For a person a smile is a very important factor.

People gather about a person with a wonderful smile. There is a saying that happiness comes to a smiling gate. In other words, one’s destiny improves. Even if it is a forced smile, if we show a smile, things naturally become happy. Even if things are not happy, depending on how we react to them, the circumstances gradually become brighter. A smile is the secret of human life.   It was a smile that opened the destiny for Kissho-In, Mrs. Otama-kata, the concubine of the third Tokugawa Shogun, Iemitsu, and the real mother of the fifth Shogun, Tsunayoshi.


Otama, who was born as the daughter of a poor greengrocer. Although she was cheerful, she was not a particularly an attractive child. Otama entered Edo castle as lady-in-waiting of the wedding procession for a princess that was Iemitsu’s concubine. And she later began to work as a maid in the inner-chamber of Edo castle.   One day, she spoke to a person in the bath, unaware that it was Iemitsu. From that time Iemitsu took notice of her. And from that time on Otama’s cheerful personality and smile stole his heart, and she became his favorite lady. Before long she gave birth to Tokumatsu, who would later become the fifth Shogun, Tsunayoshi. Iemitsu dearly loved Otama, who always had a bright smile and lived with gratitude in her heart. It became an issue that the parental home of the real mother of the next Shogun was a greengrocer. The feudal government went out of its way to make-up a genealogy, and Otama’s father, Taroheiei, received a meeting with Iemitsu as a descendant of the Fujiwara family.


Surprisingly, at that meeting, Otama’s father was promoted to a feudal lord. In that age when the class system was strictly observed, the greengrocer parental home of a town girl, who was not particularly beautiful, gave birth to a boy through her forever bright smile, and became a feudal lord in a single night.