Saturday, August 6, 2011

Atsuko Saisho Memorial

Some of the history markers around Kagoshima can be found in unexpected places. This one is pinned between the street and a sento (public bath building) in a small residential area a couple of blocks north of the Kagoshima-chuo train station.

From the marker:

"The Remains of the Residence of the Waka Poet Saisho Atsuko
Saisho Atsuko, whose maiden name was Hayashi, was born in Bunsei 8 (1825) in Kyoto. It is said that she liked waka poems since she was small.

When she was 20 years old, she married Saisho Atsuyuki, who served at the Satsuma Residence in Kyoto, after his former wife died. When she was 28 years old, her husband died and then she devoted herself to her mother-in-law in Satsuma.

In Ansei 4 (1857), when she was 33 years old, because she received much recognition from Shimadzu Nariakira, she was selected as a dry-nurse for Tatsumaru, Nariakira's son. After Tatsumaru died, she went back to Kyoto as a lady-in-waiting for Sadahime, Hisamitsu's adopted daughter, when Sadahime married into the Konoe family, in Kyoto. Furthermore, she served the Emperor and the Empress as a court lady for 25 years after being recommended by Takasaki Masakaze. She passed away at age 76 and her grave is in the Aoyama cemetary.

Some collections of her waka poems are "Mikakinoshitakusa" and "Mikakinoshitakusashui"."

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