Saionji Hirosue (西園寺寛季)

Hirosue SAIONJI (January 23, 1787 – March 18, 1856) was Kugo (a Court Noble) in the late Edo period. He primarily served for the two sovereigns: the 119th Emperor Kokaku and the 120th Emperor Ninko. He was promoted up to Shonii-Chunagon (Senior Second Rank and Vice-Councilor of State). His real father was Sadaijin (Minister of the Left) Harutaka NIJO. His mother was a daughter of Sangi (Councilor) Munemoto TOKUGAWA of the Mito Domain. His adoptive father was Sadaijin Yoshisue SAIONJI. His legitimate wife was a daughter of Mitsuteru OTANI; His second wife was a daughter of Dainagon (Chief Councilor of State) Kinaki OGIMACHI. He had several children including a biological son, Harusue SAIONJI who was Konoefu (Government Official at the Headquarters of the Inner Palace Guards) and an adopted child, Kinzumi SAIONJI who was a biological son of Imperial Prince Arisugawanomiya Tsunahito.

Hirosue was born the third son of Harutaka NIJO; The lord Yoshisue SAIONJI adopted him from the Nijo family, because the lord's sons successively died at an early age; Consequently Hirosue became heir to the Saionji family. In 1794, he was conferred a peerage; Since then, as the head of the Seiga family (the second highest family status for the court noble in Japan at that time), he was successfully promoted in the Imperial Court in a short period; In 1798, he achieved to become Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank), which gave him the title Kugyo. He served as Chunagon (Vice Councilor of State) twice, in the periods: between 1806 and 1812: between 1820 and 1832; However, in 1832 when he was 46, he suddenly became a priest for some reasons; Since then, he no longer attended the court.

His only son, Harusue SAIONJI passed away in 1826 before he died. Just after Harusue SAIONJI died, his son, Morosue was born; However, because the baby was too small to become heir, the SAIONJI family adopted a son of Imperial Prince Arisugawanomiya Tsunahito; The adopted son, who was named Kinzumi SAIONJI, succeeded the Saionji family. Later, Harusue's biological son, Morosue became heir to the Saionji family after Kinzumi passed away at the age of 19 in 1836.