Kikkawa Tsunetaka (吉川経高)

Tsunetaka KIKKAWA (1234 - 1319) was a samurai who lived in the end of Kamakura period. His father was Tsunemitsu KIKKAWA. His children were Tsunemori KIKKAWA, Tsunenaga KIKKAWA and Tsuneyori KIKKAWA. His childhood name was Tegokumamaru. His official court rank was Izu no kami (Governor of Izu Province). He was practically the founder of the Kikkawa clan.

In 1267, he inherited the family estate from his father, Tsunemitsu KIKKAWA. Around that time, the Kikkawa clan also owned shoryo (territory) in Aki and Harima Provinces other than honryo (main domain) in Suruga Province. However, some of those shoryos were misappropriated by others because of the lack of proper management. In 1313, Tsunetaka KIKKAWA petitioned Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) to return those misappropriated shoryos. After the petition was granted, Tsunetaka left the honryo of Suruga Province and moved to Oasa town in Aki Province as the eldest son of the family to unify the clan despite his age nearing to 80. Tsunetaka might have tried to avoid difficulties of surviving in Kanto region as a small gokenin (an immediate vassal of the shogunate in the Kamakura and Muromachi through Edo periods), under a direct influence of the central government.

Tsunetaka posted his youngest brother Tsunetoki KIKKAWA to Suruga, gave Fukui no sho (manor) in Harima Province to one of his younger brothers Tsunemori KIKKAWA (KIKKAWA clan in Harima Province), appointed another one of his younger brothers Tsuneshige KIKKAWA ('KIKKAWA clan in Iwami Province' that later produced Tsuneie KIKKAWA and other family members) as jito shiki (manager and lord of a private estate) of Tsubuchi no sho in Iwami Province, and accompanied another one of his younger brothers Tsunenobu Kikkawa (first generation) to Oasa to give him a part of Oasa and make him assist his work. After he moved to Oasa, he built Surugamaru-jo Castle and lived there.

In 1319, Tsunetaka handed over his family headship to his legitimate son Tsunemori, and died the same year at the ripe old age of 86.

It may be fair to say that his decision of transferring to Aki Province contributed greatly to establish the foundation for the growth of KIKKAWA clan that retained its name and lineage of the family into modern era.