Oe Iwashiro (大江磐代)

Iwashiro OE (1744-January 11, 1813) was a member of Japan's Imperial Family.
She was a Nyobo (a court lady) who served the Imperial Prince Kaninnomiya Sukehito
She was the real mother of the Emperor Kokaku and the great-great-grandmother of the Emperor Meiji.


She was born in Kurayoshi, Hoki Province (Kurayoshi City, Tottori Prefecture) in 1744 to her father, Soken IWAMURO who was a vassal of the Arao clan, a family of chief retainers of the Tottori Domain, and her mother, Orin who was a daughter of an iron wholesaler. Her childhood name was Otsuru.

She move to Kyoto at the age of nine, with her father, Soken, who had become a masterless samurai then became a town doctor. After those stories including being adopted to and served the Kushige family, she took the name of the Tachibana clan in her teens, then as 'Tomeko OE,' she became a lady in waiting of the Imperial Princess Kazunomiya Fusako.

Then, after the Imperial Princess Fusako married the Imperial Prince Kaninnomiya Sukehito, Iwashiro also received his favor as a Nyobo and gave birth to three princes. Her oldest and the Imperial Prince Kaninnomiya Sukehito's sixth son, the Imperial Prince Morohito, ascended the throne, taking the sonless Emperor Gomomozono's first Princess, the Imperial Princess Yoshiko as the empress. She was from an incredibly humble background as a real mother of an emperor in those days.

After the Prince Sukehito passed away, she entered priesthood and became Renjoin, lived with her second son priestly Imperial Prince Einin, the seventh prince of the Imperial Prince Kaninnomiya Sukehito, who had succeeded to the headship of the Shogoin family of monzeki (imperial priests). For that reason, her father, Soken IWAMURO was promoted to become a vassal and appointed to Hokkyo (the third highest rank for Buddhist priests).

She passed away in 1813 at the age of 69 and was buried in Rozan-ji Temple. She was posthumously conferred Jushii (Junior Fourth Rank) in1878 and Shoichii (Senior First Rank) in1902.

[Original Japanese]