10_Myoukei-ji Temple

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10. Myoukei-ji Temple

location:  Yurihonjo Kameda – 10 minutes from Kameda railway station by car.

Myoukei-ji temple was founded in Kameda by Lady Oden (Oden-no-kata) in 1629 to pray for enlightenment and for the revival of her family.
Lady Oden, whose first name was Nao, was born in 1604 .  She is primarily known as the daughter of the Sengoku military commander, Yukimura Sanada, whose life was made into a popular NHK TV drama.
She supported her father, Yukimura, when he fought against Ieyasu Tokugawa during the Siege of Osaka in 1614.  The following year, after her father’s defeat, she was transferred and kept captive at O-oku (the inner halls of Edo Castle) in Edo and then later she went to live with her mother in Kyoto.
Here, Nao caught the attention of Yoshinobu Satake, who was Lord of the Kubota (Akita) Domain at this time.  She was subsequently taken to Akita and became the wife of Yoshinobu’s brother, Nobuie.
Nobuie was later appointed the feudal lord of the Kameda Domain and so Nao moved again, this time to Kameda. Their first son also became the feudal lord of Kameda.
Nao was supposed to inherit the title “Lady Sanada”, after her father, but she decided against this due to the political situation at this time.  Instead, she dropped the first character of his name (“Sana”) and took just the second character (“da”) with an alternative pronunciation, “Lady Oden”.
The family’s Japanese halberd, which is on display in the temple today, was loved and used by Lady Oden.
At the temple you can learn about the life and destiny of the daughter of a military commander in the Sengoku Period, a time of turbulence and war in Japanese history.

keywords: history,  Sanada family
features: Yukimura Sanada, daughter of famous samurai during Sengoku Period 15th/16th century, national treasure, Oden’s Japanese halberd

written by S. Hatazawa

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