The Yamashina Family (山科家)

The Yamashina family was court nobility with a family status of Urin. Shijo-ryu (the Shijo line) of the Northern House of the Fujiwara clan. The family name came from Yamashina, Kyoto where they held territory. The family business was costumes and clothing, and, in the Edo period, it was in charge of costumes and colors together with the Takakura family (the Yabu family). The hereditary stipend in the Edo period was 300 koku.

The family was established at the end of the Heian period by FUJIWARA no Norinari, the Deputy Chief of the Councilor of State, who was adopted (under yushi, an old Japanese system of adoption) by FUJIWARA no Sanenori, the sixth son of Ienari SHIJO. From the time of Noritoki YAMASHINA in the period of the Northern and Southern Courts, the family produced kuranokami, heads of kuraryo (a kind of finance ministry in the Ritsuryo system), for generations and managed the finances of the Imperial Court. Tokitsugu YAMASHINA wrote "Tokitsugu-kyoki" (Tokitsugu journal) in the Sengoku Period (Period of Warring States). "Tokitsugu-kyoki" (Tokitsugu journal) is well known as a primary source indispensable to understanding the situation of territories in the vicinity of the capital and under direct imperial rule in the Sengoku Period (Period of Warring States). Tokitsune, the son of Tokitsugu, went to Settsu Province under chokkan (direct orders from the emperor), and so Noritoshi INOKUMA who was of the same family took on the name of YAMASHINA and served the Imperial Court, but when Tokitsugu was brought back to the Imperial Court by Ieyasu TOKUGAWA, Noritoshi had to change his name back to Noritoshi INOKUMA.

An earldom was granted to the family in the time of Tokinao YAMASHINA, after the Meiji Restoration.