Cosmetic Tower or Vanity Tower

The tower called Cosmetic Tower is related to Princess Sen. She was born the eldest daughter of Hidetada, Tokugawa Ieyasu's son, and when she was seven years old, she married Toyotomi Hideyori, Toyotomi Hideyoshi's son. When Osaka Castle fell and Hideyori and his mother killed themselves, she was saved by Sakakibara Dewanokami. Her grandfather, Ieyasu, said he would marry Senhime to the person who saved her. In spite of this promise she married Tadatoki, Honda Tadamasa's handsome eldest son, and she came to Himeji.

Picture with Himeji Castle, Princess Sen and Ieyasu painted by late Mr.Jiro Narui.

Sakakibara Dewanokami Norimasa was the lord of Tsuwano (part of present Yamaguchi Prefecture). He was angry over the broken promise and thought he would take her by force. However, he was remonstrated and then committed suicide.
Princess Sen lived in a palace called Chusho Maru in West Bailey and in a lower residence called Musashino Palace in the Third Bailey with her husband Tadatoki.

Princess Sen's Life

Tadatoki and Princess Sen were on friendly terms,and they had two children, Katsuhime(Princess Katsu) and Kochiyo. But Kochiyo died at the age of three and soon after that Tadatoki also died of tuberculosis. In her grief, Princess Sen, cutting her hair, became a Buddhist nun and called herself "Tenjuin". Then she returned to Edo (present Tokyo). Later Princess Katsu, her daughter got married to Ikeda Mitsumasa, the Lord of Okayama and Tottori.

Tadatoki's Life

Tadatoki was buried with his son,Kochiyo in the Honda family mausoleum in the sacred enclosure at Engyoji Temple on Mt. Shosha(located in the northwest of Himeji). After Tadatoki's death , Iwahara Ushinosuke and Miyamto Mikinosuke (Miyamoto Musashi's adopted son) committed "Harakiri" before Tadatoki's tomb. Mikinosuke's retainer Miyata Kakubei also died. People grieved over these honorable deaths and these three were buried at the same site with Tadatoki.
Cosmetic Tower was built with the dowry of 100,000 Koku (a measure of rice) that was given when Princess Sen married Tadatoki. This tower was said to be a place of rest for Princess Sen who prayed to the shrine called Otoko Mountain Tenmangu Shrine from here.
Chusho Maru and Musashino Palace no longer exist, so this Cosmetic Tower is the only building that reminds us of Princess Sen.