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A story about establishing firm roots in your marriage

Japan's marriage system seems to have changed many times, and according to books, it has changed from Tsumadoi(man visit woman) to Mukotori(man into woman's house) to Yomeiri(woman into man's house). Mukotori refers to the transition from living separately to living together, and yomeiri refers to moving from the wife's house to the husband's house, which seems to have happened during the period from the Heian period to Kamakura, when the aristocratic society was changing to the samurai society.


Weddings seem to have been a thing since Kamakura, and I think this is because the unit of "house" that connects to modern society has become more important in Japan. In order to define the assets owned and inherited by each individual family and to maintain the status of the family, it is a bad situation to be in a situation where the connection and background of the parent and child are not known.


The Fujiwara clan started naming themselves by the street in front of their mansion (Kujo, Ichijo), government positions (Saito, Kito), and country names (Muto, Kato), of course the main reason would be to identify each house correctly. But I think it means that the assets and honor that each family protects have become important, and it has become more necessary to differentiate between them. In particular, the samurai class named their fiefs and manors to define the homes and property they were supposed to protect. However, it would be best to have an expert explain this story from a more multifaceted perspective.


In this process, a woman who enters the yomeiri period and marries produces offspring (she is the only one who can prove blood ties) and plays the role of essentially binding the family together. In Japan, the head of the family is officially strong, but the wife is actually the strongest in many cases.


Toko Akahashi (1306-1365) was from a high-ranking family within the Hojo clan, and her older brother was Moritoki, who became "Shikken"(regent). The Ashikaga family had intermarried with the Hojo clan for generations during the Kamakura period, but Takauji was a stepchild due to the early death of his older brother, who was his legitimate son, and his mother belonged to the Uesugi family (Fujiwara clan).

At first he took the name Takauji(高氏) due to the biased epithet of Hojo Takatoki, who was the regent and Tokuso(direct line of descent) at the time, but later changed his name to Takauji(尊氏) because he rebelled against the shogunate and joined Emperor GoDaigo (his real name was Takaharu).

If you look at the genealogy of the Kamakura Hojo clan and the Ashikaga clan, they are deeply intertwined and become a clan, but from Toshi's perspective, the husband became an enemy of his parents' family. However, she was the mother of Takauji's eldest son, Yoshiakira, and Kamakura Kubo Motouji, and she achieved a prestigious position and lived out her natural life.

When Yoshisada Nitta invaded Kamakura, he escaped from Kamakura with SenjuO (Yoshiakira). The Hojo clan almost perished at Toshoji Temple, but she did not share her fate with the Akahashi family.


Go (Sugen-in, 1573-1626) was one of the three sisters of Nagamasa Azai and Nobunaga Oda's sister, Oichi no Kata, and was the lawful wife of Hidetada Tokugawa.

It is well known that Shogun Hidetada was a fearful wife, but the two of them had seven adult children, including Iemitsu and Tadanaga (Suruga Dainagon), and all of their daughters were members of the imperial family, the regent family, and They married feudal lords and contributed to stabilizing the government in the early Tokugawa period. Go originally had a daughter with Hidekatsu, a nephew of Hideyoshi Toyotomi , who married into the Kujo family, and later married Hidetada, so she is what we would call "divorced woman" today, but the status of her legal wife is strong.

Both Toko and Go have illegitimate children (Naofuyu Ashikaga and Masayuki Hoshina) who are almost illegitimate children with their husbands. In terms of securing a stable successor for a general, it is necessary to actively hire concubines to secure a spare successor, but sometimes the children become rivals and cause a stir. In the case of these two, as someone who had shared the hardships with the shogun during the early days of the Shogunate, I imagine that there was great resistance to seeing another woman's child receive excessive treatment.


After that, Naofuyu was adopted by Takauji's younger brother Tadayoshi, but he was at odds with Takauji's direct lineage and continued to resist in the western provinces. On the other hand, in the case of Masayuki, Iemitsu recognizes him as his only biological brother after Tadanaga's death, and makes him the satrap of Aizu with 280,000 koku. This is why the Aizu clan will fight for the Shogunate until the end.


A similar case is Masako Hojo, who strongly restrains Yoritomo's unrestrained relationships with women, but as we can see from the 13 people in Kamakura-dono, it doesn't seem to have had much of an effect. She was the one who supported Yoritomo from the dawn of time, but in the end she chose to protect the Hojo family and the shogunate over the Minamoto family.

In addition, Komatsu-dono (Honda Heihachiro Tadakatsu's daughter), who married Nobuyuki Sanada, was also a hero, and there are probably countless stories of how such a strong wife supported the married family.


Looking at it this way, it seems that from the Kamakura, Muromachi, and Edo periods, a system for maintaining the legitimacy of lineage (treatment of legitimate children, descendants, legitimate wives, and concubines) was gradually organized to protect the family. If it is too strict, there is a risk of disruption, and if it is too lenient, the legitimacy and mystery will fade.

Looking at the debate about female emperors, it makes me think about the values that Japanese people want to protect in modern times. I wish we could have a more fundamental and free discussion, without judging past ethics by modern ones or falling into a weak human rights theory.


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