Kashuji Nariko (勧修寺徳子)

Nariko KASHUJI (November 30, 1788 - November 23, 1878) was a court lady from the late Edo period to the early Meiji period. She was Naishi no Kami (Principal Handmaid) of Emperor Ninko. Her childhood names were Nao and Mina. Her titles included Hosoi, Gon no Naishi no Suke, Ko no suke, Shin Chunagon no Suke, Shin-daitenji, To-dainagon, and Kyogoku. She was a daughter of Tsunehaya KASHUJI, Gon Dainagon (Provisional Chief Councilor of State). Tadako KASHUJI (Higashikyogokuin), the biological mother of Emperor Ninko, was her older sister.

In 1800 she entered the court as Joro-dai (deputy post of high-ranking lady-in-waiting) since her older sister Tadako gave a birth to the crown prince (later Emperor Ninko).
In 1809 she became Joro (high-ranking lady-in-waiting) of the crown prince and called herself 'Hosoi.'
In 1817 she became Gon no Naishi no Suke (provisional maid of honor) when the crown prince acceded to the throne and became Emperor Ninko. Deeply trusted by Emperor Ninko and Emperor Komei, she was in charge of educating their princes and princesses. (It was only Imperial Princess Kazunomiya Chikako who grew up). In 1857 she was promoted to the rank of Shin-daitenji, and when she retired in 1862, she was conferred Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) and the title of To-dainagon. When the problem of Imperial Princess Kazunomiya's Koka (marrying down to a shogun) was raised, Emperor Komei asked Nariko to persuade the princess and to enter the Edo castle to look her after. Later she returned to Kyoto and left the court around August and September 1868. In 1877 she was conferred Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank) for her long-term services. She died at the age of 91. She was buried in Seigan-ji Temple in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto City.

[Original Japanese]