Tsuchimikado-dono Palace (土御門殿)

Tsuchimikado-dono Palace is a Shinden-zukuri style residence built by MINAMOTO no Masanobu. It was also called Kyogoku-dono or Jotomondai (because it faced Tsuchimikado-oji Street that ran up to the Joto-mon Gate of the imperial palace). It was located in the Sakyoichijo district of Heian-kyo and corresponds to a place within the premises of present-day Kyoto Imperial Palace.

MINAMOTO no Masanobu had FUJIWARA no Michinaga, Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) at Kyoshiki (the Capital Bureau) live there when he married Masanobu's daughter, Rinshi, and Michinaga inherited the residence after Masanobu died. FUJIWARA no Shoshi, the eldest daughter of Michinaga and Empress of Emperor Ichijo, used this residence to give birth to Imperial Prince Atsuhira (later Emperor Goichijo) and Imperial Prince Atsunaga (later Emperor Gosuzaku). Situations at that time were described in detail in "The Murasaki Shikibu Diary." When Shoshi later became nyoin (the position given to a close female relative of the Emperor, a woman of comparable standing, or a person in that position), she used Jotomonin for her name as a nyoin, after Jotomondai, which was another name for the residence. FUJIWARA no Kishi, a younger sister of Shoshi, also later gave birth to Emperor Goreizei at this residence, which was used as a satodairi (a temporary palace) for three emperors, Goichijo, Gosuzaku and Goreizei. In this way, the residence symbolized the glory of the FUJIWARA no Michinaga family.

According to "Midokanpaku-ki (Midokanpaku diary)," when peacocks arrived at the imperial court from North Soh Dynasty in China in 1015, Emperor Sanjo, the emperor at that time, presented them to Michinaga, who is said to have kept them at Tsuchimikado-dono Palace.

The residence was destroyed in a fire in 1016, but a residence more splendid than the former one was reconstructed using goods for reconstruction presented by kokushi (provincial governors) of the provinces under the ryo system. Subsequently, this residence functioned as a strategic base for the heads of sekke (the families that were entitled to assume the regent position or the top adviser to an emperor), together with Higashi-sanjo-dono Palace.

[Original Japanese]