Minamoto no Arimitsu (源有光)

Minamoto no Arimitsu, (February 5, 1037 - November 16, 1086) was a military commander in the late Heian period. He was MINAMOTO no Yoritoo's second son and a descendant from the Yamato-Genji (Minamoto clan) blood-line. He was the second head of the Ishikawa clan, Mutsu Province. His rank was Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade and the governor of Aki Province.

His sons were Mitsusuke ODERA, MINAMOTO no Mitsuhira, Motomitsu ISHIKAWA, Kofu YABUKI, Mitsufusa NAMETSU (Namezu), Mitsutabi ISHIKAWA, Mitsusuke ISHIKAWA, Arisuke YOSHIDA.

His wife was the daughter of the governor of Wakasa Province, TAIRA no Tadayoshi. After his wife died, he remarried Jingido, Kanechika YOSHIDA's daughter, and in his late years, a daughter of Daigaku student, who passed a subject of the official appointment test, MINAMOTO no Yoshinari, became his wife.

He was born in Monotsu sho of Settsu Province, and named Matsuchiyo; appointed Migi no uma no suke of Kawachi Province and had the name of Arimitsu GENTA; after he lived in Yanaizu, he had the name of Genta YANAIZU. In 1051 he went down to Mutsu Province with his father, after following MINAMOTO no Yoriyoshi's order to fight the Abe clan (Oshu region), however after his father died in the Battle of Kuriyagawa-no-saku in 1062, he took control over his forces. Due to his achievement during the war, he received the rank of Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade and became the governor of Aki Province, he was also given 66 counties in land in Oshusendoshichigun (seven countries along Oshu road) (Shirakawa, Ishikawa, Iwase, Tamura, Asaka, Shinobu). However, the area over which he took actual control was limited to Ishikawa and Shirakawa.

At that time he lived in Hogen-jo Castle, which was located in Kawabe, south of Izumigo in Ishikawa sho.

Sanjome-go was a prosperous place, through which the ancient Tosan-do Road passed, and was located on the west side of the Abukuma-gawa River. Izumi-go was located on the east, which was decided by Arimitsu to be his base of operations because of its prosperity. However, the Hogen-jo Castle was at the top of a mountain surrounded by steep hills in three directions. It was a solid castle which was easy to defend, but less convenient in terms of transportation and conveying water to the area, and not an ideal place for living and attending to government affairs. Therefore, he built Fujita-jo Castle in Nakano, which was about two kilometers away from Hogen-jo Castle, but it was not an ideal place as a base either since it was inconvenient for some reasons.

According to the legend, 'Arimitsu had a dream that while he was praying for Hachimanjin (the god of Hachiman-gu Shrine) day and night looking for the best place for his political base, he found a place with three reeds, where a spring was flowing.'
On the following day, when he headed south and traveled up a hill, he found a crane flying above Ishikawa-go which dropped a branch of pine from its bill. '
Upon arriving at where the branch was dropped, he realized it was the same place he had seen in his dream with the three reeds growing.'
As an experiment, he dug the ground up, and a spring burst forth. '
On this land he built a caslte, named it Miyoshi-jo Castle, and lived in the castle.'

In relation to this legend, there are ancient structural remnants called the Komatsudate remains in the place between Izumigo and Sanjome, across the Abukuma-gawa River. When MINAMOTO no Yoritoo, Arimitsu and Arimitsu's son, and a group of their people came to visit this place, it was presumed that the Komatsu clan used to rule this area. There are two castle sites of Sanjome and Takasudate in Sanjome, and it is said the castle remains at Takanashikanato were built by Echizen KOMATSU. Taking this into consideration, it is possible that with a comparison to 'a branch of pine,' the Komatsu clan, which had been brought under MINAMOTO no Arimitsu's umbrella, was engaged in the construction of the Miyoshi-jo Castle.

Arimitsu gave the area around Izumigo to his son Mitsusuke ODERA, and moved his base to Miyoshi-jo Castle.

After that, he changed his surname from the Genji clan to the Ishikawa clan. Two theories explain the events mentioned above: One says that Arimitsu changed his name to Ishikawa after the name of the Ishikawa-no-sho Manor, which was his place of origin in Settsu Province; or the other says he took the name from the manor he received which was called Ishikawa sho. He chose the crane as his family crest after the dream of a pine branch-holding crane, which inspired him to choose the place as his political base.

He made a branch shrine of Kyoto Iwashimizu Hachiman-gu Shrine in his castle to worship as the guardian deity. The spirit was previously enshrined by MINAMOTO no Yoriyoshi when Mutsu Province was subjugated and designated as his ujigami (a guardian god or spirit of a particular place in the Shinto religion). He then let his eighth son, Yusuke adopted by Kanechika YOSHIDA by changing the name Yusuke to Yoshida saemon no jo in order to make him the head priest of the Ise-jingu Shrine. This is what currently called Ichinomiya Iwatsutsukowake-jinja Shrine in Mutsu Province.

Although the shrine has changed its place, it still remains in Kawabe as the Kawabetsutsukowake-jinja Shrine.