Musashi no Takeshiba (武蔵武芝)

MUSASHI no Takeshiba (dates of birth and death unknown) was a member of a local ruling family in the mid Heian period. He was the son of MUSASHI no Takenari who was a gunji (district manager) of Adachi County. His Ikai (Court rank) was Ge-jugoinoge(Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade). Since he is said to be Gunjihangandai of Adachi County, it is assumed that he was a local official of Musashi Province.

The Musashi clan is a descendant of MUSASHI no Fuwamaro, who is the person rendering distinguished service in the Rebellion of Emi no Oshikatsu (Previously called HASETSUKABENOATAE no Fuwamara; he was ranked Jushiinoge [Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade] when he died in May 7, 787), and he was Adachi gunji, as the creator of Musashi Province worshipping Hikawa-jinja Shrine. He is evaluated as a notable gunji in "Shomon Ki" (tale of Masakado).


In February, 939, Zuryo Okiyo-o (Prince Okiyo), the newly assigned governor for Musashi Province, and MINAMOTO no Tsunemoto entered Adachi County to take over the land immediately after they assigned to the area, and Takeshiba opposed them saying, 'in Musashi Province, there are no previous precedents in which gonkan (supernumerary position) enters a county before the assignment of 正官の守.'
However, the two Kokushi (provincial governors) confiscated Takeshiba's properties saying that he was disrespectful, and Takeshiba asked TAIRA no Masakado to mediate after he escaped to the countryside.

Okiyo-o (Prince Okiyo) and Takeshiba reconciled under Masakado's mediation; however, Takeshiba's force surrounded Tsunemoto, who did not respond to the reconciliation, and Tsunemoto escaped to the capital and reported Masakado's rebellion to the throne, which became the underlying cause of the Johei and Tengyo War.

Afterward, Takeshiba's whereabouts is unknown but "Shomon Ki" says that he lost the right to hold a festa at Hikawa-jinja Shrine. There are different views on how to interpret this result; one is that this is a punishment determined by the Kokushi (governor) and the other is that he was implicated in Masakado's rebellion and killed.

According to the shrine's biography and family records at Hikawa-jinja Shrine, descendants of Takeshiba called themselves Noyoto and the child of Takeshiba's daughter (the child of Musashi no suke, Masayoshi SUGAWARA) took over the right to conduct religious services forHikawa-jinja Shrine.

According to "Mishitsunoi keizu," Takeshiba's daughter became the wife of Kanmu-Heishi TAIRA no Yoshifumi TAIRA no Masatsune of the Chichibu clan, and his granddaughter (the daughter of MUSASHI no Takemune, Takeshiba's son) married TAIRA no Motomune (son of TAIRA no Tadanume) to have children including TAIRA no Motonaga (the founder of Noyoto) and TAIRA no Yorito (the founder of Murayamato).

A different theory holds that the legend of 'Takeshiba'-dera Temple as heard by SUGAWARA no Takasue's daughter, who was the author of "Sarashina Nikki" (The Sarashina Diary), had been spread by someone who wished to mythologize the ups and downs of all the generations from MUSASHI no Fuwamaro, who rose from a small local ruling family to become Kuninomiyatsuko (the heads of local governments), to MUSASHI no Takeshiba.