Kobayakawa Shigehira (小早川茂平)

Shigehira KOBAYAKAWA was a samurai in the Kamakura period. He was a powerful vassal of the Kamakura Shogunate. He was a member of Rokuhara Hyoteishu (the council of Rokuhara Tandai).

It is believed that the Kobayakawa clan was established by the descendants of Sanehira DOHI who was one of the aides of MINAMOTO no Yoritomo and made a good showing in the Genpei War (war between Minamoto clan and Taira clan), Shigehira was the fourth generation down from Sanehira and that the name of Kobayakawa was taken from Hayakawa, a place-name in Dohi-go Village, Izu, home ground of his feud. Sanehira became Shugo (provincial constable) for three provinces, or Bizen, Bicchu and Bingo, and his son Empei DOHI was given Jitoshiki (manager and lord of manor) of Numata-sho Manor, Aki Province, but Empei's tyrannical behavior and management resulted in deprival of his title and left him only with his home ground Dohi-go Village and Numata-sho Manor, Aki Province. Numata-sho Manor, Aki Province, was later inherited by Kagehira KOBAYAKAWA, father of Shigehira, and further handed down to Shigehira.

Shigehira aggressively promoted development of his own feud and constructed Takayama-jo Castle (Aki Province), laying the groundwork for the future growth of the Kobayakawa clan. In 1221, he made a distinguished military achievement and newly gained the title of Jitoshiki of Takehara-sho Manor, Tsu District, Aki Province.

From 1247 to 1257, Shigehira lived in Kyoto and served the role of security in the capital city and for Rokuhara Tandai.