From an early age, Hiromushi stood out for his innate gifts and qualities as well as his exceptional education. Above all, she testified to a deep faith and acquired an excellent knowledge of Buddhist doctrine. When her parents choose Katsuragi Henushi as their husband, she puts herself at his service with the devotion that characterizes her, and soon all of good society praises her exemplary virtue and fidelity. Widowed in 760, she entered the service of Emperor Kôken, whom she was immediately appreciated for her gentleness and docility. When in 762 the emperor retired and took orders, she followed him without hesitation, and took the name of religion Hôkin. At that time, 375 people who participated in the disturbances caused by Fujiwara no Nakamaro were sentenced to death. Driven by compassion, Hôkin-ni dares to intercede for them with the emperor, which, you can imagine, requires great courage and exposes herself to disgrace, or even worse. She deploys all her eloquence and pleads their case so well that she obtains the commutation of their sentence in exile.
She adopts… 83 children!
The ace ! The country is hardly pacified that it undergoes bad weather and consequently very bad harvests. The people are decimated by epidemics and suffer from famine. The abandonment of children then multiplies, as always in these periods of misfortune. Hôkin-ni is moved by their fate, but is not content to feel sorry for herself: she sends people around her everywhere to pick up the children. We bring him eighty-three. She adopts them all and raises them herself with the greatest care. She truly treats them as if they were her own, ignoring where they come from. Informed, the Emperor praises her noble attitude and rewards her with court rank – in France, since Napoleon, she would have been conferred the Legion of Honor, I suppose.
The abandonment of children multiplies, as always in these periods of misfortune. Hôkin-ni sends people around him everywhere to pick up the children. We bring him eighty-three. She adopts them all and raises them herself with the greatest care.
Hôkin-ni then experiences reverses of fortune. In 769, she provoked the anger of Dôkyô, then an all-powerful monk at Court. For a time, she was banished to Bingo (in the department of Hiroshima) with her younger brother Kiyomaro, until the Emperor Kônin (708-781) recalled her and conferred on her the fourth rank and then a charge at the Court. She dies at the age of 70. Twenty-six years later, in 825, the Emperor Junna posthumously granted him the third court rank for his social works.