Ichijo Tsunemichi (一条経通)

Tsunemichi ICHIJO (1317 - April 9, 1365) was a kugyo (the top court official) from the end of the Kamakura period to the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan). After the imperial court divided into the Northern and Southern Courts in 1336, he belonged to the Northern Court and held the post of kanpaku (chief adviser to the Emperor) from 1338 to 1342 under the second Northern Court Emperor Komyo. He also became Toshi choja (head of the Fujiwara clan). He was conferred Juichii (Junior First Rank). His first name Tsunemichi (経通) was also written 経通.

Biography

His father was Uchitsune ICHIJO who was kanpaku and his mother was a daughter of Kinaki SAIONJI who was Udaijin (minister of the right). He celebrated his coming of age at age five and was conferred Shogoinoge (Senior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) on January 11, 1322. His father died in 1325 and he became head of the Ichijo family. He had been successfully promoted to upper ranks (see below). He conferred Shonii (Senior Second Rank) in celebration of Emperor Kogon's ascension in 1331, however, Emperor Godaigo returned from Oki Province to Kyoto and Emperor Kogon's ascension became void in 1333. Thus, Tsunemichi's promotion under Emperor Kogon also became invalid. But, in February 1334, he was promoted to Shonii (Senior Second Rank) and was appointed as Naidaijin (minister) in the following year. Kenmu Restoration directly ruled by Emperor Godaigo aroused opposition from samurai and collapsed when Takauji ASHIKAGA's army took control of Kyoto in 1336. Then Emperor Komyo ascended on September 28. According to the rule of Ryoto tetsuritsu (alternate accedence from two ancestries of imperial families), Emperor Komyo in the Jimyoin-to (imperial lineage from Emperor Gofukakusa to Emperor Gokomatsu) adopted Imperial Prince Nariyoshi who was a son of Emperor Godaigo in the Daikakuji-to (imperial lineage starting with Emperor Kameyama) as an heir. Tsunemichi ICHIJO was appointed as Togu no fu (an official in charge of education of the Crown Prince) of Imperial Prince Nariyoshi who was 11 years old at that time. Then, Tsunemichi became Sadaijin (minister of the left) and kanpaku.

He was dedicated to Tofuku-ji Temple because of a strong relationship with donating lands and holding the Jotoshiki (ceremony of praying for safety) for rebuilding the main hall (Buddhist temple) in July 1347 which was burnt down.

He died in 1365 at the age of 49. His Buddhist name Gofudaraku-in derived from his father's Buddhist name Fudaraku-in.

His Wife and Children

Kita no mandokoro (legal wife) was Rinshi, who was a daughter of Kinkata TOIN. Rinshi had the first son Uchitsugu ICHIJO. However, as Uchitsugu was on the side of the Southern Court, Tsunemichi disinherited an heir from him and his second son Fusatsune became the heir. But Tsunefusa died one year after of Tsunemichi's death without any heirs. Therefore, Tsunetsugu ICHIJO, the third son of Yoshimoto NIJO who was kanpaku, became an adopted heir of Tsunemichi in the Ichijo family.

Uchitsugu ICHIJO (1335/1336 - date of death unknown): Shonii (Senior Second Rank) and Gon no Dainagon (a provisional chief councilor of state).

Fusatsune (1347/1348 - 1366): Shonii (Senior Second Rank) and Gon no Dainagon

Tsunetsugu ICHIJO (1358 - 1418): An adopted son of Tsunemichi. He was kanpaku and Juichii (Junior First Rank).

Jisei: Sojo (the highest class of priest in Buddhism). Enryaku-ji Temple. The 142th Tendai-zasu (head priest of the Tendai sect), served from 1377 to 1381).

Shogon: Gonsojo (the lowest grade that can be held by one who has reached the highest rank in the hierarchy of Buddhist priests). To-ji Temple. Zuishin-in Temple.

Official Record

His career and the official ranks were as follows. Age was counted in the old Japanese way, date was based upon the lunar calendar. In an easily understood manner, the western calendar does not take into consideration the difference between the lunar calendar and solar calendar.