Kyōgoku Maria


Kyōgoku Maria in Sengoku BASARA 4.

Kanji: 京極マリア
Date(s): 1543-August 20, 1618
Other Known Names: Yōfuku-in

Azai clan mon

Azai clan mon

Kyōgoku Maria was the daughter of Azai Hisamasa and the older sister to Azai Nagamasa. Very little is known about her, the only place being on Wikipedia, which is strange considering that she is claimed to be one of the best catechists in Kyōto-Ōsaka area.

There are no records of a birth name, but she got the name of Maria when she was baptized alongside her husband, Kyōgoku Takayoshi, in 1581. From the list of family on her Wikipedia page, it looks like there was only one other member of her family that became a Christian, one of her daughters, Kyōgoku Magdalena, but with no dates of birth or death, or any other information whatsoever, it is just a guess on my part just based on the daughter’s name alone. The other daughter Kyōgoku Tatsuko, was one of Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s favorite concubines. Sadly, her husband died not too long after their baptism. After her husband’s death, she began to preach Christianity and the Jesuits were impressed by her ability.

She reappears in history again in 1606 (or possibly 1607), when she moved to Wakasa Province under the protection of her one son Kyōgoku Takatsugu (her other son was Kyōgoku Takatomo). She moved again in 1609 to a remote place in Tango Province to escape from persecution. The last bit of evidence of her existence deals with her death. She died in a small hut in a Buddhist nunnery called Sengen-ji in 1618. It is unclear if she renounced her faith or not, for another known name that has been associated with Maria is Yōfuku-in, a Buddhist name. It is possible or she took on the name to hide from the Tokugawa and keep her true faith a secret. Unfortunately, until I can find more information on Maria, much of her life and work will remain a mystery.