Saionji Kinnobu (西園寺公宣)

Kinnobu SAIONJI (1625 - September 28, 1670) was Kuge (a Court Noble) in the early Edo period. He was also called 西園寺随宜. He served for the sovereign of the 111th Emperor; However, he resigned the service shortly after his mother had died. His father was Sadaijin Saneharu SAIONJI. His mother was Toku who was a wife of Saneharu, who was also a daughter of Tadataka HOSOKAWA.

Since his older nephew, Sanenao SAIONJI who was Chunagon (Vice-Councilor of State) died young suddenly, he became heir to the SAIONJI family after Sanenao's death. He took the position of "Jugoi Jiju" (Junior Fifth Rank and Chamberlain); However, he suddenly resigned the position to go into retirement in 1655. Then, he moved to 入道水村 in Higo Province (the present Kikuyocho in Kumamoto province) to depend on his uncle, Tadaharu NAGAOKA who was a member of the Hosokawa-naizen family; After a while he settled there, he suffered from illness, which killed him at the age of 45 in 1670. His brother, Kinsui SAIONJI became heir to the Saionji family.

In fact, when Kinnobu SAIONJI stayed in Higo province, he got a daughter, who was named Yasuhime. After Kinnobu died, Yasuhime was collected by a messenger from the Imperial Court in Kyoto; she was brought up in the Saionji family; later, she practically succeeded to the Saionji Family by getting a husband from the Takatsukasa family, who became Sanesuke SAIONJI, although he was regarded as just a formal heir.

The shrine to honor 西園寺随宜 and his tomb still remain at Yoshigadaira where he died; Yoshigadaira can be reached by going up a farm road to the north from the west side of Kogabaru in Kumamoto Prefecture.

[Original Japanese]