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Indigenous noble family ~ Saionji clan and Ichijo clan


After the Onin War, the so-called Sengoku period arrived and income from manors ceased, so the Ichijo and Saionji clans went to their own territories and settled there, but coincidentally they lived in the west of Tosa Province and the south of Iyo Province, both are neighbor ones.

The former is a Sekkan family, and the latter is a Seiga family, which is one rank lower, and both are families that hold ministerial rank or higher among court nobles, but they are unique in that they became warlords while surviving the Sengoku period. When the Onin War broke out, the Ichijo family fled Kyoto to avoid the flames of war, but the head of the family, Norifusa, stayed in Nara with his father Kaneyoshi, and then moved to Nakamura, Hata District, Tosa Province, where the Ichijo family territory was located. Norifusa served as Kanpaku (chancellor) following his father, but handed over the headship of the family to his younger brother, Fuyuyoshi, and his second son, Fusaie, settled in the area and became known as the Tosa Ichijo clan.


Ryotaro Shiba wrote the story of Motochika Chosokabe in his novel ``Natsugusa no Fu,'' and Kanesada Ichijo, who appears in the story, was the fourth generation head of the Tosa Ichijo clan. Although he was an unfortunate character who was sloppy with alcohol and women, and was exiled from his vassals due to Motochika's trap, he was given the official rank of Jusanmi (Gon Chunagon) by the Imperial Court. Those who receive an official rank of 3rd rank or higher are called Kugyo(higher court noble). Because he was from a Sekkan family, his great-grandsons were probably able to hold high-ranking government positions, but in addition, because they were wealthy, the tributes to the imperial court and the head family were likely to be expensive. Other than Nobunaga and Hideyoshi, who ruled the country, the only Sengoku daimyo who received an official rank of 3rd rank or above is probably Yoshitaka Ouchi, who lived in Yamaguchi (even though his official rank was Hyobukyo, and he was also a member of Chunagon, a government official) is of a different rank.


The Tosa Ichijo clan descended to Motochika's military after more than 100 years when the Tosa Ichijo family moved there, and after surviving for a while as a puppet, they shared the fate of the Chosokabe clan and perished. Seeing the checkerboard-like townscape, with the clear waters of the Shimanto River and the nearby mountains as background, we sympathize with the Ichijo clan people in the longing for homeland of the Ichijo clan, who immigrated from far away from Kyoto.


In the Kamakura period, after the Jokyu War, the Saionji family wielded power as Kanto Moshitsugi, the liaison between the samurai government and the Imperial Court. In the first place, the territory of Iyo was stolen from the Kiminari Tachibana during this period due to the authority of the Kamakura Shogunate, and as a result, it was less dignified than the Ichijo family. With the fall of the Kamakura Shogunate, the family lost a large amount of support, and we entered the period of the Northern and Southern Courts, when court nobles and samurai families all over Japan divided into northern and southern factions and fought against each other. At this time, Kimitoshi, the son of the head of the Saionji family, was in charge of the Uwa District as a member of the Southern Court. It was indigenous to the area, and remained in this area for about 200 years until Hideyoshi's invasion. During the Edo period, Masamune Date's eldest son, Hidemune, acquired this territory at the end of the Edo period, but by following in the footsteps of the Saionji clan while visiting Uwajima Castle, one of the 12 existing castle towers, your trip to Nan-yo(south part of Ehime prefecture) will be even more enjoyable.

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