Minamoto no Yoshitaka (源義隆)

MINAMOTO no Yoshitaka (Date of birth unknown - died 1159) was a military commander of the late Heian period.


Third generation of Kawachi-Genji (Minamoto clan) and, seventh son of MINAMOTO no Yoshiie the Chinju-fu shogun (Commander-in-Chief of the Defense of the North). Together with the sixth son in his family, his cohort included Mori kanja and Mutsu kanja as they were known: Rokuro MUTSU and Shichiro MUTSU (there were seven sons, but the fourth eldest son in the family of the Takashina clan was adopted into the family and is also said to have been Rokuro). Among Yoshiie's children, the one who lived the longest was venerated as the leader. Held territory in Sagami.

At the time of the Heiji Disturbance in 1159, participation in the war was in line with Minamoto clan leader MINAMOTO no Yoshitomo (nephew and eldest son of MINAMOTO no Tameyoshi). Defeated by the Taira family and having escaped to the Kanto region, they encountered followers of the fallen priest Yokokawa who were hunting for fleeing stragglers at Ryugegoe, Mt Hiei. Yoshitaka, together with Yoshitomo's second son, MINAMOTO no Asanaga, became a shield for Yoshitomo and were struck and killed by arrows fired by the fallen priest. So that Yoshitaka's head did not fall into the hands of the enemy, it is said that Yoshitomo purposely weighted the head and submerged it in a lake at Katada (Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture). His service to the government is unknown; however, it is said that he was ranked Sixth rank at court, but according to some records it is also documented that he was Shinano no kami (Governor of Shinano Province). It is thought that is possible by reason that FUJIWARA no Nobuyori was in place at the time of the Heiji Disturbance. Because Nobuyori had turned traitor, it is possible there was no formal record of roles. His children included: MINAMOTO no Yoshihiro (MORI jibujo (secretary of the Civil Administration Ministry)), Nomitsu KUGE, MINAMOTO no Yoritaka, and MINAMOTO no Sadataka.

Descriptions of Yoshitaka in ancient records and war chronicles.

"Heiji Monogatari" (The Tale of Heiji) - Chapter 14, Volume 1: Minamoto family musters its forces (explanation).

In this tome FUJIWARA no Nobuyori and Minamoto no Yoshitomo raise armies, confine the emperor, Emperor Goshirakawa, personally use the imperial forces intending to overthrow their political foes FUJIWARA no Shinzei and TAIRA no Kiyomori, but, Kiyomori, who was on a trip to Kumano, secretly rescued the emperor and empress. Yoshitomo heard this but had no detailed reports he could rely upon; however, even this being the case, inconsistency of the Minamoto clan was said to not be a good trait. It is said that moves were made to mobilize troops that were laying low and it is said that names of Minamoto side generals and followers were displayed. At that time, amongst the list of generals' names it is said that Yoshitaka's name appeared as a military commander.
The roll of generals' names at the time was as follows:
Generals were: the Evil Uemon no kami (Captain of the Right Division of the Headquarters of the Outer Palace) Nobuyori; his child, the new Chamberlain FUJIWARA no Nobuchika; Nobuyori's own elder brother FUJIWARA no Ieyori the Hyobu no Gon no Taifu (provisional senior assistant minister of Hyobusho Ministry of Military), Minbugonshofu (Junior Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Popular Affairs) FUJIWARA no Motonari; younger brother FUJIWARA no Motonari the Owari Shosho (Minor captain of Owari Province); in addition, Middle counselor of Fushimi-Genji (Minamoto clan) MINAMOTO no Moronaka; Middle captain of Echigo FUJIWARA no Narichika; jibukyo (Minister of the Ministry of Civil Administration) Kanemichi; the former official of Iyo Province Nobutaka; Sadatomo the Governor of Iki Province; Arifusa the Governor of Tanba Province; MINAMOTO no Yorimasa the Head of Hyogo; MINAMOTO no Mitsuyasu the former official of Izuo Province (Mitsuyasu); Mitsumoto the Governor of Iga Province; MINAMOTO no Suezane the Governor of Kawachi; their children Suemori the saemon-no-jo (Secretary of the Left Division of the Headquarters of the Outer Palace Guard) for the first time in the Minamoto clan Yoshitomo was first on the list for Sama no kami (Chief of the Bureau of Horses); his eldest son Kamakura aku (evil) Genta MINAMOTO no Yoshihira; his second son MINAMOTO no Asanaga was chugudaifu (Master of the Empress' Palace); third son MINAMOTO no Yoritomo was Hyoe no suke (Assistant at Headquarters of the Middle Palace Guard); Yoshitomo's uncle Rokuro MUTSU Yoshitaka; Yoshitomo's younger brothers Juro SHINGU and MINAMOTO no Yukiie; cousin MINAMOTO no Shigenari who was Sado shikibu taiyu (the assistant minister of the Ceremonial Ministry, and also in charge of Sado Province) (Grand Master); and also Shirohei Hiraga and Yoshinori Hiraga.

