Toin Kinkata (洞院公賢)

Kinkata TOIN (1291 - April 21, 1360) was a court noble who lived in the period of the Northern and Southern Courts. His formal name was FUJIWARA no Kinkata. His father was Saneyasu TOIN who was a Sadaijin (minister of the left). His mother was FUJIWARA no Kishi/Sueko who was a daughter of Saneyasu's uncle, Kimio OGURA. The Toin family was a illegitimate family lineage of the Saionji family which was Kanin ryu of the Northern House of the Fujiwara clan. His alias was Shokoku NAKAZONO. He called himself Kugen after entering the priesthood. He was also called Henjokoin.

He was born in 1291. He was given the rank of Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) under Ikai oni no sei (a system which gives high rank to the descendants of eminence) in the same year and promoted to the rank of Shogoinoge (Senior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) and assumed the position of chamberlain at the age of 7. In 1318, when Emperor Godaigo ascended the throne, he served as Togu no daibu (Master of the Crown Prince's Quarters) of Crown Prince Kuninaga. Also, he became the adopted father of Renshi ANO who was a concubine of Emperor Godaigo. In 1330, he assumed the position of Naidaijin (minister of the center), but resigned from the position next year. When the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) went to ruin, he was an In no shitsushi (steward) of Emperor Gofushimi. When the Kemmu Restoration began, he returned to the position of Naidaijin. Next year, he was promoted to the position of Udaijin (minister of the right). He also assumed the position of Zasshoketsudansho tonin and denso (job title to relay messages of court's people to Emperor) and held an important position in the Kemmu government, in 1335, Kinkata put a crown on Emperor Gomurakami at his genpuku (ceremony of attaining manhood), but after the independence of the Southern Court and the Northern Court, he became an In no shitsushi of Emperor Kogon as a grand person of the Northern Court. Later, he expressed his intention to resign many times, but it was rejected and he held the position of Sadaijin and Daijo-daijin (Grand minister of state).

Kinkata didn't just lead the government by the Imperial Court as a dignitary, but he was also familiar with traditional customs and had a rich academic background, thus he was frequently asked for advice by Emperor, Empress and court nobles and "Entairyaku" (Diary of Kinkata TOIN) is a valuable historical data to know the movement of various persons of the Imperial Court at that time. At the time of 'Shohei itto (temporal unification of the Northern and Southern Courts) of the Kano Disturbance' in 1351, he finalized negotiations as a representative of the Northern Court. In 1359, finally he was permitted resignation and entered the priesthood, then he named himself Kugen. He passed away next year. He also wrote "Kodaireki" (a chronicle). His children were Sanenatsu TOIN and Saneyo TOIN. He had a grandchild, Kinsada TOIN (Sanenatsu's child) who edited Sonpi Bunmyaku (a text compiled in the fourteenth century that records the lineages of the aristocracy).

Chronology of Government Posts and Ranks

August 1291: born and given the rank of Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade).

January 1294: promoted to the rank of Jugoinojo (Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade)

January 1296: promoted to the rank of Shogoinoge (Senior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade).

October 1297: became a chamberlain.

January 1298: promoted to the rank of Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) and the position of Sakone no shosho (Minor Captain of the Left Division of Inner Palace Guards) in April.

March 1299: promoted to the rank of Jushiinojo (Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade).

January 1300: promoted to the rank of Shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade).

January 1305: assumed the position of Gon no suke (provisional vice governor) of Mutsu Province.

December 1306: assumed the position of Sachuben (middle controller of the left) and Sakone no shosho.

September 1308: promoted to the rank of Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank).

September 1309: assumed the position of Sadaiben (Major Controller of the Left) and counsillor.

January 1310: promoted to the rank of Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank), also assumed the position of Chunagon (vice-councilor of state) in March, then Sahyoe no kami (Captain of the Left Division of Middle Palace Guards) in August.

April 1311: promoted to the rank of Junii (Junior Second Rank), then assumed the position of Uemon no kami (Captain of the Right Division of Outer Palace Guards) in May.

January 1314: promoted to the rank of Shonii (Senior Second Rank).

January 1318: also assumed the position of Togu Daibu, then Dainagon (chief councilor of state) in August.

November 1326: assumed the position of Konoe no daisho (Major Captain of the Palace Guards).

March 1330: assumed the position of Naidaijin.

December 1334: also assumed the position of Shikibukyo (Minister of the Ministry of Ceremonial).

January 1335: promoted to the rank of Juichii (Junior First Rank) and the position of Udaijin (minister of the right) (resigned 2 years later).

April 1343: assumed the position of Sadaijin (minister of the left).

October 1348: assumed the position of Daijo Daijin.