Agata no INUKAI no Michiyo (県犬養三千代)

Agata no INUKAI no Michiyo (665? - January 11, 733 (old lunar calendar) (February 4, 733)) was a court lady during the early Nara Period. Her father was Agata no INUKAI no Azumabito. She was also called TACHIBANA no Michiyo.

She served as a court lady in the Imperial court and wielded influence in kokyu (empress's residence) as a menoto (a wet nurse for a highborn baby) for Prince Karu (later the Emperor Monmu). At first she married Prince Minu (Mino) and gave birth to Prince Katsuragi (later TACHIBANA no Moroe), Prince Sai, and Princess Murono; after Prince Minu went to Chikushi as Dazai no sochi (Governor-General of the Dazai-fu offices), she became the second wife of FUJIWARA no Fuhito and gave birth to FUJIWARA no Komyoshi (Empress Komyo) and FUJIWARA no Tahino (although there are conflicting views about Tahino's mother). Throughout this span of years she continued to wield influence in kokyu and supported Fuhito to establish the supremacy of the Fujiwara clan.

In 708, at the Daijosai (a festival to celebrate the succession of an emperor) of the Empress Genmei, Michiyo was praised for serving the Imperial court since the era of the Emperor Tenmu and was given the kabane (hereditary title) of TACHIBANA no Sukune commemorated with a tachibana (mandarin orange) floating in a cup, which made her effectively the founder of the Tachibana clan. In 721 she was promoted to Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank) but in the same year she became a nun when the Empress Genmei became critically ill. She died on January 11, 733 (old lunar calendar). On December 28 of the same year (old lunar calendar) (February 10, 734) she was posthumously promoted to Juichii (Junior First Rank) and on August 7, 760 (old lunar calendar) (September 24, 769) was honored with Shoichii (Senior First Rank) and Taifujin (a title of respect for an Emperor's mother).

One poem of hers is included in 'Manyoshu' (the oldest anthology of tanka) and the Horyu-ji Temple has 'Tachibana Fujin Zushi' which is said to have belonged to Michiyo.

[Original Japanese]