Lady Okurakyo no tsubone (Ono Harunaga's mother) , Lady Aeba no tsubone (the second daughter of her grandaunt, Kaitsu-dono), and Otsubone (a wife of Sawaki Yoshiyuki and brother of Maeda Toshiie) were Chacha's wet nurses (foster mother).
In 1570, Chacha's father, Nagamasa, broke his alliance with Oda Nobunaga and there was a three-year period of fighting until 1573 when Nobunaga's army surrounded Nagamasa at Odani Castle. Nobunaga, however, requested the safe return of his sister, Oichi. Chacha, along with her mother and her two sisters, left the castle with her. Odani castle fell, and amongst those who died were Nagamasa and Manpukumaru, Chacha's only brother.
Nobunaga's death in 1582 caused open hostilities between Shibata Katsuie and Hashiba Hideyoshi over the issue of succession. Katsuie's forces were defeated at the Battle of Shizugatake, and he was forced retreat to Kitanosho castle. With Hideyoshi's army laying siege to his home, Katsuie set the castle ablaze; he and Oichi perished in it.
However, before Oichi died, she passed Chacha, Oeyo, and Ohatsu to the care and protection of Hideyoshi. She was skilled with Waka poetry and was regarded as the highest ranked princess of the Azai family. She treated her sisters and other relatives well though it is said that she was also a passionate speaker regarding the Toyotomi's future.
After the death of Hideyoshi in 1598, Hideyori became the successor of Hideyoshi and Chacha became the mother of paramount. But Hideyori still was a child and could not manage the retainer, and conflict of front generals and administrative staff became serious. Tokugawa Ieyasu who was the largest lord under Toyotomi government aimed at next hegemony, stirred up the conflict of both party and supported front generals.
Ieyasu distributes the Toyotomi family area as a prize for the Sekigahara, and the Toyotomi family will have less control. As Hideyori's guardian, Yodo-dono has the leadership of Osaka Castle, after Ieyasu ends the Council of Five elders. After the Battle of Sekigahara, she confronted Ieyasu who started to construct a military government in Edo, and refused his requirement for Hideyori to show his vassalage and go to the capital, Kyoto City.
Despite Katagiri Katsumoto's attempts to mediate the situation, Ieyasu found the ideal pretext to take a belligerent attitude against Yodo-dono and Hideyori. The situation worsened in September of that year, when the news reached Edo that in Osaka a large quantity of rōnin were grouping at the invitation of Hideyori. Katsumoto proposed to Yodo-dono that she be sent to Edo as a hostage with the desire to avoid hostilities, to which she flatly refused. Suspecting him of trying to betray the Toyotomi clan, Yodo-dono finally banished Katsumoto and several other servants accused of treason from Osaka castle. Following their banishment they entered the service of the Tokugawa clan and any possibility of reaching an agreement with the shogunate was dissolved.
The reason why Yodo-dono banished Katsumoto and Oda Urakusai who struggled to avoid a war as they knew the fight against Tokugawa meant the fall of the Toyotomi family, and furthermore refused the reconciliation scheme proposed by the Tokugawa side, has been attributed to her pride and obstinacy, but nowadays, we see such an explanation that although Yodo-dono accepted to become a hostage, the supreme commander Hideyori hated and denied the offer.
This last movement of Yodo-dono, who acted as the guardian of Hideyori, led to the beginning of the siege of Osaka.
However, in 1615, Ieyasu broke the truce and once again attacked Osaka Castle. Subsequently, Yodo-dono and her son Hideyori committed suicide in the flames of Osaka castle, ending the Toyotomi legacy.
In the light novel series, Honnouji kara Hajimeru Nobunaga to no Tenka Touitsu, Yodo-dono is one of the heroines of the story by her birth name Azai Chacha, due to the protagonist Makoto accidentally saved Nobunaga's life during the Honnouji Incident when he time slipped into the Sengoku period, Makoto ended up changed history, including the fate of several historical figures including changing Chacha's original fate, instead of becoming Toyotomi Hideyoshi's concubine, Makoto and Chacha mutually fall in love and married each other.