Maki no kata (Lady Maki) (牧の方)

Maki no kata (Lady Maki, year of birth and death unknown) lived around the end of the Heian Period to the early Kamakura Period. She was the second wife of Tokimasa HOJO, the first shikken (shogunal regent) of the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun). She was said to have been a daughter or a younger sister of Munechika MAKI, coming from the nobles although the rank was low. Here children included Masanori HOJO, Tomomasa HIRAGA's wife, Sanenobu SANJO's wife, and Yoritsuna UTSUNOMIYA's wife.

She and her husband, Tokimasa, were widely separated in age, but they are said to have been an affectionate couple. In December 1182, she informed Masako HOJO, her stepdaughter after childbirth, that MINAMOTO no Yoritomo, Masako's husband, had an affair. She caused such trouble that Masako ordered Munechika, Maki no kata's father, to destroy the residence of Kame no mae, Yoritomo's beloved concubine.

In June 1205, Tokimasa instigated the Shigetada HATAKEYAMA Rebellion. This was probably caused by the fact that Tomomasa HIRAGA, Maki no kata's son-in-law, made an ungrounded accusation against Shigeyasu, and she brought this accusation she had heard to Tokimasa. In July of the same year, she conspired with Tokimasa and killed MINAMOTO no Sanetomo. She also attempted to seize power in the shogunate government by way of making her son-in-law, Tomomasa, the new Shogun. To counter her plot, Masako HOJO and her younger brother, Yoshitoki HOJO, started to fight back. On August 13, she and Tokimasa were forced to become priests and confined to Izu Province by order of Yoshitoki (the Makishi Incident).

After that, she went back to Kyoto to live a luxurious life; she visited several temples accompanied by her family and followers, which drew criticism from FUJIWARA no Teika. The year of her death is unknown; however, she carried out the 13th anniversary of her husband, Tokimasa's death in 1227, so at she was alive at least until around that time.

Takao SUGIHASHI advanced a theory that Munechika MAKI, who was supposed to be Maki no kata's father or older brother, was the same person as FUJIWARA no Munechika, a brother of Ike no zenni ("Sonpi Bunmyaku" (Bloodlines of Noble and Base)). Ike no zenni, the second wife of TAIRA no Tadamori, begged for Yoritomo's life in the Heiji War.

[Original Japanese]