Imagawa Norikuni (今川範国)

Norikuni IMAGAWA (1295 ? - June 8, 1384) was shugo daimyo (shugo, which were Japanese provincial military governors, that became daimyo, which were Japanese feudal lords) from the end of Kamakura Period through the period of the Northern and Southern Courts. He was the first family head of the Imagawa clan in Suruga Province. His father was Motouji IMAGAWA, and his mother was Koun-in. Noriuji IMAGAWA, Sadayo (Ryoshun) IMAGAWA, Ujikane IMAGAWA, and Nakaaki IMAGAWA were his sons. His childhood name was Matsumaru. He was commonly called as Goro. Some say he was born in 1297 or in 1304.

He supposedly entered the priesthood following Takatoki HOJO who was in the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun). He fought in the Genko War, and after the Kamakura bakufu was overthrown, Emperor Godaigo started Kenmu Restoration. When Takauji ASHIKAGA defected from this, Norikuni followed Takauji to take part in military operations in various locations. In 1336, he was appointed as shugoshiki (military governor) of Enshu (Totoumi Province), then of Suruga Province. Later, Yoshinaga NIKI as well as Sedatane CHIBA were temporarily appointed as Shugoshiki of Enshu but Norikuni was reappointed in 1352.

In 1353, he retired letting his son Noriuji take over shugoshiki and the family estate. Takauji requested Norikuni to become Hikitsuke tonin (chairman of the court of justice) in the Ashikaga bakufu when Tadayoshi ASHIKAGA died. In 1365, his son Noriuji died. He died on May 19, 1384. His posthumous Buddhist name was 定光寺悟庵心省.

He was known as a man of culture familiar with kajin (waka poets) and Yusoku-kojitsu (knowledge of court rules, ceremony, decorum and records of the past). He gave instructions on the ceremonies held by Ashikaga Shogun Family.