The Nishinotoin family (西洞院家)

The Nishinotoin was a Kuge (court noble) family descended from TAIRA no Takamune of the Taira clan. The Nishinotoin was a family of dojo kuge (nobles occupying relatively high ranks) of which the founder was Yukitoki NISHINOTOIN (Sangi (councilor) of Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank)) (1324-1369) in the Northern and Southern Court period, who was 17 generations after TAIRA no Takamune.

The family was discontinued in the generation of Tokimasa NISHINOTOIN (Sahyoenokami (a leader of the Headquarters of the Middle Palace Guards) of Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank)) (1531-1566) in the Sengoku Period. Thereafter, Tokiyoshi NISHINOTOIN (Sangi (councilor) of Junii (Junior Second Rank)) (1552-1640) was adopted into the Nishinotoin family from the Kawabata family and his children founded branch families of the Hiramatsu, Hase and Katano.

The Nishinotoin family was in the rank of hange (the lowest of dojo kuge), and, besides Tokinari NISHINOTOIN (1645-1724) who became Dainagon (chief councilor of state) and Nobukata NISHINOTOIN (1804-1891) who became Chunagon (vice-councilor of state), the highest office held by the hereditary family heads was Sangi (councilor) of Junii (Junior Second Rank).

Although the highest office achieved was Sangi, many women of the Nishinotoin family worked in the kokyu (empress's residence) and many generations of the family heads left diaries, valuable records of kuge society in each generation.

The hereditary stipend of the family in the Edo period was 273 koku of rice and later reduced to 260 koku. From the Meiji period onwards, the title of viscount was bestowed on the family.