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Okaji no Kata

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Title: Okaji no Kata  
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Okaji no Kata

Okaji no Kata (お梶の方) (December 7, 1578 – September 17, 1642) or Lady Okaji, was a concubine of Tokugawa Ieyasu. She came from a relatively unknown origin. She was either Ōta Dōkan's adopted daughter, Tōyama Naokage's daughter, or Edo Shigemichi's daughter. Her other names are Oha (お八の方) and Okatsu (お勝の方).

Many people believe that Ieyasu met Okaji around the time he first settled in Edo. Due to her status as his concubine, her age when they met is not recorded but some historians postulate that she could have been in her early teens. The two met due to her older brother reaching a higher status. Ieyasu was pleased with her charming wit and fell in love with her quickly. She was going to marry Matsudaira Masatsuna but the arrangement was cancelled after she became pregnant. She bore Ieyasu's last child and daughter, Ichihime, who died at a very young age.

Ieyasu is believed to have truly loved Okaji, and there are a few stories surrounding them. There was also an unverifiable tale that she dressed as a man and protected her husband at the Battle of Sekigahara.

After Ieyasu's death in 1616, Okaji became a nun with the Buddhist name Eishō-in (英勝院). She died at the age of 65 years.

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