There have been many previous studies about the relationship between women and temples focusing on amadera such as enkiri[dera in the Kanto area and bikuni] gosyo in Kyoto. However, there have been few previous studies about elite women’s entering amadera (Buddhist convents) and their life. Therefore, this study investigates the relationship between priestesses of Eishōji and elite families using historical documents about temples and domains. The purpose of this study is to examine the unique characteristics of amadera Eishō-ji and the role of priestesses. Establisher Eishō-in was a concubine of Tokugawa Ieyasu and a stepmother of the first feudal lord of the Mito domain. Furthermore, she sponsored the first feudal lord of the Takamatsu domain and her origin family namely the Ota family. For that reason, Eishō-ji was placed in the Ota family s former residence, and a princess of the Mito family or an adopted daughter from the Takamatsu family began to be appointed the chief priestess of Eishō=ji. Moreover, the Mito family provided financial support and dispatched officials to Eishō-ji. On the other hand, the Ota family maintained a relationship with the living space of the priestess by giving tribute and making greetings. Eishō -ji had a special characteristic because it was established for memorializing Eishō- in. The priestess of Eishō=ji was the heir of Eishō-in and she had the role of representing the prestige of the Mito domain. The priestess was also not related to religious work of the temple and Eishō-ji functioned as a living space for her. Because of Eishō-in’s human network, Eishō-ji was supported by some elite families during the Edo period. However, in the late Edo period, these relationshipsbecame weak. After the Meiji Restoration, all the pre-modern relationships of Eishō-ji expired, and it followed the path of decline.
Ⅱ. 에이쇼지와 도쿠가와 막부의 관계
Ⅲ. 근세 후기 에이쇼지 주지의 교류와 활동