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Toda Mariko (戸田 鞠子) is a character in the FX limited series, Shōgun, who is portrayed by Anna Sawai.

A poised and mysterious highborn woman, Mariko is deeply faithful and darkly determined. She is married to Buntaro, more in duty than in love, and is a devoted Christian. Highly educated and fiercely loyal, she is trusted by her lord, Toranaga.

Biography[]

Helping Fuji[]

In Osaka, when Lady Mariko's dear friend, Fuji’s, son is sentenced to death after a mistake made by his father she goes to comfort Fuji and calm her down as she hands her son over.

Interpreting for Lord Toranaga[]

Later, she plays a pivotal role in interpreting the encounter between Lord Toranaga and the English Protestant, John Blackthorne. Mariko's honesty in translating Blackthorne's words and her insightful observations contribute to Toranaga's understanding of the situation.

Mariko’s husband questions why Toranaga would ask her to be there in the first place. That evening, Lord Toranaga calls Mariko back for a meeting and asks her her thoughts about the encounter with the barbarian. She said the translations were honest and that her instinct is to guard against him. Hiromatsu asks Toranaga why even keep the barbarian around when his impeachment and possible death is on the line. Mariko explains that he intends to sow division amongst the regents as he believes the Christian lords will disagree with Ishido.

Heading to Ajiro[]

After the attack at Lord Toranaga's quarters, Mariko oversees a doctor who tends to John’s injuries. Buntaro comes in and tells Mariko that they, with John, will go to Ajiro. Yabushige, Yoshii Nagakado, and a group gather to set off to Ajiro with John, Kiri-no-kata, Mariko, and others - without Toranaga. However, Ishido shows up upset that Toranaga did not give a day’s notice before Kiri’s departure so that he could pay his respects. When no one is looking, Mariko and John see Lord Toranaga discreetly go into one of the carriages, disguised, switching places with Kiri. Ishido leaves and wishes them a safe journey. His men escorts them to the gate of the castle.

En route, Mariko informs John that Toranaga is known for his trickery and that if he is found not only will Toranaga be killed but all of them will be. When exiting the castle gate, a man demands to verify every person leaving on orders from Lord Ishido. John, realizing no one is going to stop the man, creates a distraction before he opens Kiri’s carriage. Mariko translates on his behalf.

Under Yabushige's command, the convoy proceed to leave and head to Ajiro. Mariko tells John about her husband Buntaro and he tells her about his children, Tudor and Elizabeth. Suddenly, the group get attacked by flaming arrows. Mariko opens the door to Toranaga’s carriage and his men are surprised to see him there. Many men get killed. Toranaga believes they are there for the Anjin. Lord Kiyama is revealed to be giving the orders of the attack. Mariko herself joins in on the fight. The men scream that Lord Ishido must be informed, after realizing Toranaga is there, and they run off.

Ultimately, Toranaga, John, Yabushige, Fuji, and Mariko escape and reach the harbor. John recognizes the crew there and they see the Black Ship. They board row boats to head to the ship. Buntaro, left behind, fights off ambushers as they arrive to stop them from leaving. They decide to leave Buntaro behind even after he successfully fights off ambushers. Toranaga bows to him and he bows back. He makes eye contact with Mariko and then rushes up to the attackers to fight until his death.

After the battle is over and the group reaches safety, John admits to Mariko that he deserted his family to pursue a life at sea. He apologizes for her husband’s death. Toranaga gives John a new title, and Mariko notes it is one of great honor.

Helping John Adjust in Ajiro[]

Mariko shows John Blackthorne his brand new home, with staff and a salary -but John is upset because all he wants are his men and his ship. Fuji will live with him as his consort but John insists he has no interest in pillowing her or any woman. He gets annoyed that she goes wherever he is. Mariko explains Fuji’s history and her intentions for being his consort. Mariko asks him if he knows about the eightfold fence- an impenetrable wall behind which one can retreat whenever needed. She advises him to train himself to listen without hearing.

