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Shuntoku Maru was born in Japan. He was was the eldest son of Michitoshi Fujiwara.
His foster mother, Tamate Gozen, falls in love with him and makes him a leper by making him drink poisoned sake, so that he may not marry his betrothed, Asakahime. Afterward, Tamate Gozen cures Shuntoku Maru of leprosy by making him drink her own blood when she is fatally wounded by her father, who is enraged by his daughter's immoral love for Shuntoku Maru. It transpires that Tamate pretended to love Shuntoku Maru and turned him into a leper temporarily in order to protect him from his enemies. The story was made into Sesshu Gappo-gatsuji, a popular joruri and kabuki play which is still often staged.He was involved in a strife for succession to the family fortune.