Ehihime (永姫)

Eihime (- March 24, 1623) was the fourth daughter of Nobunaga ODA. She was the lawful wife of Toshinaga MAEDA. Her pseudonym was Gyokusen-in.

Her origin and biography

She was born as the fourth daughter of Nobunaga as her father, although her mother was unknown. In December (lunar calender) at the age of seven, she became the lawful wife of 19-year-old Toshinaga MAEDA, the eldest legitimate son of Toshiie MAEDA. She was on the way with Toshinaga to visit her father Nobunaga, as they were called by him, but when she received an alert over the Honnoji Incident (the raid on the Honno-ji Temple in 1582, in which Nobunaga ODA was killed), she fled for refuge counting on Owari Arako, the former estate of the Maeda Family.

Although, she was sent to Edo (current Tokyo) as a hostage, together with her mother-in-low Hoshu-in during the Battle of Sekigahara, but later she was released to her husband, Toshinaga.

The couple was getting along well but they could not have an heir.
There remains her painful lament as, 'I want some woman to bear my husband' child, no matter what and how she would be.'

She adopted seven daughters from different families including two daughters of her brother Nobukatsu ODA and a daughter between Hideie UKITA and Gohime.

Toshinaga adopted his smaller brother Toshitsune MAEDA as his son, and he retired, after transferring the reigns of the family to Toshitsune. When Toshinaga died in Etchu Takaoka, Eihime retuned to Kanazawa and took the tonsure to become a nun, and took the Buddhist name, Gyokusen-in. On March 24, she died at the aged of 50. And she was buried at Nodayama Cemetery in Kanazawa.

Another theory: according to "Honhan Rekifu" (Chronicle of the domain) of Kaga Domain, it was described as, 'she died on March 3 in Moriyama, Etchu Province, and her mother was from the Ikoma clan,' however, it was revealed later that Kitsuno IKOMA (Nobunaga's concubine) (year of death) had nothing to do with her. There was no other daughter by a concubine, who took the surname of the Ikoma clan (genealogy of the Ikoma clan). Kitsuno's year of death is unknown.

As a tactical performance to carry the state of the war more favorably, she appealed Priest Myogan-Yoden Osho to confer the honorary title to Kitsuno, according to her social status, since Kitsuno was the mother of Tokuhime (Nobunaga's daughter and the lawful wife of the heir of Ieyasu TOKUGAWA), and constructed Kyusho-ji Temple (Ekibasan Kyusho-ji Temple) in Kanazawa on her own account.

[Original Japanese]