Minamoto no Yoritaka (源頼隆)

MINAMOTO no Yoritaka was a busho (Japanese military commander) of Kawachi-Genji (Minamoto clan) in the end of the Heian and the early Kamakura periods. He was the third son of the MINAMOTO no Yoshitaka, who was the seventh son of MINAMOTO no Yoshiie. He was also called Yoritaka MORI on the ground that his father Yoshitaka ruled the estate of Mori of Sagami Province. After obtaining the estate of Wakatsuki of Minochi County, Shinano Province, he called himself Yoritaka WAKATSUKI.

Biography

In the Heiji War, Yoritaka's father, MINAMOTO no Yoshitaka, lost his life in order to save Yoshitomo at Ryugegoe. After the defeat of the Minamoto clan, the Taira clan carried out a thorough hunt for relatives of the Minamoto clan. Although he was only about 50 days old, Yoritaka was also arrested and the following year sent to Tsunetane CHIBA, a local ruling family of Shimosa Province. Tsunetane, having been sympathetic to the Minamoto clan, protected and raised Yoritaka carefully.

Although MINAMOTO no Yoritomo, who was a bereaved child of Yoshitomo banished to Sado, raised his army against the Taira clan, he was defeated by Kagechika OBA and other commanders on the Taira side in the Battle of Ishibashiyama in August, 1180, and forced to run to the Boso peninsula, hiding himself in the residence of Tsunetane CHIBA, who declared to support Yoritomo. On October 14, Tsunetane called on Yoritomo with Yoritaka to pay his respects and recommended Yoritomo to accept Yoritaka as a retainer. Sympathizing with Yoritaka as another bereaved child of the Minamoto clan, Yoritomo treated Yoritaka very well, even allowing him to take better seat in a meeting than Tsunetane, who had followed and supported Yoritomo devotedly with a large force.

When Yoritomo buried the cremains of his father Yoshitomo at Shochoju-in Temple on October 5, 1185, Yoritaka and Yoshinobu HIRAGA carried the palanquin for the cremains and only Yoritaka, Yoshinobu and Koreyoshi OUCHI were allowed to enter the temple, suggesting that Yoritomo continued to take care of Yoritaka very well as a member of the Minamoto clan. Yoritaka travelled with Yoritomo when proceeding to the capital in November, 1190, and attending the memorial service to celebrate the construction of Todai-ji Temple in April, 1195. After the death of Yoritomo, Yoritaka returned to his territory, the estate of Wakatsuki, Shinano Province, and then received the rank of Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) and was appointed as the Governor of Izu Province.