Saga-Genji (嵯峨源氏)

The Saga-Genji were the descendants of Emperor Saga, the fufty second emperor, and the first to be given the Genji name. Emperor Saga gave the surname of Genji to many princes and princesses, whereupon they ceased to be members of the imperial family.

MINAMOTO no Toru (real-life model of Hikaru GENJI in "The Tale of Genji")

The first generation Genji, including MINAMOTO no Makoto (a court noble), MINAMOTO no Tokiwa, MINAMOTO no Hiromu and MINAMOTO no Toru, formed an influential group at the Imperial Court.

Known as the Toru Lineage of Saga-Genji, the descendants of MINAMOTO no Toru, who was promoted to Minister of the Left, were the most famous members of the clan, and MINAMOTO no Toru himself is considered to be one of the models for Hikaru GENJI, the main character in "The Tale of Genji" by Murasaki Shikibu.

Despite having formed a powerful force at the Imperial Court, after 3 generations, hardly any of this line were high-ranking aristocrats, and they had no choice but to make a meager living as mid- or low-ranking aristocrats or to take jobs as provincial administrators, becoming indigenized warriors.

The Saga-Genji are well-known for names using a single Chinese character, but there are also Saga-Genji members with two-character names. Examples include MINAMOTO no Koreshige and his younger brother; Koreshige's father, MINAMOTO no Noboru, was a son of MINAMOTO no Toru, but Koreshige was adopted by Emperor Koko and his younger brother was adopted by Emperor Koko's son, MINAMOTO no Koretsune, and therefore they do not have the single-character names that are characteristic of the Saga-Genji.

Ancestry

Watanabe Clan of Settsu Province

The Saga-Genji name was passed on by the Toru Lineage of Saga-Genji, the descendants of MINAMOTO no Toru, who had become provincial warriors, and whose head was MINAMOTO no Tsuna, who was a son of MINAMOTO no Toru's great grandson, MINAMOTO no Atsuru (or Ataru) (also known as MITA no Atsuru or Ataru, MITA no Genji), who had come to Kanto as the Court's representative in Musashi Province, taking the name Mita-Genji and who became known for his one-on-one duel against TAIRA no Yoshifumi (Goro MURAOKA).

MINAMOTO no Tsuna was adopted by MINAMOTO no Atsushi of the Ninmyo-Genji, who was the husband of the daughter of MINAMOTO no Mitsunaka of the Seiwa-Genji, settled in his mother's hometown of Watanabe-no-tsu, Settsu Province (present-day Chuo Ward, Osaka City), and used it as his base, taking the name WATANABE no Tsuna (WATANABE Genji) and later becoming the patriarch of the Watanabe clan.

It is said that WATANABE no Tsuna was a handsome man like MINAMOTO no Toru and, as one of the four loyal retainers of MINAMOTO no Yorimitsu of the Settsu-Genji, who were descended from the Seiwa-Genji, he appears as a valiant warrior in the legend of his victory over the demon, Shuten Doji of Mount Oe-yama.

The Watanabe clan was based in Watanabe-Tsu in Settsu, and as well as being members of the Takiguchi-no-Musha, who served as protectors of the Emperor in the Emperor's purification ritual (Yasoshima Festival) performed on Sumiyoshi Ward beach (Osaka Bay), the family also held positions in the central government, including the Emonfu and Hyoefu Guards, and was one of the main families in the Seto Inland Sea navy.

Matsuura Clan, Hizen Province

The Matsuura Clan, which was known as the leading clan of the naval Matsuura faction in Kitakyushu, also branched off from the Watanabe clan, and its patriarch was WATANABE no Tusna's grandson, Hisashi MATSUURA (also known as MINAMOTO no Hisashi, WATANABE no Hisashi), who went to Kyushu as the Lord (Shokan) of Uno-no-Mikuriya in Matsuura County, Hizen Province, which was under the direct control of the Emperor.

Kamachi Clan, Chikugo Province

Another family descended from the Saga-Genji was the Kamachi clan of Yanagawa City, Kyushu, whose patriarch was Hisanao KAMACHI (MINAMOTO no Hisanao), the head of the estate of Mizuma County in Chikugo Province and a grandson of MINAMOTO no Mitsusue, who in turn was related to MINAMOTO no Toru's grandson, MINAMOTO no Koreshige (the younger brother of MINAMOTO no Atsuru's father, MINAMOTO no Tsukau) and who was the Lord of Kanzaki-no-sho (Tobain-ryo Kanzaki-no-sho), a manor in Hizen Province under the direct control of the Imperial Family,
The Kamachi clan are also considered descendants of the Watanabe branch of the Matsuura clan because they later adopted MINAMOTO no Tsubura of the Matsuura clan as a husband, thereby becoming one family,
There are also theories that say that the Miike clan and the Kusano clan of Chikugo Province are descendants of the Saga-Genji.

MINAMOTO no Mamoru, Hitachi Province

MINAMOTO no Mamoru of Hitachi Daijo clan, who expanded his forces in Kanto and who was a key figure in the Rebellion by TAIRA no Masakado, and his kin are also said to be of the Saga-Genji and of the same lineage as MINAMOTO no Ataru (Ataru TADA), who was a gonnosuke in Musashi.

Genealogy

Legend: The bold lines indicate biological children. Plain lines and double lines indicate adopted children (ones without surnames are the Genji members who became liege subjects, and the ones with partially missing surnames became monks).