Oku-zashiki (Inner Parlor) Building


This is the structure that was built furthest to the north when Tojo-tei House was first completed in 1884. The outward facing section is to the south, however half of this is blocked by the Naka-zashiki (Spare Room) Building, so sun exposure is not so good.

Yae, the second wife of Akitake Tokugawa, lived in this building. She was the daughter of a lower class samurai who served the House of Tokugawa during the Edo Period (1603 to 1868). At first, she served Akitake as his maid, but he later married her.

At that time, the position of women was lower than that of men in Japan. Furthermore, there was a significant difference in the social status of Akitake, a former candidate to be shogun, and Yae. The configuration of this building reflects this. The living spaces of Akitake and Yae were very different. A samurai with a high social status in the Edo Period would enter into the building where his wife and children sleep directly from the building where he spent his day. It is possible to see from this building that Akitake maintained this kind of lifestyle even in the Meiji Period (1868 to 1912).


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