Utsunomiya Kintsuna (宇都宮公綱)

Kintsuna UTSUNOMIYA (1302 - December 17, 1356) was a military commander from the late Kamakura period through the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan). He was the 9th family head of the Utsunomiya clan. His father was Sadatsuna UTSUNOMIYA. His mother was a daughter of Nagatoki HOJO.

In January 1333 in the Genko War, he went to Kyoto by orders of Takatoki HOJO to fight against a great commander of the Imperial army, Masashige KUSUNOKI, at Shitenno-ji Temple in Settsu Province. At the time, the Masashige troops outnumbered the Kintsuna troops, but Masashige was afraid of Kintsuna's military tactics so he made the war protracted. Kintsuna was also afraid of Masashige's tactics and did not directly confront his troops, so after all the battle ended in a draw. Afterward, Kintsuna entered the battle to attack Chibaya-jo Castle, but he eventually accepted the order of the Emperor Godaigo and went over to the Imperial army. Under the Kenmu Restoration (the new government led by the Emperor Godaigo) after the fall of the Kamakura shogunate, he served as a magistrate (in Japan's feudal period) of zasso-ketsudansho (a court which deals with minor offenses). When Takauji ASHIKAGA defected from the Emperor Godaigo after the Nakasendai War in 1335, Kintsuna fought against the Takauji army but was defeated, and next year he surrendered to Takauji and became his vassal. When Takauji fled to Kyushu, however, he returned to the emperor's side.

After that, he fought from place to place under Akiie KITABATAKE, kept on being active even after Akiie's death as one of the main powers of the Southern Court (of Japan) in the eastern part of Japan, and also gained great trust from Emperor Gomurakami. However, it is said that he lived in obscurity in his later years. He died at the age of 55 on November 25, 1356.

In contrast with his military prowess which held even Masashige in fear, he showed a brilliant talent for waka (traditional Japanese poems); therefore his works were chosen in "Shinshoku Kokinwakashu" (an Imperial anthology of wakas made in the Muromachi period).