Mori Motoharu (毛利元春)

Motoharu MORI (1323 - year of death unknown) was the head of the MORI family who lived during the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan) and Muromachi period, and was the legitimate son of Chikahira MORI. His children were Hirofusa MORI, Motomusa ATSUMO, Hironai OBARA, Tadahiro MORI, Hiroyo NAGAI and Motofuchi FUKUBARA. He was first named 'Morochika' written as '師親' in Japanese by receiving one letter '師' from the name KO no Moroyasu written as '高師泰' in Japanese. After holding the office of Governor of Bicchu and rising to the rank of Jugoinoge (Juior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade), he also held the office of Sakon no shogen (Lieutenant the Left Division of Inner Palace Guards), Taijo (Senior Secretary) and Uma no kami (Captain of the Right Division of Bureau of Horses).

Motoharu had Genpuku (coming-of-age ceremony for boys) at the age of 13, and consistently followed Takauji ASHIKAGA on behalf of his great-grandfather, Tokichika MORI. Since his grandfather, Sadachika MORI, and his father, Chikahira MORI, followed the Southern Court (Japan) ruled by the Emperor Godaigo and played active roles in Nanjo-so in Echigo Province, a conflict arose within the MORI family. As his great-grandfather, Tokichika, who acted as his conservator, died in the middle of the conflict in 1341, Motoharu succeeded to the control of Yoshida-so in Aki Province.

After succeeding to the family headship at the age of 19, Motoharu came to be called 'Koriyama-dono.'
Motoharu who won a battle with his hostile family headed down to Chinzei (nickname of Kyushu) in attendance on Sadayo IMAGAWA, Kyushu Tandai (local commissioner), and waged battles. Meanwhile, Motoharu's father, Chikahira, who got adversarial with Motoharu, cooperated with the Southern Court forces in Kyushu, Hiroyo OUCHI in Suo Province and so on, and invaded Motoharu's territory during his departure for the front in Kyushu.

As a result, his legitimate son, Hirofusa, was killed in a battle at Saijo in Aki Province in 1385, and Motoharu had Hirofusa's son, Mitsufusa MORI, succeed to own position, and acted as guardian until Mitsufusa grew up.

From around the age of Motoharu, derivative families were established by illegitimate children, and the Saka family, Aritomi clan, Obara clan, Chuma clan, Fukubara clan and so on were established. Furthermore, branch families such as the Katsura clan, Mitsunaga clan, Shiji clan and so on were derived from the Saka clan, and became subordinate families supporting the MORI clan as Sengoku daimyo (Japanese territorial lord in the Sengoku period).