Episode 456 – Stranger in the Shogun’s City

This week: the story of Tsuneno, a commoner whose social status was very different from that of Lady Nijo and Ogimachi Machiko, but whose struggle to define herself and decide her own destiny feels very familiar.


Stanley, Amy. Stranger in the Shogun’s City: A Japanese Woman and Her World. You can also find Dr. Stanley’s website, which has way more info about Tsuneno and her life, here.

Furushima, Toshio. “The Village and Agriculture during the Edo Period” in Cambridge History of Japan, Vol 4: Early Modern Japan

Nakai, Nobuhiko. “Commercial Change and Urban Growth in Early Modern Japan” in  Cambridge History of Japan, Vol 4: Early Modern Japan.


A map of Edo in 1849. It’s oriented so that West (the direction of Mt. Fuji) is on top, but if you know your way around you can find neighborhoods important in Tsuneno’s life like Kanda, Tsukiji, or Sumiyoshi-cho.
An image from Dr. Stanley’s website showing a record of Tsuneno’s birth.
Rinsenji’s main gate. The temple is now in Joetsu City.
Joganji in the city of Oishida, site of Tsuneno’s first marriage.