Tokugawa Yorinobu (age eight) to perform a traditional theater known as nōgaku. Tokuhime and her sons stayed until 5/5. On behalf of her mother, Nishikōri-no-tsubone, Tokuhime requested and received permission from Ieyasu for Teruzumi to convert to the Nichiren sect on the condition that she would convert to the Jōdo sect (the same sect as Ieyasu). On 1/25 of Keichō 18 (1613), Tokuhime’s husband, Ikeda Terumasa, died. On 5/27, she arrived in Sunpu to handle succession issues in the wake of the death of Terumasa. On 6/22, she returned home. Ieyasu had allowed her to stay until then to console her following the death of Terumasa.
In 1614, after Ikeda Tadatsugu deployed for the Winter Campaign of the Siege of Ōsaka, Tokuhime corresponded with his retainer, Kan Gonnosuke, in regard to the activities of Tadatsugu and the status of the battle.
In 1615, while staying at the Nijō Castle to meet with Ieyasu, Tokuhime contracted small pox and died. She was either forty-one or fifty-one years old. Her grave is at the Ryōshō sub-temple at the Chion Temple in Kyōto. Her portrait in the appearance of a nun is displayed at the Tōkyō National Museum under the name of Ryōsei-in.
In 1616, as though following after Tokuhima, Ikeda Toshitaka, the eldest son of Terumasa, died. Toshitaka’s orphan, Ikeda Mitsumasa, became the lord of the Okayama domain and, later, received as his formal wife, Katsuhime, the eldest daughter of Honda Tadatoki and Senhime (also known as Ensei-in, the daughter of Hidetada and a nephew of Tokuhime).
Tokuhime bore two daughters with her first husband, Hōjō Ujinao:
Manishūin: Died prematurely in 1593
Manhime: Died on 11/20 of Keichō 7 (1602) – her grave is located to the left side of the grave of her grandmother, Nishikōri-no-tsubone, at the Shinjō sub-temple at the Honzen Temple in Kyōto. Her portrait is kept at the Myōyō Temple on Mount Shōei in the city of Tottori.
Tokuhime bore two daughters and five sons with her second husband, Ikeda Terumasa:
Senhime (Chachahime): Born on 8/3 of Keichō 1 (1596). Adopted by her uncle, Tokugawa Hidetada and wed to Kyōgoku Takahiro.
Ikeda Tadatsugu: Born on 2/18 of Keichō 4 (1599) at the Ikeda residence in Fushimi. Childhood name: Fujimatsumaru
Ikeda Tadakatsu: Born on 10/18 of Keichō 7 (1602) at Himeji Castle. Childhood name: Katsugorō
Ikeda Teruzumi: Born in 1604. Childhood name: Matsuchiyo
Ikeda Masatsuna: Born in 1605. Childhood name: Iwamatsu
Furihime: Born on 4/21 of Keichō 12 (1607). Wed Date Tadamune in lieu of her aunt, Ichihime, who died prematurely.
Ikeda Teruoki: Born on 1/15 of Keichō 16 (1611). Childhood name: Koshichirō
Certain records indicate Tokuhime’s birth year as 1565 while others indicate 1575. If the latter is correct, then she would have been forty-seven years old at the time of the birth of her last son. Moreover, if she was born in 1575, then should have married Hōjō Ujinao at the age of nine and bore two children by age seventeen. There is another reference to her having died of smallpox in her forties, which aligns with the later year of birth. In authenticated sources from a monk of the Shingon sect named Gien, there may have been an error in her recorded age. After the demise of Terumasa, Tokuhime requested Gien to pray for the well-being of Tadatsugu, so he did have exchanges with her and therefore can be surmised to have known her real age.
Veracity of incident regarding poisoned buns
There is a legend concerning the death of Tadatsugu at the age of sixteen.
In a bid to install her son, Tadatsugu, as the lord of Himeji Castle, Tokuhime devised a plot to assassinate her stepchild, Toshitaka. When Toshitaka met Tadatsugu in Okayama Castle, she served poisoned manjū, or steamed buns, to Toshitaka. A servant wrote the character for poison in the palm of her hand and showed him so Toshitaka did not partake in the meal. Having discerned the situation, Tadatsugu then grabbed the poisoned manjū, ate it, and died. In this manner, as an older brother, he protected Toshitaka through his own sacrifice. Ashamed at the outcome, Tokuhime then ate poisoned manjū and died.
On 2/23 of Keichō 20 (1615), Tadatsugu died of smallpox at Okayama Castle, while, on 2/4 of the same year, Tokuhime died at Nijō Castle. There are differences in regard to the place, the order, and the cause of death. The Ikeda family was divided between factions supporting Toshitaka and Tadatsugu respectively, and descendants of each became lords of the Okayama and Tottori domains. Records from both domains refute death by poisoning. Meanwhile, when Tadakatsu died after inheriting the family, Toshitaka’s eldest son and heir, Ikeda Mitsumasa, left a eulogy suggesting a close relationship, so the foregoing account is difficult to ascertain.
In 1978, during the transfer of the tomb of Tadatsugu, an excavation survey was performed including an examination of the remains to test for death by poisoning, but no poisonous substances were detected.