Minamoto no Mitsunobu (源光信)

MINAMOTO no Mitsunobu, c.1092 - October 1145 (October under the old lunar calendar), was a samurai who lived at the end of the Heian Period. He was a member of the MINAMOTO no Yorimitsu line of the Seiwa-Genji (Minamoto clan). He was the first son of Dewa no kuni no kami (Governor of Dewa Province) MINAMOTO no Mitsukuni. His mother was a daughter of Saemon no jo (a third-ranked officer of the Left Division of the Outer Palace Guards) Iezane. He had brothers including MINAMOTO no Mitsuyasu and Genzen. His wives included the daughter of FUJIWARA no Sukezane. He was the father of MINAMOTO no Mitsumoto, MINAMOTO no Mitsushige (adopted child of MINAMOTO no Nakamasa), and MINAMOTO no Mitsunaga. His rank was Jugoinojo (Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade), kebiishi (a police and judicial chief), and Saemon no jo (a third-ranked officer of the Left Division of the Outer Palace Guards). He also had the common names Dewa no Hangan (inspector (third highest of the four administrative ranks of the ritsuryo period)) and Tosa no Hangan. He was one of the Toba-in Shitenno (four most loyal retainers of Retired Emperor Toba). His name can also be written as Mitsunobu TOKI.

He served the Retired Emperors Shirakawa and Toba, and served as a Hokumen no bushi (Imperial Palace Guard for the north side) and kebiishi. Between January and February 1129, when a roto (retainer) who was incarcerated in Rokkaku Prison for allegedly killing a Mushadokoro (Samurai Guard of the Imperial Palace) was pardoned, he argued with MINAMOTO no Tameyoshi who claimed ownership of this retainer. As they both rose in arms to take this man, the dispute almost developed into a battle according to "Chuyuki" (the diary written by FUJIWARA no Munetada). Between December 1129 and January 1130 (November 1129 under the old lunar calendar), after the demise of Shirakawa in, a sculptor of Buddhist statues, Choen was attacked in Nanto, the southern capital (Nara). Mitsunobu searched Kofuku-ji Temple first.

In the same year, a man emerged in Kyoto who identified himself as MINAMOTO no Yoshichika, who was supposed to have been put down by TAIRA no Masamori in Izumo 21 years ago. He was sheltered in the residence of FUJIWARA no Tadazane, the former chief adviser to the Emperor according to the wishes of the Retired Emperor Toba, but another Yoshichika emerged from Otsu and they had a battle in front of the residence of Mitsunobu in Shijo-Omiya between November and December 1130 (October 1130 under the old lunar calendar). As a result, Yoshichika of Otsu was defeated and confessed to being a fake, but Mitsunobu, who became furious, attacked Yoshichika in Tadazane's residence with 20 mounted warriors and 40 to 50 Kachimusha (soldiers who are able to shoot arrows while walking) in December 1130 or January 1131 (November 1130 under the old lunar calendar) and killed him along with more than a dozen roto.

Mitsunobu was charged with this incident and deported to Tosa Province, but behind the incident was a fight between the warrior's force being granted the privilege of the ex-emperor (including TAIRA no Tadamori), Sekkan-ke (the families which produced regents), and Daijo Tenno (the retired Emperor) after the demise of the Retired Emperor Shirakawa. In 1143, he was allowed to return to his original rank, but suddenly died two years later in 1145, at the age of 53.