Chujo Hime (Princess Chujo) (中将姫)

Chujo Hime (September 30, 747 - April 22, 775) is a character of a Japanese legend, who has been told to have been a daughter of Udaijin (minister of the right) FUJIWARA no Toyonari.


According to some legends, she was called Chujo Hime because the rank of Chujo had been granted by the emperor; it is also considered that the word 'chu' (中, which was also pronounced as 'naka') had a significant meaning.
The word 'chu' could imply 'to connect gods (Buddha) and human.'
There are several other possible explanations that Chujo Hime had some connection with Emperor Tenji (Emperor Tenchi, who had been called Prince Nakanooe), or Nakatsusumera-mikoto, or Prince Oshisaka-no-Onaka, or the Nakatomi clan, or Chugu (empress), however the details are still unknown.

She escaped from her stepmother who had tried to kill her, to Mt. Hibari of Yamato Province, where she became a nun at Taima-dera Temple (another legend says that it was because she mourned over her father's degradation), and she made devotional exercises at the temple and gained assistance from Buddha due to her virtues, and she could make Taima mandala (mandala based on Kanmuryoju-kyo [The Amitayur dhuyana Sutra]) weaving with lotus thread in one night.


Since there was a legend that Chujo Hime had suffered from a women's disease, women who had the same type of diseases particularly believed in her like Awashima Myojin God (refer to 'Chujo Hime Seigan-zakura' [Chujo Hime's cherry tree for vows]).

Jusha TSUMURA, the founder of Tsumura & Co., was from Uda County, Yamato Province, and a Buddhist parishioner of Shoren-ji Temple at Mt. Hibari; and his mother's family home, the Fujimura family had possessed for generations the prescription of medicine (called Chujo-to) which Chujo Hime had taught them as a token of her gratitude for hiding her in their house while she had been running away.

Takada-gawa River, which runs through Yamatotakada City, is also called Chujo-gawa River. There is a legend that Chujo Hime descended Takada-gawa River by boat and landed at Abe Village, and stayed in Tsukiyama Village where still remain Tsukiyama Tumulus (Yamatotakada City) before she entered Taima-dera Temple.

As for Mt. Hibari, to which she escaped from the assassination by her stepmother, there are more two places having the same name, one is in Itoga-cho, Arida City, Wakayama Prefecture, and another is in Koino, Hashimoto City, Wakayama Prefecture, and in both areas remain the legends linked to Chujo Hime.

[Original Japanese]