Oshikoji Karasumadono Residence (押小路烏丸殿)

Oshikoji Karasumadono residence was one of residential palaces in Medieval Kyoto. It was the residence of Sekkan-ke (the family lines which produced regents) of the Nijo family before becoming 'Nijo New Imperial Palace' of Imperial Prince Sanehito, which was where Nobutada ODA died in battle during the Honnoji Incident. It is thought that the residence was located around the area where Nijoden-cho, Oikeno-cho, and Tatsuike-cho in Nakagyo Ward in Kyoto City are today. It was commonly known as Nijo-dono.

It was originally where the palace of Yomeimon-in stood, and later served as the residence of FUJIWARA no Norimitsu, the favorite retainer of Gotoba-in before becoming the Sento Imperial Palace (Sanjo bomon-dono) of Gotoba-in. There was a large pond which was to be called 'Ryuyaku-ike Pond' by the later generation on the south-side of the residence, by the side of which was an outbuilding called 'Izumi-dono,' which was connected to the main building. Although this building later became the palace of Onmeimon-in, it was lost in the fire of 1222. In 1257, a new residence was built by Gosaga-in. This building was the direct origin of Oshikoji Karasumadono residence. In 1262, the residence was given to Seishi SAIONJI, who was favored by Gosaga-in, and it became her dwelling.

In "Shugaisho," it is written that Yoshizane NIJO, the first head of the Nijo family, lived in this residence, and there is also a theory that the family name 'Nijo' came from the fact that their residence was at the address of 'Nijo Kyogokutei.'
Furthermore, it is written in "Nijo Oshikoji Kamon Teisen-ki" passed down in the Nijo family that Yoshizane NIJO changed his residence during the Kencho era. However, the residence of Yoshizane NIJO was in fact Nijo Tomikojidono residence, which later served as the dairi (Imperial Palace), as is written in the June 4, 1244 entry of "Heikoki" (Diary of TAIRA no Tsunetaka) ('Tonight the lord (Yoshizane NIJO) moved to Nijo Tomikoji residence'). It is also known that Michinaga NIJO, the son of Yoshizane, died at Nijo Tomikojidono residence according to the entry which records his death on December 29, 1259 in "Tsunemitsukyo-ki" (The Record of Lord Tsunemitsu) ('Today at dawn, Michinaga Nijo was said to have passed away at the Nijo Tomikoji residence; as I could not be there as I was taken in a battle'). As such, it is thought that the residence of Yozhizane Nijo was neither Oshikoji Karasuma nor Nijo Kyogoku (in addition, Nijo Tomikojidono residence, at that time, was located across from Reizei Tomikoji-dono residence, which was a satodairi (temporary Imperial Palace) on Nijo-oji Avenue, and it was regarded as a part of the entrance (jin) to satodairi). Furthermore, there is a question as to whether the buildings of Oshikoji Karasumadono residence actually existed during the Kencho era (the period between the Joo era and Shoka era), and as such, the possibility that Yoshizane NIJO was the lord of Oshikoji Karasumadono is small. Haretomi MIBU also heard from Mochimichi NIJO that the exchange of the residence occurred during Einin era (the April 20, 1478 entry of in "Haretomi Sukune Ki"), and the Emperor Go-Fushimi was enthroned at the Tomikojidono residence. During the late 13th century before 1298, soboku (the exchange of territory) between Nijo Tomikojidono residence and Oshikoji Karasumadono was carried out.

Since then, Oshikoji Karasumadono became the residence of generations of the Nijo family, as the base of Yoshimoto NIJO, who served as a regent to the emperor five times, was also here. On September 28, 1336, when Yoshimoto was 17 years old, the Retired Emperor Kogen and his younger brother, Imperial Prince Yutahito, who were of the Jimyoin Line, entered Oshikoji Krasumadono residence, with a maneuvering of Takauji ASHIKAGA, who caused the Kenmu administration to collapse. At Izumi-dono, which was designated as a residence of the Retired Emperor Kogen, the ceremony of geupuku (attaining manhood) for Imperial Prince Yutahiro was carried out, and then immediately after his Senso-no-gi (a ceremony to enthrone as a new emperor) as an adopted son of the Retired Emperor was carried out at the main house. The Northern Court (Japan) was thus established, and, taking this as a custom, the Senso-no-gi for the Emperor Suko was also carried out at Oshikoji Karasumadono residence. Much later in time, there was a rumor that someone witnessed a white dragon ascending from the pond of Oshikoji Karasumadono residence during a thunder storm on August 5, 1368. Chugan Engetsu who heard the story named the pond 'Ryuyaku-ike Pond' (Pond of the ascending dragon).

However, Oshikoji Karasumadono residence, which survived several disasters such as fires and the Onin War since the time when the Nijo family moved in, was burned down in an arson attack on December 25, 1477 (by cruel coincidence, it was the day the Oni War practically ended as the result of the retreat of the Ouchi clan). Although the residence was rebuilt 9 years later, the Nijo family experienced hardship due to the successive deaths of family heads (Tadafusa NIJO, who became a family head at the age of 2 in 1497, was killed during the Revolt of Taineiji), and followed the course of ruin both politically and economically. In "Rakuchu Rakugai-zu" (Views In and Around Kyoto), painted during the Sengoku period (period of warring states), there is a depiction of the splendid mansion of Nijodono. In reality, the lord of the Nijo family, who lived in poverty, had to rely on the protections of daimyo (feudal lords), moving across the country from one to another, and the residence was dilapidated to the point where the people of Kyoto, regardless of their classes, entered the compound freely and enjoyed looking at the garden and the pond.

Haruyoshi NIJO, who supported the entering of Nobunaga ODA into Kyoto from the start, ameliorated the situation of the residence. However, Nobunaga, who was pleased with the Oshikoji Karasumadono residence, forced Haruyoshi NIJO to move out, and used it as a palace of Crown Prince Sanehito in 1579 following repair work by Sadakatsu MURAI. 3 years later, Oshikoji Karasumadono, which was then called Nijo Palace, was attacked and burned down by Mitsuhide AKECHI during the Honnoji Incident, and was left to ruin without ever being rebuilt. Although some remains of 'Ryuyaku-ike pond' were identified up until the late Edo period, there is nothing left of Oshikoji Karasuma residence today.

[Original Japanese]