"Heiji Monogatari" (The Tale of Heiji) - Chapter 3, Volume 2: the Battle of Rokuhara (original text).

In this volume the Minamoto clan side's warrior name is noted under the Battle of Rokuhara.

If this is seen as the limit, followers will slip away. More than 20 cavalry advanced on Rokuhara, etc., beginning with: Aku (evil) Yoshihira GENTA, Empress' Grand Master (MINAMOTO no Tomonaga), Uyoe no suke (Assistant Captain of the Right Watch) (MINAMOTO no Yoritomo), teacher Saburo (MINAMOTO no Yoshinori), Yoshimori the Juro Korodo (A secretary to the emperor' s Juro), Rokuro MUTSU (MINAMOTO no Yoshitaka), Shirohei Hiraga (MINAMOTO no Yoshinobu), Kamada hyoe (KAMADA, who was an official the Headquarters of the Middle Palace Guard) (Masakiyo KAMADA), Goto hyoe (GOTO, who was an official the Headquarters of the Middle Palace Guard) (Sanemoto GOTO), child and new hyoe (Motokiyo GOTO), Kojiro MIURA (Yoshisumi MIURA), Master, Kohachiro KATAGIRI (MINAMOTO no Kageshige), Kaihachiro KAZUSA (Hirotsune KAZUSA), Saburo SASAKI (Hideyoshi SASAKI), Hirayama Mushadokoro (FUJIWARA no Sueshige), Nagai Saito steward Sanemori (Sanemori SAITO), (From "Heiji Monogatari").

"Heiji Monogatari" - Chapter 4, Volume 2: Yoshitomo's Defeat (Commentary)

The warrior priests of the western pagoda of Enryaku-ji Temple at Mt. HieiIn regards to the Minamoto clan, FUJIWARA no Nobuyori and MINAMOTO no Yoshitomo were defeated by the Taira clan and were rumored to escape to Oharaguchi, and forces were dispatched to 'mop up the losers.'
On one occasion Nagai's steward Sanemori prevailed upon the warrior priests, explaining his predicament: after this the Yogawa priests lay in wait in the vicinity of Ryugegoe, whereupon the warrior priests fired a barrage of arrows at them. Yoshitaka's horse was weary and for a short while removed himself from the front, but a number of the priests surrounded Yoshitaka and because they fired countless arrows, Yoshitaka tried to pursue them flailing his long sword; however, because the Ryugegoe has rough mountain roads, there was nowhere for horse to advance. As such, he was shot by arrows that penetrated his helmet; arrows struck his skull, he fell backwards of his steed, and it is said that Yoshitomo's younger brother Tomonaga was also struck in the thigh by arrows. Yoshitomo was concerned for Tomonaga, his wounds obscured by his armor, but when he warned against the enemy taking his rear, Tomonaga said, 'Rokuro MORI is wounded,' being concerned about the elder of the Minamoto clan. Yoshitaka felt poorly so he dismounted his horse, and approached the root of a tree to sit down on and take a rest, it is said. Amongst the Yokogawa priests there was one large priest standing 2.12 meters tall, wearing a huge intimidating black leather waistband, sleeves of matching fur, and gauntlets on his left and right hands and he brandished a long sword. Just when he drew close to Yoshitaka to attack, a senior member amongst the Minamoto clan dependents Hirotsune HACHIRO, Kazusa no suke, retraced his steps, dismounted his horse, and faced off with the priest. The senior member of the family, Hirotsune, approached Yoshitomo, because Yoshitaka was seriously wounded, arrangements were made with Hirotsune to thwart the enemy seizing the head of Yoshitaka it was reported. However, with that he said he thought he had been shot up badly. Yoshitomo heard this but had not heard the entire report; he retraced his steps and let out a scream: it is said that HIRAYAMA no mushadokoro Sueshige, NAGAI-SAITO no betto Sanemori, and others drew back. Lord Yoshitomo drew near to the place where Yoshitaka was seated; Yoshitomo took Yoshitaka's hands in his own and asked how he was feeling. Yoshitaka opened his eyes; the moment he saw Yoshitomo's face tears streamed down his face, and soon after he passed away. Yoshitomo did not look and he suppressed his tears; he had a senior member of the family Hirotsune sever the head from the body and, so that the enemy would be none the wiser of Yoshitaka's death in battle, Yoshitomo mounted a horse and made his escape. The eyes, nose, and facial skin were removed from the head, stones were tied to weight it down, and it was dropped into a deep pool in a mountain stream. At that point, Yoshitomo paid no concern to what others thought and wept, 'I pay my departing respects as a surviving child of Hachiman the god of war. If there is no obstacle, may your soul linger in this world and keep watch over the house of Genji,' he said but, at that point in time it is said that at all levels of the Minamoto clan there was no one not in tears. The passing of a Minamoto clan veteran warrior who had carried down the valor of Hachiman Taro Yoshiie was mourned it is said.

