Hino Tomiko

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Tomiko was the daughter of Hino Shigemasa, born in Yamashiro province. She became the wife of the 8th Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa at age 16 in 1455. She had her first child on the ninth day of the first month of 1459, however the child died the same day. Unlike her passive husband, who had very little interest in political affairs, Tomiko was savvy and manipulative, and placed the blame for the child's death on the wet-nurse, Imamairi no Tsubone, whom she exiled to Oki island on lake Biwa (Imamairi no Tsubone committed suicide on the way).

By the mid 1460's, Yoshimasa had decided that he didn't want to be bothered with the duties of office and decided to rescind his position of Shogun. However, as Tomiko had not born him a male heir, he convinced his younger brother, Ashikaga Yoshimi, to first assist him in office, and then gradually claim the title of Shogun. Tomiko was averse to this, but at the time had no leverage to contest the appointment, until a year later, when she gave birth to the future Ashikaga Yoshihisa. With her standing in the Hino family, and backed by Yamana Sozen, two factions developed in the capital, one faction supporting the newly appointed Shogun, Yoshimi, and the other supporting the succession of Yoshihisa. Thus, this desire of lady Tomiko to place her son in line for the succession [led] eventually to conflict in the land,[1] and the Onin War began.


  1. Varley, H. Paul. The Onin War. New York: Columbia University Press, 1967


  • Hino Tomiko J-Wikipedia
  • Varley, H. Paul. The Onin War. New York: Columbia University Press, 1967