Nakahara no Chikayoshi (中原親能)

NAKAHARA no Chikayoshi (1143 - February 1, 1209) was a bunkan gokenin (civil officer vassal) who lived in the late Heian period and early Kamakura period. He was a Mandokoro kujibugyo of the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun). He was from the Nakahara clan, kuge (court noble). His wife was a daughter of Tsuneie HATANO. His child was NAKAHARA no Suetoki and his adopted son was Yoshinao OTOMO.

There are two stories about his origin (roots): one is that he was a child of Myobo hakase (teacher of the law in the Ritsuryo system), NAKAHARA no Hirosue and a brother of OE no Hiromoto, and the other is that he was the third son of FUJIWARA no Mitsuyoshi and became an adopted son of NAKAHARA no Hirosue. The latter appears in a family tree of the Otomo family and seems to reflect that Chikayoshi later changed his family name from Nakahara to Fujiwara.

He was raised by his relatives, the Hatano clan in Sagami Province who had served Kawachi-Genji (Minamoto clan) for many generations. Later, he went to Kyoto and became a Kenin (retainer) of MINAMOTO no Masayori to serve Emperor Goshirakawa as Inshi. NAKAHARA no Chikayoshi ran away from the residence of Masayori in December, 1180, four months after MINAMOTO no Yoritomo took up arms in August. It was because NAKAHARA no Chikayoshi detected the movement of the Taira family when he pretended to visit and question them by the order of TAIRA no Tokitada who knew of the relationship between the Hatano clan and Yoritomo. Later, he worked for Yoritomo and had served him since then. Ironically, the Hatano clan serving the Taira family after Yoritomo took up arms was destroyed.

In October 1183, NAKAHARA no Chikayoshi went to the capital (Kyoto) with the army of MINAMOTO no Yoshitsune. He entered the capital on New Years, 1184 and was active in the negotiation with nobles, administrating everything as a magistrate of Yoritomo. He belonged to MINAMOTO no Yoshitsune's army in the Battle of Ichinotani in February. NAKAHARA no Chikayoshi had a close relationship with many kuges (court nobles) including Kanezane KUJO who was a friend of Chikayoshi's father, NAKAHARA no Hirosue. People in Kyoto had thought that Chikayoshi was the supreme commander because they didn't know the name of Yoshitsune when he went to the capital for the first time.

NAKAHARA no Chikayoshi went to Kamakura as a messenger of Emperor Goshirakawa in order to prompt Yoritomo to go to the capital after the Battle of Ichinotani, and went to the capital as a bugyo (magistrate) of the army for hunting down and killing the Taira family together with Kagetoki KAJIWARA and Sanehira DOI on April 29. He was appointed to Kumonjo Yoriudo (officer for Kumonjo) in October of this year.

He went to the capital for the appointment to Kyoto-shugo (military governor of Kyoto) in 1186 and was also appointed to Mandokoro kujibugyo in 1191. He was a member of the 13-person parliamentary system.

He became a menoto (a foster father) of the second daughter of Yoritomo, Sanman hime born in 1186. NAKAHARA no Chikayoshi ran back to Kamakura from Kyoto when Sanman fell critically ill on July 26, 1199, and entered into priesthood due to her death on July 31.