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The son of Kanpaku(Chancellor) who changed his career to a samurai - Masayoshi Saito and Nobuhira Takatsukasa

The first time I read Ryotaro Shiba's novel was when I was in elementary school, my father had a copy of ``Kunitori Monogatari'', and I was fascinated by the story of the rise of Dosan Saito and Nobunaga Oda, as well as its sensual depictions. When I looked into it, I found out that it was serialized in Sunday Mainichi from 1963 to 1966, so I think it would be difficult to describe it to this extent if it were serialized in the morning edition. In a separate article, I wrote about the Ichijo and Saionji families who became feudal lords during the Sengoku period, but here I will write about the nobles who became military commanders and daimyo.


Taneie Konoe served as Kanpaku during the Sengoku period, but when his illegitimate son turned 13, he was sent to Mt. Hiei to become a monk. He was fond of martial arts, and relied on the sister of his vassal who was Dosan Saito's favorite mistress, and was adopted by Dosan and named Masayoshi Saito. Dosan, who was in the midst of "stealing Mino" while taking advantage of the internal conflict within the Toki family, valued his righteous valor and entrusted him with the base of Tono (Eastern Mino). After expelling the last guardian of the Toki clan, Yoriyoshi, and unifying Mino, Masayoshi was murdered by his subordinate military commander at a drinking party. There seems to be a theory that Dosan ordered him to kill Masayoshi while he was highly respected as a military commander from the Konoe family, but it would be a shame if he was an excellent military commander considering what would become the next step after Mino. He founded Joonji Temple (Kani City), and his portrait remains.

(Intermittent topic) The surname Saito was originally created in the early 10th century when the son of Fujiwara Toshihito, who was active as a military commander, was appointed to the Saigu-no-kami (a government office that looked after the Saigu who served at Ise Grand Shrine). This comes from the fact that he was appointed as a person in charge. Sai (斎:purifying one's mind and body in front of the gods and Buddha) and Sai (斉:all together) have different meanings, so Saito-san (斎藤さん)and Saito-san (斉藤さん)have different surnames.


Nobuhira Takatsukasa was a child who was born when his father, Kanpaku Nobufusa, was 62 years old, and his nephew had already taken over the headship of the main family. He too had no choice but to become a priest or be adopted, but since his older sister was married to Iemitsu Tokugawa, he relied on her and had her become his hatamoto(direct vassal of the Shogun). Due to Ietsuna's consideration, he got a wife from the Kishu Tokugawa family, and the "Takatsuka Matsudaira family" was treated as a member of the Tokugawa family, and his grandson became a feudal lord and ushered in the Meiji Restoration. The new government instructed him to abandon the Matsudaira surname he had received from the Tokugawa family, so from then on he adopted the name of his territory (Yoshii) as his surname.


The Seiwa-Genji and the Kanmu-Heishi clan, which have become synonymous with the samurai class, can be traced back to the imperial family and the court noble class residing in Kyoto, and these were appointed as kokuga(provincial government) officials (including governor) and local managers of manors, they were indigenous people. In the first place, the transition from court nobles to samurai families was not a coincidence, but was inevitable in the Heian period, which did not have a standing army or significant police force. It was inevitable that practical bureaucrats and aristocrats such as Hiromoto Oe and Chikayoshi Nakahara served the Kamakura shogunate, given the bureaucratic needs of the samurai government. In the early modern period, even the families that produced Kanpaku were poor, and there was probably a lot of demand for illegitimate children to move into samurai families, where the only options were adoption or becoming a monk.

The Edo period was a time when the class system was rigid, but it seems that depending on rank, samurai status could be purchased for quite a bit of money. Eiichi Shibusawa, a wealthy farmer, promoted himself to Tokugawa (Hitotsubashi) Yoshinobu on his theory of revitalizing the shogunate and became a shogun's retainer. In modern times, we are guaranteed the freedom to choose a career, but the history of career changes in Japanese history may be an interesting topic. Come to think of it, Dosan Saito was an oil seller.



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