Aeba no Tsubone (饗庭局)

Aeba no Tsubone (? - June 4, 1615) was a woman from the Sengoku period (the Warring States period) to the early Edo period.


Aeba no Tsubone was one of wet nurses of Yodo-dono and a lady's maid in a high position.

Her father was Akimasa AZAI, the adopted son of Sukemasa AZAI. Her mother was Umezu-dono (Tsuruchiyo/Sumatsuin), the only legitimate daughter of Sukemasa AZAI. Tsuruchiyo's mother (a grandmother of Aeba no Tsubone) was Kuraya AZAI, a lawful wife of Sukemasa, and this lady was the only daughter of Naomasa AZAI, the former lord, and therefore, Aeba no Tsubone was a female descendant of Naomasa.

An Aeba no Tsubone's older sister was Kaizu no tsubone (Kogenin. Kaizu no tsubone was a wife of Masataka AZAI. She was a lady's maid of Yodo-dono, and later escaped from the castle together with Senhime, and served Sugenin and Senhime, mother and daughter. Kaizu no tsubone's son was Naomasa MIYOSHI, the founder of hatamoto (direct retainers of the Edo bakufu) Miyoshi family). Aeba no Tsubone's son was Choshu NAITO, the head clerk of Shigenari KIMURA.


It seems that Aeba no Tsubone was good at negotiations (with military families) and therefore, she was dispatched by Yodo-dono as her representative several times. First, during the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, she was dispatched as Yodo-dono's representative to save Tatsuko KYOGOKU in the Otsu-jo Castle where Jokoin, one of Yodo-dono's younger sisters, lived. She surrendered the Otsu-jo Castle successfully together with Kozosu, a representative of Kodaiin, and Ogo MOKUJIKI, an envoy from Mt. Koya. After that, she sent along Tatsuko KYOGOKU to Kyoto safely.

In the incident of the inscription on a bell at Hoko-ji Temple in 1614, she was one of those who went down to Sunpu together with Okurakyo-no-tsubone. Also in the Siege of Osaka, she became an envoy together with Jokoin to ask Ieyasu TOKUGAWA to seal a compact with blood again.

In the Siege of Osaka in 1615, Aeba no Tsubone and Choshu, her son, committed suicide following Yodo-dono and Hideyori TOYOTOMI, mother and son, to value honor (this is recorded as 'Thirty-two loyal retainers'). Aeba no Tsubone reminds of the personality of Yodo-dono, who was viciously criticized later.

Although she was not more prominent than Okurakyo-no-tsubone, Aeba no Tsubone was one of women who played an active part in the Osaka-jo Castle.

[Original Japanese]