"Heiji Monogatari" - Chapter 1, Volume 3: Konomaru travels from Owari (Commentary)

In previous years, when Yoshitomo had been in Owari Province, a member of the family named Tadamune OSADA had died due to treachery. In 1160 Shibuya Konomaru, a family member of Yoshitomo who had returned from Owari Province, came under the influence of his master's concubine Tokiwa gozen, who told of the end of Yoshitomo's life. In particular, it was announced that Yoshitomo's second son had died, and the Minamoto clan head Rokuro MORI (Mutsu Rokuro Yoshitaka) had also died in battle. (Mutsu Rokuro Yoshitaka had taken the name of the Mori estate domain of Sagami Province and went by the name master Mori), it was announced. ), it was announced. Tokiwa (as with Yoshitomo) was to an extent at war, and although he thought of Konomaru mediating, the children and others perished. Afterwards, it is said he humbly bowed down, depressed, asking for advice as to what was best to do, and the death of the Minamoto clan leader left Tokiwa and the young children in tears, and Konomaru also wept. Konomaru locked up the son of a Kamakura noble (MINAMOTO no Yoshihira) and also part of the watch (MINAMOTO no Noriyori), and is said to have tried to have no reliance placed on his infant younger brothers, accordingly, because Konomaru mourned the passing of Yoshitomo it is said he left the family and the story goes that he just walked away and lived the life of an ascetic in temples, wandering the high roads and low roads of various provinces.

"Azuma Kagami" (The Mirror of the East): October 14, 1180 (original text)

Using the pretext of hunting down the Taira family, Yoritomo was defeated at the Battle of Ishibashiyama, and upon escaping to Boso, the estate of his ally Tsunetane CHIBA, he was brought together with the orphan of Mutsu Rokuro Yoshitaka. The following is an outline of what took place at the time.

"Make an appearance: because of this, prepare a gift for today. MUTSU no Rokuro Yoshitaka are men, young Yoritaka MORI announced. Wearing a light blue robe usually worn under armor in addition to light armor. Tsunetane kneeled nearby. Received in this mood, naturally I announced myself as MINAMOTO no Taneko. Accordingly noted, Tsunetane was invited to sit. Patriarch Yoshitaka previously in December 1159 at Mt. Tendai-san (Mt. Hiei centre of Tendai sect of Buddhism) rejected the late Satenkyu's (Yoshitomo's) order to serve. At that time Yoritaka had a little more than 50 days to live. Be that as it may, as fate would dictate, in February 1160, Tsunetane was ordered into exile in Shimofusa Province."
from the "Azuma Kagami" (The Mirror of the East)

Moreover, as the literary work "Azuma Kagami" goes on to say, Yoshitaka's drafting of the "Heiji Monogatari" is noted as follows.

