Goten jochu

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  • Japanese: 御殿女中 (goten jochuu)

Goten jochû were girls from well-to-do commoner families or low-ranking samurai families who, in the Edo period, served as ladies-in-waiting in daimyô households.

The experience of holding such a position provided considerable acculturation for the young woman, who learned elite etiquette and became skilled at numerous arts, thus also boosting the social standing of her own family. In order to obtain such a position, however, the young woman had to go through expensive training, proving her artistic and etiquette abilities in a series of job interviews.

Nishimiya Hide, lady-in-waiting to Yoshiko, wife of Mito han lord Tokugawa Nariaki, was one such woman.[1]


  • Eiko Ikegami, Bonds of Civility, Cambridge University Press (2005), 155-156.
  1. Anne Walthall, "Nishimiya Hide: Turning Palace Arts into Marketable Skills," in Walthall (ed.), The Human Tradition in Modern Japan, Scholarly Resources, Inc. (2002), 45-60.