Hananoi (花野井)

Hananoi (year of birth unknown - 1873) was a housemaid of the Mito Domain in the end of the Edo period. Her name was 理子. Her father was Sanenari HASHIMOTO, her older brother was Sanehisa HASHIMOTO, and her younger sister was Anekoji who held the authority in O-oku of the present head of a family. She was a grandaunt of Imperial Princess Kazunomiya Chikako.

It is also said that she served as a senior lady-in-waiting to Princess Yoshiko who got married to the lord of the Mito Domain, Nariaki TOKUGAWA, or a senior lady-in-waiting to Nariaki. It is said that she had been in touch with her younger sister Anekoji, and helped the Hitotsubashi family's maneuver.

According to the research of Engyo MITAMURA, Hananoi was the same person as Karahashi (housemaid in O-oku), a senior lady-in-waiting of the Mito Domain, who had relations with Nariaki and got pregnant, and after she returned to Kyoto, she changed her name to Hananoi and went down to Nariaki's place again. However, the fact is unknown, because Karahashi was a daughter of the Takamatsu clan and there is no historical materials that show Hananoi and Karahashi were the same person.

[Original Japanese]