Iwakura Family (岩倉家)
The Iwakura family was a Court noble lineage that was descended from the Murakami-Genji (Minamoto clan) Koga family. It was ranked as the House of Urin (holding military ranks). New family. It is one of the Dojo-Genji (the Minamoto clan allowed to enter the Imperial Palace) families. The family are descendants of MINAMOTO no Michichika, who feuded with MINAMOTO no Yoritomo, leader of the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun). Despite its standing as a distinguished Murakami-Genji lineage, the family was a second-class Court noble with Karoku (hereditary stipend) of 150 koku in rice.
The family was founded when Tomotaka IWAKURA, the forth son of Haremichi KOGA, was allowed to have a branch and named the branch Iwakura after his territory in the village of Iwakura in the northern Kyoto during the Genwa (Japan) era (1615-1642) in the early Edo period.
The branches of the Iwakura family are the Chigusa family (founded by Arishige CHIGUSA, the second son of Tomotaka IWAKURA) and the Uematsu family (founded by Masanaga UEMATSU, the son of Arishige CHIGUSA).
Heads of the Iwakura family often came from these branches.
The family produced a high ranking monk called Isshi Bunshu, who was awarded the Kokushi-go (name given by the Imperial court to high ranking monks) 'Buccho kokushi' by an Emperor. Isshi Bunshu is also known as the founder of the Reigen-ji Temple, which Tomomi IWAKURA used as a hideout at one time.
Thanks to his contribution to the Meiji Restoration, Tomomi IWAKURA, who headed the family during a transitional period from the end of the Edo period to the Meiji period, was appointed as Minister of the Right, the second highest position following Daijo-daijin (Grand Minister, today's equivalent of the prime minister) Sanetomi SANJO. Furthermore, unusual for a family ranked as the House of Urin, the Iwakura family was created a Prince House (duke) at a time when the second son of Tomomi IWAKURA, Tomosada IWAKURA (younger brother of Tomotsuna IWAKURA, the first son of Tomomi; Tomosada inherited the Iwakura family) headed the family.
The father of Actress Yoko KOZAKURA, the wife of Actor Ken UEHARA, was Tomoaki IWAKURA, who came from a branch of the Iwakura family. Therefore, the Ikehata family, which has been passed down from Ken UEHARA to his son Yuzo KAYAMA, is a relative of the Iwakura family.