This document is from a court lady of Go-Hanazono, a retired emperor. These documents, which first appear in the thirteenth century, became a favored way for emperors to transmit messages. The letters are written almost completely phonetically in Japanese hiragana syllabary. This document was sealed, and viewable only to the participant, and an ink mark (sumihiki) and remains of a piece cut form the document (kirifu) remains visible to the far left of the document. This document was written during the Ōnin War (1467-77) and recounts how the emperor Go-Hanazono came to know how Awazu Kiyonori, described here as a retainer to the Takakura, rescued ceremonial robes from their storage box in Yamashina, where such robes were woven and stored. Go-Hanazono asks Takakura Nagatsugu to have Kiyonori bring them to the palace.
(Label on the back of document)
The command of the Retired Emperor. Seventh month, Twenty-second day
We have heard that your retainer went to Yamashina and rescued the storage chest (karabitsu) with the ceremonial/enthronement robes. It would be most excellent if you would have him bring them to the palace. Speak of this to your retainer.
Kirifū (piece cut from the document), sumibiki (ink mark)
Takakura Nagatsugu, Acting Middle Counsellor
To Tō no saishō dono