top of page

Which one is the real Yoshimitsu?

If you get off the Oi Matsuda of Tomei Expressway and drive along the mountain road toward the prefectural border, you will arrive at Ashigara Pass. There seems to be a walking path called Manyo Park in the surrounding area, but I like the view of Mt. Fuji from Ashigara Castle on the mountain pass, so I often visit on sunny days. This area is along an old official road, and it must have been crowded with people coming and going on the Tokaido over 1000 years ago.

Beside the small parking lot, there is a monument that says "Sinra Saburo Yoshimitsu Suisho no Ishi(stone)" and a stone that looks like it would be comfortable to sit on. It originates from the narratives in 13th century.

The eldest son of Yoriyoshi Minamoto, who was famous for his role in the"War of Nine Years" (1051-1062), was Hachiman Taro Yoshiie, the second son was Kamo Jiro Yoshitsuna, and the third son was Shinra Saburo Yoshimitsu. They're sharing a same mother, who was the daughter of Naokata Taira, a military aristocrat who inherited the Genpei(Genji and Heishi) blood. Hachiman, Kamo, and Sinra are the names of the shrines where the Genpuku(coming of age) festival was held, and the names seem strong, suggesting that they will receive divine protection.

Yoshimitsu heads east to help his brother Yoshiie, who was in trouble during the Gosan-nen War (1083-1087), but Tokiaki Toyohara catched up with him at Ashigara Pass and begs him to join the army. Here, Yoshimitsu passed on the sho(recorder) music that Tokiaki's father, Tokimoto, had taught him, and advised him not to participate in the dangerous battle, but to return to Kyoto and protect the hidden technique and pieces of the sho.

It is a mirror of a gentle military commander who is both literary and military.

Afterwards, Yoshimitsu returned to Kyoto after the war and was reinstated, but the murky succession dispute that was famous for the Genji clan broke out. After Yoshiie, Yoshitada took over as the leader of the Genji clan, but Yoshitada was assassinated here. Initially, Yoshitsuna's son was determined to be the culprit, and Yoshitsuna and his son were hunted down by Cloistered Retired Emperor Shirakawa, and Yoshitsuna himself was exiled to Sado to end his life (his sons were unable to accept that they were innocent of the crime and they committed suicide one after another in the Koka mountains). After that, it was discovered that Yoshimitsu was the mastermind, and he fled to his home base of Hitachi. Tameyoshi inherited the Kawachi-Genji clan, but it was a difficult period due to the contrast with the Taira clan, which was given preferential treatment under the cloistered government (later the Hogen and Heiji eras). After the War, we entered the Heike era.

It is said that Yoshimitsu conspired with Miidera's half-brother Kaiyo to make himself the leader of the Genji clan, but this is much more insidious than the story of Mt. Ashigara mentioned above, and I don't think they are the same person. What is the truth?



Thank you for coming!

This is a paragraph. Click Edit Text or double-click here to add and edit text to make it your own.

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
bottom of page