Introduction to Yoshitaka's "Azuma Kagami" (possibly an extract from the description in "Heiji Monogatari")

"Here Yoshitomi's uncle Rokuro MUTSU Yoshitaka is together with Mori, possibly in Sagami. While with acquaintances, his steed tired and he dropped back, and priests were hiding in the fields and fired an overwhelming barrage of arrows whereupon, Yoshitaka, flailing his long sword, made after them, but the mountain road was rough there was no place for his horse to run. Ultimately, the first lines were shot and thrown into confusion, so they calmly retreated to Shimodate. (Omission) to Rokuro MORI's surprise, Yoshitomo could only see from one eye, and at the end tears streamed down his face: in the end a sad situation."
from the "Azuma Kagami" (The Mirror of the East)


Eldest son: MINAMOTO no Yoshihiro (MORI jibujo (MORI, a secretary of the Civil Administration Ministry)) lived in Musashi Province. Seven generations of the family: in Hiroaki MORI's generation they lived in Ishida in Mino Province serving the Toki clan; after Hiromori MORI shifted to the ODA and TOYOTOMI families they served Ieyasu TOKUGAWA and for generations the family served as clansmen in the Owari Domain. Pedigree stems from the lord of Yakami-jo Castle in Owari Province. Refer to Mori clan (Minamoto clan) listing.

Second son; Tayu NARIKI and Acting Governor of Musashi Province Nomitsu KUGE were born to Yoshitaka and the aughter of Yukimasa OYAMA, and after Yoshitaka lost to the Heike it was said that he was sheltered by the Oyama clan, the most powerful clan in Shimotsuke Province. The Kuge clan became independent of Musashi Province. Initially they were associated with the Oba faction; however, when MINAMOTO no Yoritomo raised his army, they were the first to ride with him and were bestowed the characters for "Ichiban" on their family crest. A territorial battle was fought and won against his wife s nephew Naozane KUMAGAI. Descendants resided in Tanba Province. During the period of the Northern and Southern Courts, the Ashikaga clan was prominent within the Minamoto clan; when the Ashikaga clan leader Takauji ASHIKAGA revolted against the Kenmu administration, the Kuge clan hastened to the Ashikaga camp at the front, and they obtained substantial amounts of territory within Tanba Province and amassed the most power and influence within Tanba Province. With the breakout of the Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) power struggles, during the Meio no seihen (the Meio era coup), when the shogunate was split between the camp of Yoshizumi ASHIKAGA and that of Yoshitane ASHIKAGA, the Kuge clan fell to Shogun Yoshitane. At the height of the civil war, there were encroachments upon their local power base and territory was lost. Amongst the Kuge clan lineage can be found the Ukai clan and Iwauchi clan.

Third son was WAKATSUKI, the Governor of Izu Province who grew up under Tsunetane CHIBA of Shimofusa Province, and later accordingly was patron to Yoshitomo's child MINAMOTO no Yoritomo. Yoritomo raised an army to hunt down and kill the Heike, and while the Chiba clan were campaigning under Yoritomo, it is said that Yoritomo had MINAMOTO no Yoritaka seated in a place of honor higher than Tsunetane CHIBA. Their descendents include the Wakatsuki clan and the Mori clan, amongst others. The Oshida and Tako clans stem from the Wakatsuki clan. The Wakatsuki clan lineage obtained territory in the northern reaches of Shinano Province, but during the early Sengoku period (Period of Warring States), Hirotaka WAKATSUKI was attacked by the Murakami clan and ruined. At the time of the restoration of the Bakufu, descendents were found to be serving as retainers in the Ise daimyo's (lord) household. The name Wakatsuki is found in Izumo Province as well, but they are descendents. The Tako clan is a branch of the Wakatsuki clan which includes the Tako clan (Tokitaka TAKO and others), vassals of the Amago clan hailing from Izumo Province. There are also opinions that there were those who feigned to be descendants of MINAMOTO no Yoshitaka, however, there are those of the opinion that they were descendants of the Oe clan, but this is also not definitive. From the Kamakura era onwards, the Oshida clan served the Chiba clan as chief retainers and, again and again intermarried with their masters' daughters, leading to their inclusion and treatment as if they were clan members. The power of the Chiba clan was absorbed by the Gohojo clan; they were ruined by Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI's Odawara campaign but managed to carry on as vassals to the Oshida clan during the Edo bakufu (feudal government headed by a shogun). Katsunaga OSHIDA's daughter Seiryoin (Oraku no Onkata), who was Junii (Junior Second Rank), was concubine to the 12th shogun Ieyoshi TOKUGAWA and, gave birth to Tatsu hime (Princess Tatsu), Kachiyo, and head of the Hitotsubashi family, Yoshimasa TOKUGAWA.