Mariko reads in John's journals that he was ordered to leave Portugal after committing crimes and she confronts John about this. A small earthquake happens, which shocks John. Later that evening, John goes into the hot springs to admire the scenery. Mariko finds him there and thanks him for the gift he gave to Fuji. They open up to each other. Later that evening, John goes to sleep and Mariko enters his room. She opens up her robe and sleeps with him. The next morning, she comments that John seems in good spirits and asks if he enjoyed the courtesan she and Fuji sent him. He seems confused by this but tells her it was a thoughtful gift.

Later that day, Nagakado confronts Jozen and his men and kills them. Mariko declares, “It is war”.

Welcoming Back Buntaro[]

Lord Toranaga returns to Ajiro but with Buntaro, which completely stuns Mariko who believed him to be dead. Lord Toranaga asks Mariko to stay on as the Anjin’s interpreter. She asks about Buntaro and he said he asked him to move into the Anjin’s house so she can serve both him and John.

Mariko tries to help Buntaro adjust to the situation, which he isn't happy about. She, John, Fuji, and Buntaro eat dinner together. Mariko acts as the translator for them and attempts to squash the awkward tension by slightly mistranslating their words into nicer versions. The men drink together and John asks about his escape in Osaka. Buntaro picks up an arrow and shoots it past Mariko’s face, just missing her. John urges for her to get out of the way but she stands still. He insists that he thinks women should be treated better and Mariko translates for him. Buntaro tells Mariko to tell John about her family.

She tells him she is daughter of the late Lord Akechi Jinsai, who Buntaro refers to as a treacherous assassin. Her father’s lord was Kuroda-sama, ruler of Japan before the Taiko, and he was a corrupt and murderous man. Her father killed him and for this he and her family was hunted. Her father was forced to kill her mother, brothers, and sisters, before committing seppuku himself. Mariko was spared because she was just married and not allowed. Mariko asks every year for permission to join her family but Buntaro orders her to live. Mariko leaves without Buntaro’s permission so later that night he beats her. John rushes to try and help. Mariko urges him and Fuji to leave.

Remembering Her Past[]

In a flashback to Azuchi castle, 22 years ago, Mariko is with her father. She witnesses his struggles with his lord throughout her childhood. When she becomes a woman, her father decides that she will marry Buntaro, a decision Mariko isn’t happy with.

In present, Lord Toranaga talks to Mariko about her childhood and he tells her her marriage was only to move Mariko farther from his fight- to protect her. Mariko believes she failed him but Lord Toranaga informs her that her war is not over.

Bringing John to Kiku[]

As a gift from Toranaga, Mariko and Fuji arrange for the best courtesan, Kiku, to visit with John. Later, John goes to the tea house with Mariko to see Kiku. John seems uncomfortable but Mariko urges him not to make a scene. Kiku tries her best to welcome and calm them down. Kiku invites both John and Mariko to join her in the bedroom but Mariko says it must only be her. Mariko leaves and she and John’s hands brush up against each other.

Preparing for Surrender or War[]

Mariko explains to John what's happening after Saeki gives Lord Toranaga an order to surrender in Osaka.

Buntaro approaches Lord Toranaga, who is sitting near Mariko, and asks for permission to take the barbarian’s head before he dies, claiming he doesn’t like the way he looks at Mariko. Lord Toranaga asks Buntaro if he believes Mariko is encouraging it and if so he’d need to take her head and the Anjin’s but Buntaro does not accuse his wife. Toranaga tells him therefore he cannot accuse the Anjin. Buntaro leaves and Lord Toranaga asks Mariko where her real loyalties lie.

Waiting in Edo[]

Mariko goes to Edo with the others while they wait to go to Osaka. One day, Buntaro makes Mariko a tea. He tells her he thinks they’re going to die in Osaka and then reminisces about the beginning when they first got to know each other. He suggests they welcome death together that evening, intending to give her what she has always wanted. She tells him he still fails to understand her - that she wanted a life beyond his reach and does not want to die with him in this way.

