Tachibana no Kimiyori (橘公頼)

TACHIBANA no Kimiyori (877 - March 25, 941) was a noble who lived in the Heian period. His titles were Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) and Chunagon (vice-councilor of state). He also held the titles of Kyoshiki (Kyoto government official), Konoe fu (Imperial Guard Division), and Dazai gon no sochi (Provisional Governor-General of the Dazai-fu offices). His sons were TACHIBANA no Toshizane, TACHIBANA no Toshinaka, TACHIBANA no Toshimichi, TACHIBANA no Toshisada, and TACHIBANA no Toshinobu.

Kimiyori was the son of TACHIBANA no Hiromi, who held the title of Zon Chunagon (vice-councilor of state, given posthumously) and was a sixth generation descendant of TACHIBANA no Moroe. His mother was the daughter of TACHIBANA no Korekaze, who seved in Meryo (the section taking care of imperial horses). He became Rokui no Kurodo (Chamberlain of Sixth Rank) in 896 and was conferred Joshaku (a peerage) in 899. He was given the rank of Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) in 919 and after that, he fulfilled the positions of Omi no kuni Gon no kami (Governor of Omi Province), Iyo no kuni Gon no kami (Governor of Iyo Province), Ukyo no daibu (Master of the Western Capital Offices), Sachujo (Middle Captain of the Left Division of Inner Palace Guards), Harima no kuni Gon no kami (Governor of Harima Province), and Bizen no kuni Gon no kami (Governor of Bizen Province). Kimiyori was promoted to Jushiinojo (Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade) in 925, and became a Sangi (consultant) in 928. His titles shifted from Shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) in 932, Dazai gonno sochi in 935, and Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) in 936, and he became Chunagon while serving as Dazai gonno sochi in 939 before passing away on March 25, 941 in Dazai-fu (the governmental office with the jurisdiction of Kyushu, Iki, and Tsushima). He died at the age of 65. He was a Kajin poet, and his poems were collected in "Gosen Wakashu" (Later selected collection of Japanese poetry) (Poem Number 637) and "Shin chokusen wakashu" (A new anthology of Japanese poetry compiled by Imperial command) (Poem Number 1282).

Kimiyori counterattacked at Kamachi-jo Castle against the army of FUJIWARA no Suminori, the younger brother of Sumimoto, who destroyed Dazai-fu and invaded Yanagawa during Rebellion of FUJIWARA no Sumitomo. Because of this deed, the descendants of TACHIBANA no Kimiyori received the hereditary title of Lord of Kamachi, Chikugo Province.

According to a legend told in Yanagawa City, Fukuoka Prefecture, Kamachi-jo Castle was built by FUJIWARA no Suminori, and TACHIBANA no Kimiyori resisted it by building Yanagawa-jo Castle. It was told that the lord of Kamachi in Kamachi-jo Castle was from the family of FUJIWARA no Suminori, but Yanagawa-jo Castle did not exist at that time, and it was at Kamachi-jo Castle that TACHIBANA no Kimiyori and his son TACHIBANA no Toshimichi made a counterattack. The Tajiri clan, native to the surrounding area, who were the descendants of Haruzane OKURA, showed fine performances during the subjugation of Sumitomo, and it seems unlikely that the descendants of the family of FUJIWARA no Sumitomo controlled the area. The head of Kamachi area was also a descendant of TACHIBANA no Kiyomori, who showed fine performance during the subjugation of FUJIWARA no Sumitomo; when MINAMOTO no Hisanao of Saga-Genji (Minamoto clan) became the Jitoshiki (steward) of Kamachi in the Kamakura period, he married the daughter of the Tachibana clan of the Chikugo Province, a descendant of TACHIBANA no Kiyomori; their family named themselves the Kamachi clan and wielded power.