The Mori clan grandchildren of Yoshitaka, and Yorisada's second son Sadauji's lineage for generations after served the Toki clan of the Miwa-Genji (Minamoto clan), and in the generation of Yoshinari MORI, they served Nobunaga ODA. Second son was Ranmaru MORI, who gained fame as Nobunaga's page. His younger brother was an ancestor of the lord of the Tsuyama Domain in Mimasaka Province, who in the rule of Toyotomi became the adopted son in law of Hidenaga TOYOTOMI and was awarded the name Hashiba, but at the Battle of Sekigahara he was a match for the Eastern army and became a great Daimyo (lord) of the 180,000 koku Sakushu Tsuyama Domain.

The second son of Yorisada MORI, Sadauji MORI's descendent from the Mino-Mori family grew in stature as a busho (Japanese military commander) and a daimyo in the Sengoku period. But in the process he became kin of the Seki clan of the Seiwa-Genji (Minamoto clan) and was ultimately included in the ranks of vassals, and during the Edo period when the Seki clan became a branch family was given a portion of the estate, took an adopted son, and they became an ordinary family in the Mori family. The fourth son went by the name Tomouji UENO becoming an ancestor of the Ueno clan. The seventh son Yoshimichi MORI's eldest son went by the name Yoshimune KASAAI (笠合) which lead to the Kasaai (笠合) clan. Yorisada's 9th son Nobuyoshi TODA, was Izu no kami (Governor of Izu Province) and a first for the Toda clan, established strongholds in Owari Province and gradually extended his influence to Mikawa Province. The Tida clan established the Atsumi Peninsula as a stronghold and shaped the power into 3 parts in Mikawa with the Matsudaira clan, the Makino clan. However, the Toda clan, sorounded by the Imagawa clan, Oda clan and Matsudaira clan who controlled a large portion of the powerbase, were subordinate to and often shuffled by the master family. Once the Toda clan was on the Imagawa side, they were moved to the Oda family and ruined, but after that the descendants became followers of Ieyasu TOKUGAWA through deeds of valor they became fudai daimyo (a daimyo in hereditary vassal to the Tokugawa family), hatamoto (direct retainers of the bakufu, which is a form of Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) and feudal retainer of shinpan (relatives of the Tokugawa family). Yasunaga, a direct descendant of the Toda clan, who married Princess Matsu, the stepsister of Ieyasu TOKUGAWA from different mothers, and being adopted by his wife's family he went by the name as Yasunaga MATSUDAIRA; from then, over a number of generations the name of Matsudaira clan had been inherited. Moreover, descendents of Yorisada MORI are by no means numerous, but there is a Mori clan mentioned of Shichiro Yoshitaka MUTSUI's descendents amongst the local ruling family in Sanuki Province.

After the fourth son, Sadataka TAKAMATSU, who was Governor of Omi Province, grew older, he obtained some territory in Shirakawa City, Mutsu Province. During the period of the Northern and Southern Courts, the fourth generation descendent Sadayasu TAKAMATSU cooperated with the Southern Court by joining Akiie KITABATAKE's circle and is said to have crushed a general of Takauji ASHIKAGA at Tone-gawa River. The Kakeda clan, who were retainers of the Date clan, claimed to be descendents of the Takamatsu clan, with this pedigree of the Takamatsu clan was recorded by Yorisada MORI and the veracity of this awaits to be examined by historians. Currently, the matter is said to be not certain.

In addition, descendants of Yoshitaka are said to include: the Otaki clan, 2 Inamori clans (same sounding name written with different characters), the Kurosawa clan, and others, but this matter and details are not entirely clear.