Later, Mariko hears the news about Hiromatsu's seppuku. Lord Toranaga reflects with Mariko telling her Osaka has to believe his defeat is real, implying this is why he let his best friend kill himself. He asks her if she’s ready to do her part and she tells him she’s ready.

Defiance in Osaka[]

In a flashback 14 years earlier in the Shonai region, Mariko walks in the freezing cold before getting caught and taken in. Father Martin Alito asks to speak to her, after hearing that she continues to seek death even after seeing forgiveness from her husband. He gives her a rosary and introduces her to Catholicism.

Back in present, Mariko travels with John and Yabushige to Osaka. Mariko meets with Kiri-no-kata and Lady Shizu, passing on a letter from Lord Toranaga to Kiri. Kiri says “Let’s hope this works” before putting it in her pocket.

Mariko later meets with the Council of Regents and congratulates Ishido and Ochiba-no-kata on their engagement. Ochiba-no-kata welcomes Mariko herself. They invite her to enter a poetry contest but Mariko informs Ishido that she won’t be around for the contest because she needs to escort Kiri-no-kata and Lady Shizu back to Edo to reunite with Toranaga. Ishido denies her request and is shocked by her impolite requests. Mariko tells him her loyalty is to her lord and that she must leave.

Mariko meets with her son who begs her not to try and leave because she will shame their family. However, Mariko still decides to try and leave. However, she is stopped and asked for a permit to leave, at Ishido’s orders. Mariko tells the samurais who escort her to kill the men blocking their way and they oblige. However, they all get killed. Mariko asks Lord Kiyama and Lord Ohno to demand for them to move but they said they are powerless to do anything as they are Ishido’s men. Mariko moves and gets a naginata to fight herself and Kiyama screams out that she must not be harmed. When she cannot pass, she tells them she cannot live with the offense of disobeying her lord and that she will commit suicide at sunset. She asks Lord Kiyama to be her second. He agrees but Ishido isn’t happy that he agreed.

The heir requests John’s presence, which means Mariko must join to translate. Ochiba-no-kata is there and welcomes them but Mariko immediately suspects it’s a ruse. Ochiba-no-kata immediately asks her to stop her games. She recounts their childhood and closeness to John. She then asks how killing herself will help her son. Mariko and John leave.

At sunset, Mariko sits and lays a knife in front of her. She leaves a poem as her final statement. She asks Lord Kiyama to step forward as her second but he does not come, however John volunteers to do it. Just before she plunges the knife, Ishido comes to give her a permit to leave.

Later that evening, John and Mariko kiss and sleep together. Bandits break in and they try to get John and Mariko, who are laying together in bed, but they fight them off. Mariko realizes that Ishido has sent shinobi to abduct her. John and Mariko meet up with Toranaga's consorts and Yabushige before planning their escape. The group find themselves cornered in a storehouse by the shinobi, who are planning to blow the door open with explosives. As John attempts to find an exit, Mariko plants herself directly on the door, declaring Ishido a traitor for going back on his promise. Before John can stop her, the door is blown apart, killing Mariko in the process.

Personality[]

A devout Christian, Mariko is a poised, mysterious, and determined woman who is loyal to Toranaga.

Appearances[]

Historical Background[]

Toda Mariko is based on the historical figure Hosokawa Gracia. Hosokawa is best known as the daughter of Akechi Mitsuhide and wife of Hosokawa Tadaoki. She was born Hosokawa Tama. In 1587, she adopted the name Gracia.

During the Battle of Sekigahara, where her husband sided with the Tokugawa faction against the alliance of anti-Tokugawa feudal lords, Gracia faced a challenging situation. The leader of the Western Army, Ishida Mitsunari, commanded her to appear at Osaka Castle as a hostage. However, Gracia resisted this order, choosing to remain at the Hosokawa residence in Tamatsukuri, Osaka. At the age of 38, she took her own life with the assistance of a servant.[1]

Gallery[]

References[]

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